2013 College Football Preview: Big 12 Conference

Sports

Below are projected Big 12 team ratings for the 2013 season. Keep in mind that projected wins and losses are made to reflect what would happen if every team played an average schedule. Most teams don’t play an average schedule, so actual wins and losses won’t look like this once the season plays out. Instead, these numbers are trying to tell us who the best teams are, regardless of the difficulty of their schedule. Therefore, instead of seeing this as a prediction that Texas is a lock to go 9-3 this year, think of it as meaning this upcoming Longhorn team would be projected to go 9-3 in 12 games playing an average schedule.

For projections for all Division I football teams, click here.

Overall

Ranking Big 12 5 Yr. Improve Ret. Starters Proj. Off+ Proj. Def+ Proj. Total Proj. Total+ Proj. W Proj. L
1 Texas 100 142 126 109 112 118 9.02 2.98
2 Oklahoma State 103 104 122 109 109 116 8.68 3.32
3 Kansas State 105 60 123 101 105 112 8.08 3.92
4 TCU 103 112 98 125 105 111 8.04 3.96
5 Baylor 108 97 123 98 104 110 7.90 4.10
6 Oklahoma 98 82 118 94 100 106 7.20 4.80
7 Texas Tech 99 97 104 100 99 102 6.59 5.41
8 Iowa State 103 67 94 102 92 98 5.97 6.03
9 West Virginia 95 67 104 89 92 97 5.81 6.19
10 Kansas 92 82 88 89 84 89 4.58 7.42

Offense

Ranking Big 12 Passing Rushing Scoring Turnovers Blocking Proj. Off Proj. Off+
1 Texas 117 118 122 123 119 120 126
2 Baylor 103 118 123 107 117 115 123
3 Kansas State 94 125 120 122 119 116 123
4 Oklahoma State 115 103 127 106 106 114 122
5 Oklahoma 90 129 113 109 113 111 118
6 Texas Tech 97 98 107 95 98 101 104
7 West Virginia 96 88 104 111 84 98 104
8 TCU 106 79 96 83 99 93 98
9 Iowa State 82 93 87 87 105 89 94
10 Kansas 68 107 74 90 89 83 88

Defense

Ranking Big 12 Passing Rushing Scoring Turnovers Forced Pressure Proj. Def Proj. Def+
1 TCU 116 119 115 129 112 118 125
2 Texas 105 102 101 104 120 104 109
3 Oklahoma State 106 106 107 96 101 104 109
4 Iowa State 97 93 100 100 80 96 102
5 Kansas State 89 89 95 111 83 94 101
6 Texas Tech 97 109 97 76 107 97 100
7 Baylor 98 99 86 99 92 93 98
8 Oklahoma 99 82 95 73 81 88 94
9 Kansas 76 89 81 92 101 85 89
10 West Virginia 87 96 78 86 91 86 89

Confused? Check the glossary.

1. Texas– Yes, Mack Brown has seemingly underachieved recently with the insane level of talent that he pulls in year after year in recruiting. This year, though, he returns almost everybody on both sides of the ball. The offense was very good last year, and if the defense can take a step forward this year, they should be one of the best teams in college football. Key words here are should be.

2. Oklahoma State– Once again, Oklahoma State should be dangerous this year. Mike Gundy has done a great job in Stillwater, and with a team that returns an above average number of starters from a team that was 28% above average last year, they shouldn’t be far behind the Longhorns.

3. Kansas State– Even without Collin Klein, the Kansas State offense should be pretty strong this year. The question mark comes when looking at the defense. I mean, 1 returning starter? The numbers like the Wildcats, mainly because they have been #10 when it comes to year-to-year improvement since 2007. We’ve all certainly learned not to count Bill Snyder out, and it looks like the numbers have to.

4. TCU– TCU’s defense finished 9th in the country last season, and they return 9 of those guys this year. The offense may not be the best in the Big 12, but the defense should be more than enough to make them a very solid team.

5. Baylor– What can you really say about Baylor under Art Briles? The offense should be one of the most exciting units to watch in all of college football this season. The defense, on the other hand… It should be improved from last season, but I’m still not sure it’s ready to be above average.

6. Oklahoma– It’s hard to believe the Sooners are being projected to be the sixth best team in the Big 12. With that being said, the perennial Big 12 juggernaut has some pretty large holes on defense; especially, up front and in the secondary. The offense should be fine, but it looks as if the other side of the ball is going to be where Oklahoma makes this projection look silly or accurate.

7. Texas Tech– I’m not sure what to make of Tech this year. On one hand, they have a good number of defensive starters coming back. On the other hand, the defense wasn’t very good last season and the offense (which was good last year) doesn’t return many bodies this season. And, to top it all off, they are breaking in a new coach. I’m just not sure I see this team being an above .500-talent team.

8. Iowa State– Paul Rhoads has Iowa State trending upward. Even with some Gene Chizik years sprinkled in (/shudders), Rhoads has Iowa State averaging 3% of improvement every year. And, last year was the best team he’s had since he arrived in Ames. Unfortunately, that probably means this year will be the first time in his tenure where his team has declined from the previous year. Even with few returning starters on defense, I’m willing to give the Wally Burnham-led unit the benefit of the doubt. It’s the offense that I’m unsure of. Quarterback Sam Richardson showed some promise last year, but he’s still unproven. The offense probably lives and dies with him this season.

9. West Virginia– West Virginia may have an offensive genius for a head coach, but can Dana Holgorsen overcome losing Geno Smith, Tavon Austin, and Stedman Bailey to the NFL? Add in the fact that the numbers don’t like the Mountaineer defense, and this looks to be a rebuilding season in Morgantown.

10. Kansas– Unfortunately, I don’t have any rays of optimism to shine on the Jayhawks for the upcoming season. Kansas has been the FBS team that has shown the least amount of improvement from year-to-year since 2007. They have gotten worse by an average of 8% every Fall. They finished last year as the 87th best team in the nation, and they return 18% less starters than the average FBS team this season. And, to put the figurative cherry on top of the figurative sundae, Charlie Weis is still their head coach… As usual, it’s a good thing college basketball season starts in November, so Kansas fans only have to pretend to care about football for two-thirds of the season.

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