By: Travis Pulver
Big 12 Championship Odds Revisited: Has Anything Really Changed for The Big 12?
With all the chaos and confusion surrounding the college football season for a while, it seemed like it may not happen for a while. It may not look like your typical season, but there will be football. It will be different. But different can be good, right?
However, are things really going to be all that different for the Big 12?
Since they only have ten teams in the conference, they already play everyone in the conference. The only difference is the non-conference slate—which has been reduced to one game. Teams will typically have three giving them plenty of time to work the kinks out before the conference slate starts. But this year, there will only be one.
So, when the conference slate starts, teams could very well still be trying to figure things out. Because of that, there could be a few early upsets that end up impacting the final standings.
Should that possibility impact how you bet, though?
Big 12 Championship Odds Revisited: Conference Still Oklahoma’s To Lose
When preseason odds were first released months ago, Oklahoma was considered the favorite to win the Big 12—and nothing has changed. DraftKings still has the Sooners listed as the favorite (-125) followed closely by Texas (+175).
Odds for the rest of the conference are as follows:
- Oklahoma State (+650)
- Iowa State (+1000)
- TCU (+1600)
- West Virginia (+2500)
- Baylor (+3300)
- Kansas State (+4000)
- Texas Tech (+6600)
- Kansas (+10000)
Oklahoma has been the class of the conference, having won the championship for five years in a row. But if they were ever going to get knocked off, this could be the year. They lost a lot of key players off last year’s good-but-not-great defense that will need to be replaced.
While the passing game rules in the Big 12, you still need a run game. But with Kennedy Brooks out and Trey Sermon now calling Ohio State home, there is no telling what the Sooners run game will look like. If the running game struggles, it may be harder for their new quarterback, Spencer Rattler, to acclimate to the college game.
Once the Sooners play a game, we will know what to expect from them going forward, but there are plenty of questions about the team for now. But there are even more about Baylor.
Should You Follow the Matt Rhule Rule Like the Oddsmakers?
It seems as if oddsmakers are down on the Bears because Matt Rhule left. But the Bears are still a very good team. While losing Denzel Mimms to the NFL hurts, the Bears have a good offense coming back, led by quarterback Charlie Brewer. However, they may be in trouble on defense, with only two starters coming back. But with a defensive-minded head coach in Dave Aranda, they could surprise people with a quick rebuild.
As usual, expectations are high for Texas. With the talent coming back on offense, that is not hard to understand. However, Texas could have used the additional non-conference games this season with new coordinators on both sides of the ball.
Should either side struggle with their new playbooks, the Longhorns could find themselves on the outside looking in for the playoffs early in the season. They have two relatively easy games in September, but then face TCU, Oklahoma, Baylor, and Oklahoma State in October.
Texas could be out of the running heading into November.
Iowa State is not going to be an easy win with much of last year’s defense coming back and a talented trio on offense at quarterback (Brock Purdy), Breece Hall (running back), and wide receiver (Tariq Milton). But the offense has to be rebuilt with only one starter coming back—which could mean trouble early in the year.
Oklahoma State will get a lot of attention early on with Heisman hopeful Chuba Hubbard leading the way coming out of the backfield. As a team, they have 19 starters coming back, which could lead to high expectations or a faster start than anyone else in the conference.
As for the rest of the conference, TCU will likely be a better team than it was last year. But it may be asking too much to think they could compete for the conference title. The same could be said for Kansas State.
West Virginia will still be rebuilding this season, and Texas Tech has a lot of work to do, which leaves Kansas. Les Miles has his work cut out for him there.
So—who’s going to win?
That’s a good question, which is also why college football is so great. There is a world of potential ready for each team to tap into. Whoever does the better job will come out ahead in the end. But who that will be right now is hard to say.