Last year, we saw one of the most entertaining years in the Big 12 in some time, as TCU, who was picked to finish in the bottom half of the conference, ascended to the top of the pile with a 12-0 record in the regular season.
Then, in the Championship Game, they were knocked off by a resilient Kansas State team that ultimately earned the right to be crowned kings of the Big 12 in 2022.
However, both TCU and K-State lost key pieces from those teams. The perception of Oklahoma is down after a 6-7 year under Brent Venables. Texas is, well, Texas until they prove otherwise. Texas Tech is feeling good about itself after going 8-5 in 2022, but they lose their top player, Tyree Wilson, who is now a Las Vegas Raider.
So, is the Big 12 heading into a down year? ESPN’s Taylor McHargue certainly believes so. In a recent interview with 365 Sports, McHargue says that, aside from Texas, the Big 12 will be weak in 2023.
“I think top to bottom the Big 12, aside from [Texas], I do think is weak this year,” McHargue said.
McHargue, who is admittedly high on Texas heading into the season, says that the Longhorns’ measuring stick will be Alabama in Week 2, with the rest of the Big 12 down this year.
“It might be a down year for the Big 12,” McHargue says. “But also, we will know the measuring stick of where [Texas] is when they go to Tuscaloosa in Week 2. If they go, and certainly if they win, but even if they lose close, and they were to run the rest of the Big 12, obviously that’s a deserving team to be in the final four.”
Sure, the Big 12 lost several top pass rushers from a season ago, but will they actually be “weak” in 2023? That’s certainly up for debate, but we won’t have to wait long to find out as there are several marquee nonconference games early on that should help us determine where the Big 12 stands among the rest of the leagues.