As football season approaches us, Vegas has released updated national championship odds with four Big 12 teams making the cut.
Oklahoma is the first Big 12 team on the list with the 7th-best odds, coming in at +3900. For Oklahoma, they will have a new leader at the helm as first year head coach Brent Venables tries to reclaim the Big 12 after winning six straight titles before falling short of the Big 12 Championship game last year. The Sooners will also have a new face under center after former quarterbacks Caleb Williams and Spencer Rattler transferred away, opening the door for Oklahoma to bring in former UCF quarterback Dillion Gabriel. Sooner’ fans are expecting big things from the former Knight, as he comes off of a broken left clavicle last season. It is no surprise that Oklahoma is the first Big 12 team to appear on the list of national championship odds, as the Sooners have been the only Big 12 team to reach the College Football Playoffs.
The second Big 12 team to appear on the list is the Texas Longhorns, with odds at +6800. The hype of the Longhorns returns year after year, as not even seven months ago we witnessed the abysmal Kansas Jayhawks go to Austin and take down the Longhorns. It is a new year and some might argue that head coach Steve Sarkisian is fighting for his job as the Longhorns went 5-7 last year, missing a bowl game. It would be an shocking turnaround if Texas was able to make some noise this year and compete in the College Football Playoffs, but the Longhorns will have stud running back Bijan Robinson trying to carry the load.
Oklahoma State Cowboys
Oklahoma State is the third Big 12 team to appear on the list, sitting at +7600. The Cowboys fell short of a bid to the College Football Playoffs last year, after losing the Big 12 Championship game to Baylor, 21-16. The Cowboys went 12-2 last year as Mike Gundy is entering his 18th year as head coach for the ‘Pokes. Some of the success Oklahoma State has had could be attributed to former defensive coordinator Jim Knowles, who left for Ohio State on January 2nd. The defense will also have a huge hole to fill with the departure of their leading tackler, Malcolm Rodriguez, among many others. The offense will be lead by three-year starter Spencer Sanders, who looks to return to the Big 12 Championship game to avenge his performance just a year ago. There is a lot of question marks surrounding this Cowboys’ team but year after year Gundy seems to silence the chatter.
Right behind the Cowboys, and the fourth Big 12 team on the list, is the Baylor Bears at +9000. The Bears were the 2021 Big 12 Champions and capped their season off with a Sugar Bowl victory vs Ole Miss. Baylor looks to carry that momentum into this season as sophomore quarterback Blake Shapen takes over the offense after his impressive performances in his two starts last season. In just his third season with the Bears, Dave Aranda has turned Baylor into a household name after being picked to finish 8th in the Big 12 last season. The oddsmakers have learned their lesson and the Bears are in the national championship odds as they try and win back-to-back championships in the Big 12.
Out of the four Big 12 teams in the odds, I think Baylor has the best value at +9000. The Bears’ have a proven head coach and the least amount of question marks. I refuse to buy into the Texas hype until they prove themselves. For Oklahoma, they will be a tough team to face but with all the coaching turnover from last season, I look for it to take a year to get all the kinks worked out. Oklahoma State has too many holes to fill on defense and with a new defensive coordinator, that could take some time to return to form. Baylor has some concerns at receiver and secondary but after seeing what Aranda has been able to do in his two years, I trust he is able to figure it out.
Some other notable national championship odds include Alabama +198, Georgia +328, Ohio State +460, Clemson +1180, Texas A&M +2340, and USC +2500.