2021 Big 12 Standings Predictions

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Much like their blue-blood predecessors of Clemson and Ohio State, Oklahoma has been the dominant force sitting atop the Big 12 conference. However, the Sooners have not made it easy on themselves. With Iowa State looking like a preseason top 10 team and Texas, TCU, and Oklahoma State nipping at their heels could the Sooners’ reign be ending? We’ll answer all of those questions and more as we unveil our 2021 Big 12 standings predictions.

10. Kansas

It was a disastrous offseason for the Jayhawks within the athletic department, but that seemed to improve with a solid hire of Lance Leipold from Buffalo. On the field, there’s not much to like for a team that is probably the worst Power Five team in the country. They were historically bad last year and the opening game against South Dakota could be the only hope for a win.

9. Texas Tech

Even with a new coach in Lubbock, the culture has not changed. The Red Raiders have given up 30 points per game for seven seasons in a row and last year it climbed to 37. Bringing in Tyler Shough from Oregon should improve the offense with a solid receiving corps along with Sarodorick Thompson at running back. But, we don’t see Texas Tech getting over last year’s win total of four.

8. Kansas State

After the upset of Oklahoma and TCU, Kansas State climbed all the way to #16 in the polls. However, that would be short-lived as they dropped their next five games. The Wildcats return 10 starters on offense including Skylar Thompson and Deuce Vaughn. They have an outside shot at a bowl game but unless huge improvement comes five wins looks to be imminent.

7. Baylor

On the surface, the Bears 2020 was very poor with a 2-7 record. However, when you take into consideration that six of the seven losses were by 13 points or less it’s not quite as bad. Matt Rhule left the cupboard only halfway stocked. The Bears will be one of the most improved teams in the league and have an outside shot to get back to a bowl.

6. West Virginia

The Mountaineers were much improved in Neal Brown‘s second year in Morgantown on both sides of the ball as they won six games including a bowl victory. They return one of the better quarterback-running back combinations with Jarret Doege and Leddie Brown. And, the defense was one of the best in the conference as well. The schedule has Maryland and Virginia Tech in the non-conference making it tough to improve over last year’s win total.

5. Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State jumped up to number six in the country before an inexplicable loss to Texas followed by losses to Oklahoma and TCU late in the season. The Cowboys are our lead experienced team with only 13 starters returning. They may have to rely on their defense early on as the offense is retooled. If Spencer Sanders can cut out the turnovers they could be a factor but road trips to Texas, Iowa State, and West Virginia will be too much.

4. Texas

The Steve Sarkisian tenure is officially here. He gets greeted rudely with games against Louisiana, Arkansas, and TCU all before Red River. But, the talent is there with Bijan Robinson as one of the most electric running backs in the country. The successor to Sam Ehlinger appears to be Casey Thompson after his incredible performance in the Alamo Bowl against Colorado.

3. TCU

For TCU, the defense has always been there as one of the best in the league. Can the offense be good enough? The Horned could turn the corner this year. Max Duggan is in his third year as a starter and has a budding superstar in Zach Evans at running back. TCU very well could be 5-0 when they walk into Norman on October 16th.

2. Iowa State

Nearly everyone came back for the Cyclones to make another run towards a Big 12 championship. If they can get by Iowa in the second game of the season they should start 7-0 with not much problem. Aside from that, they should be favored in 11 of the 12 games on their schedule. Handling expectations will be interesting for this

1. Oklahoma

On paper, this will be Oklahoma’s most talented team across the board in over 10 years. Spencer Rattler might be the preseason Heisman frontrunner and the skill positions are loaded. The defense has improved by over 12 points per game over the last two years under Alex Grinch and only gave up 15 points per game over the last five games last season. The schedule sets up well with the only true road games against Kansas State, Kansas, Baylor, and Oklahoma State.

Big 12 Championship Game

Iowa State vs Oklahoma

Since the return of the Big 12 Championship Game in 2017, Oklahoma has faced a different opponent each year. That comes to an end as Oklahoma and Iowa State will meet for the second time in three weeks. The Cyclones should keep in close, but the Big 12 Championship streak continues for the Sooners.