It was no secret heading into the 2022 season that the Big 12 was expected to be a competitive conference from top-to-bottom. With no clear-cut favorite leading into the season opener, the conference had a chance to be all over the map. Ladies and gentlemen, we get some wild results, including the national champion runner-up. But we won’t let that distract us from reviewing just how one Big 12 correspondent thought the season would play out (that’s me). So let’s look back at those Vegas win totals for the conference. And in this Big 12 win totals review, it will be hard not to toot the horn quietly because we were right more often than not.
2022 Big 12 Win Total Review
Baylor: 7.5 Wins (The Pick: Over 7.5)
The 2021 Big 12 champions ended up having the most difficult three-game stretch to close out the season with Kansas State, TCU, and Texas. Baylor was expected to take the next step in building the program to a consistent winner. In fact, they were the favorite by the media to defend their title this season. But Dave Arranda’s Bears never could consistently put it together. A bad loss to West Virginia exemplified the wide-ranging possibilities for Baylor this season. Even when they were 6-3, winning two of those last three was too daunting of a task this season. So needless to say, the Big 12 win totals review starts with a thud for yours truly. But it picks up quickly from here.
Iowa State: 6.5 Wins (The Pick: Under 6.5)
If we tried hard enough, we could probably find about seven-to-eight plays that if went the way of Iowa State, the Cyclones would have won eight games. Iowa State missed a bowl game with seven losses this year. But five of those losses came by one possession. Head coach Matt Campbell’s name seems to have lost some of the momentum he had just two seasons ago. So while this team did boast the best defense in the Big 12, it was let down by its offense. Something about that Iowa corn is good for defensive football but has an inverse effect on the offense.
Kansas: 2.5 Wins (The Pick: Over 2.5)
Kansas did everyone a favor and cashed this in September. For the first half of the season, Lance Leipold was the leader in the clubhouse for coach of the year. The wheels fell off the wagon in the second half, but the Jayhawks’ season was a tremendous step in building this program back to respectability. And Kansas squeezed every little bit of life out of its first bowl appearance since 2009. This one prior to the season seemed pretty easy to pick with what appeared to be a light non-conference schedule (turns out Duke was pretty good this year). But I can admit, I still never saw six wins for the Jayhawks.
Kansas State: 6.5 Wins (The Pick: Over 6.5)
It was a banner season for both of the flagship programs of the Sunflower state. The trendy pick preseason to tab the Wildcats as the darkhorse Big 12 champion stumbled early against Tulane (which only aged better and better with each passing week, just ask the Trojans). But this team just kept clawing and fighting, even after losing two of three during a critical mid-season part of the season. With their record at 6-3, Kansas State rattled off four straight victories en route to its first Big 12 conference title since 2003. This was another line that appeared too good to be true and looks even stranger with the power of hindsight.
Oklahoma: 9.5 Wins (The Pick: Under 9.5)
The Sooners were not lacking in drama heading into this season. Even with the large number of players who transferred out after Lincoln Riley took the USC job, first-year head coach Brent Venables still had plenty of talent to work with. Even with a cupcake-worthy non-conference schedule, expecting the Sooners to just naturally maintain their level at the top of the food chain seemed foolish at the time. However, no one saw the Sooners’ worst season since the late 1990’s coming. A 9-3 record would have been perfectly reasonable in year one, but a 6-6 made it a season to forget and an easy winner as this cashed in early October.
Oklahoma State: 8.5 Wins (The Pick: Over 8.5)
Here is the second largest stumble I had while conducting our Big 12 win totals review. This team was 5-0 and ranked in the top 10 of the polls. But then something happened with Mike Gundy and his Cowboys. Injuries certainly took their toll, but this team was fresh off coming three inches short of a Big 12 title and had its veteran quarterback. And yet, this team went 2-5 to close out the season. There are going to be plenty of questions about the direction of this program, but this season’s setback was one that I did not see coming.
TCU: 6.5 Wins (The Pick: Under 6.5)
Just like we thought the expectations in Norman should take a step back with a new head coach, we thought Sonny Dykes would need to really do significant work to pull TCU out of the “blah” nature that they had fallen into over the last three years. Coach Dykes apparently re-wrote how teams can do this in one year taking this team all the way to the national championship game. Yes, the season ended in a pretty ugly fashion, but it doesn’t damper the banner season it was for the Frogs. I didn’t even see TCU making a bowl game this year. Well, it’s safe to say this was my biggest miss of the 2022 season.
Texas: 8.5 Wins (The Pick: Under 8.5)
This was another total that we were right on, but Texas pushed it to the absolute limit this year. An 8-4 final record by Steve Sarkisian in year two should give Longhorn fans faith heading into next season. Sure, the turnaround in Fort Worth was incredible, but Texas handled its business against most teams it should have beaten. They also should have taken down Alabama, but just came up a few plays short against the Tide. Again, Texas is trending up. But for this year, Texas stubbed its toe enough to help me cash this under.
Texas Tech: 5.5 Wins (The Pick: Over 5.5)
Folks living out in the Hub city are feeling great about their Texas Tech Red Raiders. Head coach Joey McGuire had about as good of a first season as anyone could have envisioned. They ended the season with a convincing bowl victory over Ole Miss. Not too mention, the Red Raiders delivered wins over Texas and Oklahoma in the same season for the first time in program history. The over did not cover until week 12 of the season, but the high points for the Red Raiders made it feel more like a nine-win camping in a seven-win season.
West Virginia: 5.5 Wins (The Pick: Under 5.5)
Head coach Neal Brown came into this season on the hot seat. The Mountaineers did not make drastic upgrades to the roster to think they would be making a jump this season. Having a tricky non-conference schedule to start the year also did not inspire much faith in getting to a bowl game this season. They did close out the season by winning their last two of three and securing a clean sweep over both Oklahoma programs. But the late-season push wasn’t enough to disrupt my prediction of West Virginia missing a bowl game for the first time since 2019.
Big 12 Win Totals Record: 7-3