Williams: Big 12 predictions for 2013

Chris Williams

Publisher

You know in June, it is easy to pick a team you like the most for the upcoming Big 12 football season and crown that program as the league’s future champ. It also isn’t very hard to say, “I like so and so to finish fourth, these guys and sixth and that team, yeah, it’s a dead last team for sure.”

But when you go game-by-game/team-by-team/week-by-week and make picks based off of home/away, match-ups, bye weeks and more, things get a little dicey. 

That is exactly what I did earlier this week upon returning from the Big 12’s annual media day event in Dallas. As for results, here is what I came up with. I’ll analyze these predictions at the bottom of this page.

1 - TCU, 10-2, (8-1)

LSU – Loss
SE Louisiana – Win
At Texas Tech – Win
SMU – Win
At Oklahoma – Loss
Kansas – Win
At Oklahoma State – Win
Texas – Win
West Virginia – Win
At Iowa State – Win
At Kansas State – Win
Baylor – Win

2 - Texas, 10-2, (7-2)

New Mexico State – Win
At BYU – Win
Mississippi – Win
Kansas State – Win
At Iowa State – Win
(Neutral) Oklahoma – Win
At TCU – Loss
Kansas – Win
At West Virginia – Win
Oklahoma State – Win
Texas Tech – Win
At Baylor – Loss

3 - Oklahoma State, 9-3, (6-3)

Mississippi State – Win
At UTSA – Win
Lamar – Win
At West Virginia – Win
Kansas State – Win
TCU – Loss
At Iowa State – Win
At Texas Tech – Loss
Kansas – Win
At Texas – Loss
Baylor – Win
Oklahoma – Win

4 - Baylor, 9-3, (6-3)

Wofford – Win
Buffalo – Win
ULM – Win
West Virginia – Win
At Kansas State – Loss
Iowa State – Win
At Kansas – Win
Oklahoma – Win
(Neutral) Texas Tech – Win
At Oklahoma State – Loss
At TCU – Loss
Texas – Win

5 - Oklahoma, 9-3, (6-3) 

ULM – Win
West Virginia – Win
Tulsa – Win
At Notre Dame – Win
TCU – Win
(Neutral) Texas – Loss
At Kansas – Win
Texas Tech – Win
At Baylor – Loss
Iowa State – Win
At Kansas State – Win
At Oklahoma State – Loss

6 – Kansas State, 7-5, (4-5)

North Dakota State – Win
Louisiana-Lafayette – Win
UMass – Win
At Texas – Loss
At OSU – Loss
Baylor – Win
West Virginia – Win
Iowa State – Loss
At Texas Tech – Win
TCU – Loss
Oklahoma – Loss
At Kansas – Win 

7 – Iowa State, 6-6 (3-6)

Northern Iowa – Win
Iowa – Win
At Tulsa – Win
Texas – Loss
At Texas Tech – Loss
At Baylor – Loss
Oklahoma State – Loss
At Kansas State – Win
TCU – Loss
At Oklahoma – Loss
Kansas – Win
At West Virginia – Win

8 – Kansas, 4-8, (2-7) 

South Dakota – Win
At Rice – Loss
Louisiana Tech – Win
Texas Tech – Win
At TCU – Loss
Oklahoma – Loss
Baylor – Loss
At Texas – Loss
At Oklahoma State – Loss
West Virginia – Win
At Iowa State – Loss
Kansas State – Loss

9 – Texas Tech 5-7, (2-7)

At SMU – Win
Stephen F. Austin – Win
TCU – Loss
Texas State – Win
At Kansas – Loss
Iowa State – Win
At West Virginia – Loss
At Oklahoma – Loss
Oklahoma State – Win
Kansas State – Loss
(Neutral) Baylor – Loss
At Texas – Loss

10 – West Virginia, 4-8 (1-8)

William & Mary – Win
At Oklahoma – Loss
Georgia St. – Win
(Neutral) Maryland – Win
Oklahoma State – Loss
At Baylor – Loss
Texas Tech – Win
At Kansas State – Loss
At TCU – Loss
Texas – Loss
At Kansas – Loss
Iowa State – Loss

Team that could easily be better than I predicted: West Virginia

I realize that I’m out on an island with this program by picking the Mountaineers last. Having said that, I also fully realize that while I picked WVU to go 1-8 in league play, it’s Dana Holgerson fueled offense could potentially win up to four games in the leagued based off of its schedule. Even so, I’m sticking with my gut on this one. While quality athletes will replace the likes of Geno Smith, Tavon Austin and Steadman Bailey, there is no way the replacements will be as good as the men before them. No way. And add to it, while I believe West Virginia’s defense will improve in 2013, I just don’t see how it improves enough to cover up all of that departed talent on the other end of the ball. 

Team that could easily do worse than I predicted: Texas

Based off of recent history, picking Texas at No. 2 in the league is a nerve-racking move. I obviously love Texas’ talent, but I don’t trust its coaching staff as far as I can throw it. Some sort of an intangible has been missing from this program for some time.

Having said that, David Ash is by far the Big 12’s most experienced quarterback. Perhaps this is the year when it all comes together?

Games I had the most trouble picking

Texas Tech at Kansas – I just don’t see how Kansas isn’t substantially better in 2013 than it has been the last two years. I have the Jayhakws winning two league games in 2013 and Texas Tech/West Virginia at home easily make the most sense.

TCU at Oklahoma State – A major swing game within the fight for the Big 12 championship. I went with my champion, TCU, to win in Stillwater. I’m not confident about this pick though.

Oklahoma State at Texas – Another swing game featuring Oklahoma State that will affect the landscape of the Big 12’s championship race. I picked Texas, but I’m even less confident about this than I am the TCU/OSU matchup. 

Iowa State at West Virginia – Perhaps this was a bit of a homer pick? We shall see. I’m obviously down on West Virginia and with that, I think that Iowa State will find a way to be better than most people think. Paul Rhoads usually does that. I have Iowa State playing for bowl eligibility in this game. I don’t have that being the case for the Mountaineers. I took the Cyclones but I think we all know this one could go either way.  

Why so high on TCU?

1)   Gary Patterson is in my opinion, one of the top two to three coaches in the league.

2)   TCU’s defense that led the Big 12 in total defense and rush defense while only giving up 22.62 points per game last season returns nine starters. Former Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, Devonte Fields, should only be better as a sophomore.

3)   Casey Pachall, who was the nation’s top-rated passer through TCU’s first four games last season (before his arrest), is back and is supposedly a changed man. We’ll see about that but if he is, then watch out.

4)   If it doesn't work out with Pachall, Trevon Boykin might be the best backup quarterback in the league (one of the two OSU guys is in the conversation as well).

5)   From Waymon James to Brandon Carter, the pieces are there at key offensive skill positions to give the Horned Frogs more pop in 2013. 

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