- Despite key losses, Oklahoma looks like the team to beat in the Big 12
- Oklahoma Sooners (+200 odds to win the Big 12 title)
- Texas Longhorns (+250 odds to win the Big 12 title)
- Oklahoma State Cowboys (+550 odds to win the Big 12 title)
- Baylor Bears (+600 odds to win the Big 12 title)
- Kansas State Wildcats (+1000 odds to win the Big 12 title)
- Texas Christian Horned Frogs (+1200 odds to win the Big 12 title)
- Iowa State Cyclones (+1600 odds to win the Big 12 title)
- West Virginia Mountaineers (+2500 odds to win the Big 12 title)
- Texas Tech Red Raiders (+4000 odds to win the Big 12 title)
- Kansas Jayhawks (+25000 odds to win the Big 12 title)
Despite Key Losses, Oklahoma Looks Like Team to Beat in Big 12
Baylor was the surprise Big 12 champion a season ago; however, with some key losses, the Bears have the fourth-best odds to win the conference title. Oklahoma and Texas appear to be the teams to beat with both teams led by transfer quarterbacks as Dillon Gabriel and Quinn Ewers will be starting for the Sooners and Longhorns. That hasn’t stopped the Big 12 conference betting odds from favoring Oklahoma and Texas.
Don’t count out Oklahoma State and it will be worth watching to see who else emerges as a title contender.
Oklahoma is not only leading the way in the odds to win the Big 12 title but the Sooners currently have the seventh-best odds to win the national title so it is possible that the Big 12 will be shut out of the College Football Playoff again.
With the season starting this weekend, Pointspreads takes a look at the Big 12 contenders and pretenders.
Oklahoma Sooners (+200 odds to win the Big 12 title)
With quarterbacks Caleb Williams and Spencer Rattler now at USC and South Carolina, former UCF QB Dillon Gabriel will be running the Oklahoma offense under first-year head coach Brent Venables. He threw for more than 8,000 yards with 70 touchdown passes and 14 interceptions in 26 career games at UCF.
Leading rusher Kennedy Brooks is off to the NFL, but leading receiver Marvin Mims, who averaged 22 yards on 32 catches as a sophomore, returns.
Five defensive players were selected in April’s draft.
Linebackers DeShaun White (61 tackles) and David Ugwoegbu join defensive backs Justin Broiles and Key Lawrence are the top returnees on defense.
When looking at the Big 12 conference betting odds, Oklahoma (+200) is just ahead of Texas in the odds to win the Big 12 football 2022. Those odds have moved slightly from +185 since late May.
Texas Longhorns (+250 odds to win the Big 12 title)
With returning 1,000-yard rusher Bijan Robinson and new quarterback Quinn Ewers both among the top 10 candidates for the Heisman Trophy, expectations are pretty high for the Longhorns.
Texas joins Alabama and Oklahoma as the only programs with top 10 rated classes of not only incoming freshmen but also incoming transfers. Texas’ recruiting class is rated fifth with the class of transfers coming in at No. 6.
Robinson is back after rushing for 1,127 yards and 11 touchdowns in 10 games. He had five consecutive 100-yard games and that included a 216-yard effort against TCU. Dating back to 2020, he went over 100 yards in 10 of 12 games. The NCAAF Moneyline as Robinson (+2200) with the best odds among Big 12 players to win the Heisman Trophy.
They will be running behind an offensive line that returns starters Junior Angilau, Christian Jones, and Jake Majors.
Dynamic receiver Xavier Worthy returns after catching 62 passes for 981 yards and 12 touchdowns as a freshman. The Longhorns added receivers Isaiah Neyor from Wyoming, Agiye Hall from Alabama, Tarique Milton from Iowa State as well as tight end Jahleel Billingsley from Alabama.
The defense will be led once again by linebackers Demarvion Overshown (a team-best 74 tackles), Luke Brockermeyer (72 tackles, two interceptions), and Jaylan Ford (53 tackles, six tackles for loss). D’Shawn Jamison (48 tackles), Anthony Cook (46 tackles), and Jerrin Thompson are back in the secondary.
Oklahoma State Cowboys (+550 odds to win the Big 12 title)
Quarterback Spencer Sanders could be one of the Big 12’s best quarterbacks and defensive end Collin Oliver looks to build on an outstanding freshman season.
The Cowboys will need to replace leading rusher Jaylen Warren (1,216 rushing yards, 11 touchdowns).
Cole Birmingham, Joe Michalski, Preston Wilson, and Hunter Woodward all return on the offensive line so being able to run the ball shouldn’t be much of an issue.
Brennan Presley (50 catches, 603 yards) is the top returning pass catcher. Blaine Greene, Rashod Owens, and Jaden Bray also return after combining for 51 catches and 821 receiving yards as freshmen.
Oliver led the Cowboys with 15½ tackles for loss and 10½ sacks as a freshman. Safety Jason Taylor also returns along with defensive ends Brock Martin and Tyler Lacy.
Baylor Bears (+600 odds to win the Big 12 title)
Blake Shapen completed 72% of his passes as a freshman for 596 yards with five touchdown passes and no interceptions. Most of that work came in a three-game stretch against Kansas State, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma State. He was 23 of 28 for 180 yards with three touchdown passes against Oklahoma State as Baylor won the Big 12 title. The Big 12 conference betting odds currently have Baylor as the No. 4 choice.
Tight ends Ben Sims (a first-team preseason all-conference pick) and Drake Dabney are back after eight of their 41 receptions during the 2021 season resulted in touchdowns.
The offensive line returns four starters. Jacob Gall and Connor Galvin earned preseason first team All Big-12 honors. Khalil Keith and Grant Miller are also back.
Second-leading tackler Dillon Doyle (90 tackles, 10 tackles for loss) and defensive lineman Siaki Ika (six tackles for loss, four sacks) lead the list of returnees on defense.
Kansas State Wildcats (+1000 odds to win the Big 12 title)
Deuce Vaughn is back after running for 1404 yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior. At quarterback, Nebraska transferred Adrian Martinez to compete with Will Howard for the starting job.
The defense should be aided by the arrival of Maryland transfer linebacker Branden Jennings, who had 18 tackles in the first four games last season. He will join the 2021 leading tackler in what the Wildcats hope is an improved unit.
Texas Christian Horned Frogs (+1200 odds to win the Big 12 title)
After moving on from veteran coach Gary Patterson, Sonny Dykes was brought in from SMU.
Receiver Quentin Johnson averaged 19.2 yards on 33 receptions last season while cornerback Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson had two interceptions and 20 pass breakups over the last two seasons.
Nine of the 12 TCU players who recorded at least 20 tackles last season are back including top tackler Dee Winters.
Quarterback Max Duggan has thrown 41 touchdown passes over the last three seasons. In the last two years, Duggan has 26 TD passes and just 10 interceptions. Center Steve Avila, second-leading rusher Kendre Miller, and receiver Derius Davis, who is also one of the top kickoff and punt returners in the Big 12, are among other key returning offensive players.
Iowa State Cyclones (+1600 odds to win the Big 12 title)
Brock Purdy, the Cyclones‘ leading passer in each of the last four seasons, is off to the NFL. The same is the case for Breece Hall, the top rusher for the last three campaigns, and Charlie Kolar, one of the country’s best pass-catching tight ends during the 2019, 2020, and 2021 seasons.
All signs are pointing to defensive end Will McDonald going in the first round during the 2023 draft.
Ten of the top 16 tacklers from a season ago are gone, however, leading tackler Jake Hummel returns. Anthony Johnson, Gerry Vaughn, Beau Freyer, O’Rien Vance, and Isaiah Lee join McDonald to give the Cyclones some experience on the defensive side of the ball.
Xavier Hutchinson, who led the team with 83 catches and 987 receiving yards, figures to be the top player on offense. Jaylin Noel (38 receptions for 265 yards) is another pass catcher to watch. He is also Iowa State’s top kickoff and punt returner).
Hunter Dekkers is an in-state product who looks the part at 6-foot-3 and 235 pounds. He was thrown out there against rival Iowa in the second game of the 2021 season and was 11 of 16 for 114 yards and one touchdown in the loss to Iowa. He also threw a TD against Oklahoma later in the season.
West Virginia Mountaineers (+2500 odds to win the Big 12 title)
The well-traveled JT Daniels is set to take over at quarterback for West Virginia.
Former Clemson running back Lyn-J Dixon could join Daniels in the starting backfield. Dante Stills, who led the Mountaineers with seven sacks in 2021, and linebacker Josh Chandler-Semedo (110 tackles, two interceptions) return to lead the defense.
Texas Tech Red Raiders (+4000 odds to win the Big 12 title)
Texas Tech returns starting quarterback Donovan Smith as well as the top three rushers. Cornerback Rayshad Williams, safety Dadrion Taylor-Demerson and linebacker Krishon Merriweather are joined by defensive linemen Jaylon Hutchings and Tyree Wilson as well as linebacker Marquis Waters as defensive players to watch.
Tahj Brooks (568 rushing yards) and SaRodorick Thompson (500 yards) both return.