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NCAA Football Conference Preview: Big 12

The Big 12 Conference is one of the elite conferences in all of college football. While the Big 12 is an excellent conference, most experts feel it is second best to the SEC. The Big 12 is down to 10 teams, and in 2014 Bob Stoopes and his Oklahoma Sooners appear to be the team to beat. The Sooners were picked by most to win the conference. It will be interesting to see what the Sooners can do, a season removed from beating Alabama in a bowl game a season ago. Can the Sooners make it into the Final Four playoff system?

Coming in after the Sooners appears to be the Baylor Bears. Baylor continues to bring fast and athletic players into their system. A season ago, the Bears lost in the Fiesta Bowl to Central Florida. Familiar names in Kansas State and Texas come in 3-4 in pre-season polls. The Longhorns will feature new head coach Charlie Strong to the helm. In the middle of the pack this season it appears Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and TCU. The Cowboys always seem to have a solid offense headlined by a stud receiver. Texas Tech continues to improve under good young coaching. The Horned Frogs are seeking answers offensively. Rounding up the conference is West Virginia, who has fallen a bit the last couple seasons, along with Iowa State and Kansas. The Jayhawks, no matter how improved they feel they are, cant seem to get off the ground and gain traction.

Oklahoma was pretty stingy on defense a season ago, allowing just 22 points per game. Offensively, Oklahoma was a run team, rushing for 223 yards per game. The Sooners top rusher Brennan Clay went to the Denver Broncos, but look for the Sooners to continue running with efficiency this season.  Baylor will once again be offensively heavy. A season ago, the Bears scored 52.4 points per game, which was best in all of college football. Baylor returns their quarterback Bryce Petty, who passed for 3,800+ yards and 30 touchdowns a season ago. It will be interesting to see what the style of Charlie Strong is for Texas. The Longhorns were 8-5 a season ago. Kansas State brings Tyler Lockett back, one of the top receivers returning in the game, and will get a great look at the NFL draft.

In the pre-season coaches poll that was recently released, Oklahoma came in at third. The Sooners would love to finish that poll third, and have a chance for a national title. Other Big 12 teams in the Top 25 were Baylor at 10, Kansas State at 21 and Texas at 24. Oklahoma State and TCU received votes.

As far as schedules are concerned, the Sooners have a path laid out for them. They feel if they can run the table in the Big 12, they will be in title contention. Their non-conference games are against Louisiana Tech, Tulsa and Tennessee. Meanwhile, Baylor’s appears to be even softer as they have games against SMU, Northwestern State and Buffalo. Texas sees their schedule a little tougher, as they take on BYU and UCLA in weeks 2 and 3. Within the conference, the Sooners host the Baylor Bears on November 8th. Oklahoma also hosts Texas, so it appears the table is set, now the pressure once again is on Coach Stoopes and his crew. Other notable games in the conference include Baylor at Texas on October 4th, and Baylor with Kansas State on December 6th.

 

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