While the Big 12 is known for having some long-tenured coaches in its ranks, the conference also has some coaches entering their second year as the head of the program.
CBS Sports’ Chip Patterson recently ranked head coaches entering year two at the helm with three Big 12 coaches checking in on the list in TCU’s Sonny Dykes, Oklahoma’s Brent Venables, and Texas Tech’s Joey McGuire.
The list was split into three sections for head coaches, a chance to build on year one success, needs to show improvement, and looking to make the jump. The first name to show up on the list was Sonny Dykes who found himself in the chance to build on year one success category.
Patterson detailed his decision by saying, “It’s hard to find a coach who exceeded Year 1 expectations more than Dykes. Under his guidance, the Horned Frogs went from being picked 7th in the Big 12 preseason media poll to beating Michigan in the College Football Playoff to earn a spot in the national championship game. But with a ton of last year’s production gone — along with offensive coordinator Garrett Riley — there’s pressure on Dykes to show his program can sustain a high level of success on a year-to-year basis. If Dykes — along with quarterback Chandler Morris, a veteran defense, and some key transfer portal additions — can put TCU in the mix for a conference title again, it will suggest that last year’s success is sustainable. “
The second Big 12 coach to surface was Oklahoma’s Brent Venables who showed up in the needs to show improvement tier to nobody’s surprise.
“The Sooners won 14 conference championships between 2000-2020, including six straight at the end of the last decade. For a program that has been accustomed to running the Big 12 to suddenly see the rest of the conference pull away in the standings is unsettling,” Patterson said. “It’s especially unnerving when you consider that the competition is about to get tougher with a move to the SEC in 2024. That is why Brent Venables needs to avoid another middling season in 2023. The Sooners went 3-6 in Big 12 play last season. Yes, four were one-score losses, but the season also included a 49-0 Red River rout by Texas and a 31-point loss to TCU. Finishing in the middle of the pack in the Big 12 would not bode well for the Sooners’ long-term trajectory.”
Joey McGuire, the final coach from the Big 12 on the list, found himself in the looking to make the jump category.
“With eight wins and a fourth-place finish in the Big 12 standings, there is a strong argument that Joey McGuire’s Year 1 was a success. But the pivot point for the Red Raiders comes in 2023, with the opportunity to establish the program as one of the top-tier teams in the new-look Big 12. Texas Tech was picked fourth in the preseason poll — as opposed to ninth heading into 2022 — and so it’s fair to say real expectations have arrived in Lubbock. McGuire has a chance to go from a plucky underdog to a Big 12 power.”
Venables, Dykes, and McGuire head into the upcoming season with championship aspirations as each team has a shot this season to claim the title.