Every Friday, our staff at The Comeback will share our college football predictions for the highlighted conference of the week. This week, we gaze into our crystal balls and make some predictions for the Big 12.
Big 12 Standings
- Oklahoma (3)
- Oklahoma State (1)
- West Virginia
- Kansas State
- Texas Tech
- Iowa State
Oklahoma may look like our clear favorite based on the four ballots submitted this week, but the gap between the Sooners and Cowboys is much closer than the first-place votes would suggest. In the final point tally, the Pokes come up just one point shy of a tie for first-place (Oklahoma had 38 points, Oklahoma State had 37). The Cowboys were listed at second place on each of the three ballots they were not picked first, while Oklahoma received one third-place finish prediction.
Judging by these results, it seems we as a staff are optimistic that Tom Herman will get Texas going in the right direction this fall, while West Virginia and Kansas State will be competitive as well.
Big 12 Championship Game
The Big 12 is bringing back its championship game this season, and three of our championship game matchup predictions agree we will see a rematch of Bedlam in Arlington. And in two of those picks, the Sooners are predicted to come out on top, while the Cowboys are expected to win a revenge game to cause havoc in the Big 12 (more on that in our bold predictions).
- Bart Doan: Oklahoma State over Kansas State
- Kevin McGuire: Oklahoma over Oklahoma State
- Matt Lichtenstadter: Oklahoma over Oklahoma State
- Terry P. Johnson: Oklahoma State over Oklahoma
Offensive Player of the Year
- Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma (2)
- Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State (1)
- James Washington, Oklahoma State (1)
Oklahoma’s most likely Heisman Trophy candidate is Baker Mayfield, and he was the lone player to receive multiple votes from our staff this year. Mayfield will get an early opportunity to make his case when he leads Oklahoma into Big Ten territory for a mega matchup (and a revenge game) against Ohio State. Perform well in that game, and win, and Mayfield will be on the right track to New York City.
Defensive Player of the Year
- Travin Howard, TCU (2)
- Dorance Armstrong Jr., Kansas (1)
- Jordan Thomas (1)
TCU linebacker Travin Howard was the only player to receive two picks for Defensive Player of the Year from our staff. In a conference that is highlighted by the offensive firepower, TCU has one of the top defensive playmakers in the conference to rely on to slow things down and disrupt the flow of an opponent’s offense.
Coach of the Year
- Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State (1)
- Tom Herman, Texas (1)
- Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma (1)
- Bill Snyder, Kansas State (1)
We saw a complete split on how the coach of the year will be determined. No coach received more than one vote, and every coach seemed to have a case to be made for consideration. Mike Gundy has a very strong team at Oklahoma State. Tom Herman is expected to take Texas up a step or two this fall. Lincoln Riley has the most likely playoff contender. And never underestimate Bill Snyder. So watch Matt Rhule win it since nobody picked him.
Bart: The Big 12 will once again be shut out of the CFB Playoff.
Kevin M.: I’m actually right there with Bart. I think the Big 12’s best chance to get a team in the College Football Playoff will end up being Oklahoma, but a road trip to Ohio State and a full season with a fresh new head coach leaves me hesitating to suggest the Sooners have an easy path to the College Football Playoff. And if I’m taking the SEC, ACC and Big Ten champions without thinking about it, it’s a toss-up between the Pac-12 and the Big 12 for the last spot. If USC is sitting there with an identical record and a Pac-12 championship, I think the nod goes to the Trojans over the Sooners. But if Washington emerges as the Pac-12 champ, Oklahoma might just wiggle in. Or two Big Ten teams get in.
Matt L: Bedlam, not the Red River Rivalry, ends up defining the Big 12 in 2017. Texas will take a big step forward no doubt, but this season sets up for a little Bedlam in the renewed Big 12 title game. The Cowboys have such a crazy fun offense that they don’t need much to be a sleeper Playoff contender from Day 1 this season. Because of that, they start a little ahead of Texas in that race to compete with Oklahoma, and that’s why they’ll be the team playing the Sooners in Dallas the first weekend in December. They’re good. They’re really good. And this season, they’ll be better than Texas, and maybe even better than Oklahoma.
Terry: The Big 12 realizes how destructive the conference title game is when Oklahoma State wins the rematch against Oklahoma. The league brass will debate whether it needs to continue to play the game in the future. Shockingly, the conference will keep it because of the false narrative that the Big 12 is at a disadvantage without it.
2017 College Football Predictions