Big 12 Football Season Preview
The Big 12 has decided that their season will go on this fall. This conference has had a representative in the College Football Playoff in four of the six years of the playoff era. That representative has been Oklahoma every time. This season, Oklahoma is still the clear cut favorite to win the conference championship and represent the Big 12 in the College Football Playoff, if selected.
However, the Sooners lost a lot of key starters either to the NFL or graduation. Perhaps most notably at the quarterback plosition.
As of recent, Oklahoma has had the luxury of quarterbacks that have either won the Heisman trophy or have had their name included in the top four finalists for the past three years. The Sooners have had both Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray not only win the Heisman, but they both were picked No. 1 overall in the NFL Draft in 2018 and 2019, respectively. Jalen Hurts was able to finish as the runner up under Joe Burrow out of LSU in the 2019 Heisman campaign.
The Sooners have another new starting quarterback for the 2020 season, and it will be redshirt freshman Spencer Rattler. Although Rattler possesses elite skills and talent, having a quarterback that lacks college experience could shake things up a bit for the Sooners.
Conversely, other Big 12 teams will have senior quarterbacks returning that will certainly be advantageous. Texas’ Sam Ehlinger and Baylor’s Charlie Brewer, to name a few. Both have given Oklahoma some trouble within the past few years.
There is potential for an upset to occur in the Big 12 this year. The team that will give the Sooners a run for their money will be the Texas Longhorns.
In the last six out of seven showdowns between Oklahoma and Texas, each game was decided by seven points or less. The one matchup that was decided by more was when the two teams faced off in the 2018 Big 12 championship. This year’s Red River Showdown is scheduled fot Oct. 10 at noon, and there’s also a real possibility these two teams will square off again in the Big 12 championship.
Other than Texas, not a lot of teams are expected to give Oklahoma much trouble within the conference. Baylor is expected to experience a significant drop off due to former head coach Matt Rhule leaving to coach the Carolina Panthers in the NFL, with Dave Aranda taking over for him. With a new head coach, there will be a new system in place at Baylor. One can expect it to take a bit of time for it to be implemented and executed successfully.
There is a good chance that Oklahoma and Texas could be selected to play in the playoff. Likely, Oklahoma would be selected by winning the Big 12 and Texas could sneak in because the Big Ten and the Pac 12 cancelled their fall football seasons due to the ongoing pandemic. Everything also depends on how other teams from the SEC and the ACC perform throughout the year.
Stranger things have happened in college football, so the fans will have to just wait and see.
Ethan Cook is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.