For years, the Big 12 has featured two teams— the one that wins the conference all the time (Oklahoma), or the one everyone talks about winning the conference that continually falls short (Texas). This year, the world expected much of the same; the conference winner would be Oklahoma or Texas.
While teams have only played a few conference games each, it is looking like the Big 12 will have a new champion this year.
The Longhorns and Sooners are not living up to expectations so far. However, since the season is so young, they could still win the conference title. But they are certainly going to have their work cut out for them reaching the title game—and they are going to need some help.
So, if it is not going to be either of those teams, then who?
Big 12 Championship Odds: If Not Texas Or Oklahoma, Then Who?
For some reason, the oddsmakers at DraftKings still have Oklahoma listed as the conference favorite at +150. Somehow, they overlook the 1-2 conference record, the ambiguity at quarterback, and the fact that they have allowed more points (120) than they have scored (118).
To even have a remote shot of making the title game, they have to run the table. While TCU, Texas Tech, and Kansas should not be a problem, Oklahoma State, West Virginia, and Baylor will be.
Iowa State and Oklahoma State (+350) look more like contenders than the Sooners do. After some early struggles, Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy is playing well. They still have a couple of challenging games ahead, but they are definitely in control of their own future.
The same could be said for Oklahoma State. It took some time for the offense to wake up. But once they figured out who their starting quarterback would be and Chuba Hubbard woke up, they have been clicking on that side of the ball. Defensively, they are doing well, but they have yet to play a really good offensive team.
They will undoubtedly get tested in a couple of weeks when they face Iowa State followed by Texas, with Oklahoma still to come a couple of weeks later.
When it comes to Texas (+450), maybe they will get it together when people quit jumping to the conclusion that they have it together. Yes, Sam Ehlinger is a good quarterback, and the offense is playing well overall. But this defense is just as bad, if not worse than last year’s dismal defense.
Like Oklahoma, they have to run the table even to have a chance to make the title game. With Kansas being the only cupcake game left on their schedule, it doesn’t look likely.
Will the Big 12 Odds Apply to Anybody Else Like the Wildcats and Red Raiders?
Kansas State (+900) jumped into the conference title conversation a couple of weeks ago with an upset win over Oklahoma. But after losing senior quarterback Skyler Thompson to a season-ending injury, the Wildcats should be approached with caution. If they are going to have a chance, new starting quarterback Will Howard will need to get up to speed quickly.
TCU (+1600) is not out of the equation by any means, and neither is West Virginia (+2000) or Baylor (+2500). But TCU can not afford another loss since they already have two in the conference and still have a few challenging games left. As for the Bears and Mountaineers, running the table will be the surest route for both. But with the schedules each has, that is not going to be easy.
While Texas Tech (+50000) has shown more promise than Kansas (+75000), they need to win a conference game before even thinking about winning the conference.
With the build-up and drama that preceded the 2020 college football season, we should not be shocked at how things have played out. It is only fitting that in a year as crazy as 2020, we see the top dogs in the Big 12 falter.
The only question now is who will become the new lead dog.