While the Big 12 Conference has some of the most talented coaches in all of college football, three Big 12 coaches are facing a tremendous amount of pressure in the upcoming season.
247Sports’ Brad Crawford recently released his picks for college football programs facing the most pressure in 2023, with three teams from the Big 12 Conference making an appearance in West Virginia, Texas, and Oklahoma.
The team facing the most pressure in 2023 in the eyes Brad Crawford happens to be the West Virginia Mountaineers who Crawford spoke about saying, “Neal Brown is out at West Virginia if the Mountaineers fail to show progress this fall and after consecutive seven-loss seasons, it’s not surprising this team was picked to finish last in the Big 12 by media this month. Brown vehemently disagrees with the media’s assertion about his team, by the way. Brown took over at West Virginia in 2019 after arriving from Troy and has never won more than six games in a season. If he does stumble again and the program severs ties, the 43-year-old offensive guru will be owed $16 million. He has a record of 22-25 overall with the Mountaineers and 14-21 in Big 12 play.”
The next team mentioned on Crawford’s list has gathered more hype than just about anyone in the country this season, and while the Texas Longhorns’ roster does look good on paper, as the hype train continues to build its reach, so does the pressure they face.
“There’s obvious lofty expectations for the Longhorns as the Big 12’s preseason pick to win the conference and be in the College Football Playoff conversation. Steve Sarkisian has embraced the offseason hype and admittedly is in love with his roster, portal additions, and the possibilities for his team this fall. Now, Texas hasn’t won the Big 12 since 2009 and Sarkisian’s job becomes increasingly more difficult in 2024 when the Longhorns officially join the SEC and the schedule becomes a weekly gauntlet. Making good on this chance to finish inside the top 10 in 2023 is a must for all parties on the Forty Acres.”
The final team mentioned on the list finds itself in a similar situation to that of Neal Brown at West Virginia with Oklahoma Sooner fans on the fence about Brent Venables following a rocky start in his first year.
“There is no hiding at Oklahoma and Brent Venables’ first season with the Sooners went south in a hurry. Oklahoma’s overhaul on defense is already taking place for a team whose bowl-season loss to FSU last fall clinched their first losing season since 1998. Signing a top-five recruiting class for 2023 is absolutely the best offseason news Oklahoma could have received, however. Not only did the program land five-star quarterback Jackson Arnold, who will be “the guy” in 2024, but the arrival of five-star flip Peyton Bowen, five-star edge Adepoju Adebawore, and several immediate impact Day 1 starters in the transfer portal, including defensive end Dasan McCullough, were huge gets.”
While pressure has the ability to break stone or create diamonds, the three teams mentioned above will all get their shot at proving doubters wrong in the month of September when each school takes the field for the first team in the 2023 season.