College football season is slowly creeping up on us, so that means it is once again time to give out our best win totals of the season.
This may be the last season of the Big 12 conference that we are all used to as Texas and Oklahoma are gearing up to head to the SEC within the next few seasons, and Cincinnati, UCF, and Houston are all set to join the conference starting in July of 2023. However, we will talk about that when the time comes, for now, we are focused on giving out the best Big 12 win totals for the 2022 season.
There is no clear-cut favorite in the Big 12 this season, but there is a lot of value on board, and this may be the season that the blue bloods of the conference take a step back, and the rest of the field steps up. Anyway, let's get straight into the picks. We would love for you to tail our win totals this season, we just ask that you do so responsibly.
*Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook
Baylor Bears: 12-2 (7-2)
Win Total: O/U 7.5
Although the Bears lost a few key contributors to the draft, this team is still well equipt to make another run at the Big 12 Championship. Alongside Siaki Ika, Baylor will have Tulsa transfer Jaxon Player anchoring their defensive tackle spots, giving the 15th-ranked rushing defense from last year an added boost. However, the defense as a whole suffered many losses in the defensive secondary with J.T. Woods, Jalen Pitre, and Raleigh Texada all gone.
We will see how an average offense from last season fares with Blake Shapen taking the snaps this season. Shapan came on in relief in the Big 12 Championship game and was surgical against a strong Oklahoma State defense.
Baylor did not get a favorable draw with their schedule, as they have BYU, Iowa State, Oklahoma, and Texas all on the road this season. Their home schedule is a ton easier with their only real test in Waco will be against the Pokes. With how wide open the Big 12 is this season, I find it hard to believe that Baylor will reach double-digit victories for a second-straight season, and they will have to get lucky on the road once or twice this season, but this defense should be enough to slow down some of these high-powered Big 12 offenses.
Pick: Over 7.5 (-150)
Iowa State Cyclones: 7-6 (5-4)
Win Total: O/U 6.5
Last season was a massive disappointment for the Cyclones as they did not live up to their Big 12 Championship expectations, and this season may be a whole lot more disappointing. Iowa State is losing its star quarterback Brock Purdy, and one of the nation's top running backs, Breece Hall, was drafted in the second round of the draft.
The defense has been the identity of the Cyclones under Matt Campbell, and it likely will need to be their identity this season as well. Whenever you lose this much talent on the offensive side of the ball, you are due for even more regression. Luckily, Iowa State can turn to former four-star recruit Hunter Dekkers at quarterback.
However, Campbell is heading into the unknown after losing the staples of the greatest team in Iowa State history. The defense should continue to keep the Cyclones in games with All-CAA linebacker Colby Reeder transferring in from FCS Delaware, and the emergence of Myles Purchase (fire athletes name alert) and T.J. Tampa in their secondary.
Even with all of their young talent, this is a rebuilding year for Iowa State, and drawing Iowa, Texas, TCU, and Oklahoma State for their road games is not ideal.
Pick: Under 6.5 (-120)
Kansas Jayhawks: 2-10 (1-8)
Win Total: O/U 2.5
I am once again excited to bet on the Kansas Jayhawks' preseason win total.
In all seriousness, Kansas has a talented team this season compared to Jayhawks teams of the past. This is not me saying that Kansas will be good this season, in fact, I'd argue that they are going to be bad, but this season, they have some promising players on the team.
Last season, Kansas took down Texas in Austin, and they were so close to beating Oklahoma at home, that they just allowed anyone to walk into the stadium late in the game to give the allusion of fans in the stands. They lost, but the Jayhawks were not a pushover last season. Quarterback Jalon Daniels had a solid season after taking over the job later in the season, and he is getting four of his starters back on the offensive line. Sure, some would say the offensive line was mediocre last season, but for a bad program like this, experience is so damn important.
Defensively, Kansas was the second-worst defense in the country (suck it, Akron), but again, they are returning seven starters from last season and they are getting some reinforcements via the transfer portal with linebackers Eriq Gilyard from UCF and Craig Young from Ohio State.
This is not a talented team, but they are experienced, and I can identify three easily winnable games on their schedule with TCU, Duke, and Tennessee Tech all at home this season.
Pick: Over 2.5 (-110)
Kansas State Wildcats: 8-5 (4-5)
Win Total: O/U 6.5
I will tell you what, the Wildcats have a nice little squad this season.
Running back Deuce Vaughn had a sensational year with 22 touchdowns and 1872 total yards from scrimmage. He is entering his junior season, which is arguably the most important for a collegiate running back. If he can put out another monster season, he will make himself quite a bit of money. Anyway, Kansas State will have Nebraska quarterback transfer Adrian Martinez, who is both the best and worst player in college football.
He is not a great thrower of the football, and he has some hilariously bad moments, but Martinez is uber-athletic, has played in a lot of big games, and is getting a fresh start in an offense that has some damn-good weapons. In his career, Martinez has thrown for 45 touchdowns, and his 35 career rushing touchdowns give the Wildcats another level to their offense. They are down a few boys up front from last season, but this offense is experienced, and they have the playmakers.
Defensively, Kansas State will bring back edge rushers Felix Anudike-Uzomah and Nate Matlack, as well as key contributors Eli Huggins and Daniel Green. The secondary is going to be tested as they are going to have to rely on a lot of youth, but up-front, Kansas State is as solid as any team in the conference.
Pick: Over 6.5 (-135)
Oklahoma Sooners: 11-2 (7-2)
Win Total: O/U 9.5
Oklahoma is one of the hardest teams to get a read on entering this season. After losing Lincoln Riley to USC, the Sooners also saw Caleb Williams, Mario Williams, and many others follow Riley to USC, as well as other programs.
They did hire one of the nation's top assistant coaches in Brent Venables to take over the program, and like most teams, they retooled through the transfer portal. With Williams at USC, and Spencer Rattler heading to South Carolina, the Sooners added UCF quarterback Dillion Gabriel through the portal. He certainly is not as talented as Rattler or Williams, but Gabriel has played in 26 games over his career, and his 70 touchdowns to only 14 career interceptions should give the Sooners some comfort in what might be a tough first season.
Oklahoma is still Oklahoma, even if their program got gutted, but there are still a lot of holes on this team. The defense gave up almost 400 yards per game last season, but they added a lot of experience on that side of the ball through the portal. Defensive tackle Jeffery Johnson is coming over from Tulane, Trey Morrison from North Carolina and CJ Coldon from Wyoming will anchor a secondary that was swiss cheese last season.
Oklahoma is not going to be bad this season, but their schedule is tough, and we could see them struggle to start the season (*eye emoji* (Nebraska) *eye emoji*).
Pick: Under 9.5 (-120)
Oklahoma State Cowboys: 12-2 (8-1)
Win Total: O/U 8.5
The Pokes are coming off a 12-win season, which they capped off with a Fiesta Bowl victory over Notre Dame. Even though they won an NY6 Bowl, and beat Oklahoma in Bedlam, they came an inch or two away from winning the Big 12 Championship, and a potential berth in the Colege Football Playoffs.
The defense was the main reason the Cowboys were so good last year, but losing defensive coordinator Jim Knowles to Ohio State and six of their top tacklers are going to be tough to deal with. They were able to hire Derek Mason to run their defense, but he has a lot of work to do to retool this defense.
Oklahoma State will bring back Freshman All-American Collin Oliver off the edge and linebacker Mason Cobb, but Jason Taylor II is the only returning starter in the secondary, and the Pokes did not hit the transfer portal all that hard. Offensively, Oklahoma State will bring back quarterback Spencer Sanders, who is entering his fourth year as the starter. The offensive line took a hit, but they were able to grab a few players from the portal with tackles Casey Collier coming over from USC and Jason Brooks from Vanderbilt.
With a favorable schedule, Oklahoma State should be in contention for the Big 12 Championship once again. They certainly will not be as solid as they were last season, especially on the defensive line, but this is still a talented team with experience at the most important position.
Pick: Over 8.5 (-105)
TCU Horned Frogs: 5-7 (3-6)
Win Total: O/U 6.5
The Horned Frogs are entering the first full season with Sonny Dykes as the head coach, and it is going to be a tough one. TCU lost dynamic running back Zach Evans to Ole Miss, and one of the best pass-rushers in the country, Ochaun Mathis to Nebraska.
We are a few months away from the start of the season, and we do not know which quarterback they are going to roll with this season. TCU can go with Max Duggan, who has 29 uninspiring starts for the Horned Frogs, or they can turn the team over to Chandler Morris, who transferred over from Oklahoma. Whoever gets the nod will have to lead an offense that does not have a lot of talent in the skill room, but they will be protected by a solid offensive line featured by First-Team All-Big 12 center Steve Avila.
They did get a few players through the portal, but they do not have a lot of promise on either side of the ball.
Pick: Under 6.5 (+105)
Texas Longhorns: 5-7 (3-6)
Win Total: O/U 8
It is not a college football offseason unless we have some preseason Texas hype. It happens every season, and this year is no different. But to their credit, they have a lot of promise this season. The Longhorns have one of the most talented quarterback recruits ever transferring over from Ohio State in Quinn Ewers, and the excitement around this program continues to grow with Arch Manning announcing his commitment to Texas.
Texas will also welcome back Bijan Robinson, who was a Heisman favorite for a while last season before a season-ending injury completely derailed a bad season for the Longhorns. At receiver, Texas has a lot of talent with speedster Xavier Worthy coming off a 12-touchdown season and Wyoming transfer Isaiah Neyor. Ewers will also have a top tight end to throw to with Alabama transfer Jahleel Billingsley bringing some experience into an inexperienced room.
Defensively, Texas is NOT back, but a few transfers will help fill some holes for a defense that gave up 31.1 points per game last season. Texas is about a year away from really reintroducing itself back to college football prominence, but they are on the right track.
Good luck against Alabama, however.
Pick: Under 8 (+125)
Texas Tech Red Raiders: 7-6 (3-6)
Win Total: O/U 5.5
The Red Raiders are entering the first season of the Joey McGuire era, and they drew a brutal out-of-conference schedule. With games against Houston and N.C. State to start the season, Texas tech's high-powered offense is going to be put to the test early. Luckily, the Red Raiders' away schedule is fairly easy while Texas, Baylor, and Oklahoma all come to Lubbock this season.
It is unclear who will be taking the snaps this season, but Tyler Shough was once thought to be a top draft prospect, so one could assume that he will get the nod. Their skill room is young, but Trey Cleveland and Loic Fouonji bring some experience to a young offense. The offensive line is missing some starters, but Texas Tech hit the portal hard and came out with three potential starters upfront in Cade Briggs, Cole Spencer, and Michael Shanahan. The defense was not great last season, but they are bringing back a lot of experience, especially up front with Tony Bradford Jr., Tyree Wilson, and Jaylon Hutchings.
When you think about Texas Tech, you think about a lot of offense. The same could be said this season, but this year, they actually have some redeeming qualities on defense. With such a low win total, I think the Red Raiders can be frisky enough to accidentally beat a team or two they shouldn't, and become bowl eligible for a second-straight season.
Pick: Over 5.5 (+100)
West Virginia Mountaineers: 6-7 (4-5)
Win Total: O/U 5.5
I like West Virginia, and I want them to be good, but whoever allowed their schedule to look like this should be fired and banned from the state of West Virginia. They start the season at Pitt, and their other nonconference test will be at Virginia Tech. Their road schedule also includes Texas, Iowa State, and Oklahoma State.
Adding JT Daniels will certainly help their offense, and maybe this team will rally behind at one time, one of the top quarterbacks in the country. Their offense is not great on paper, especially after losing running back Leddie Brown, but they added Lyn-J Dixon from Clemson, and they retooled a bad but experienced offensive line.
The defense brought in a lot of experience through the portal, but their secondary is young, and the players they are returning there are not all that great. I think this team is going to end up being more talented than their record indicates, but this schedule is brutal, and with a stretch that includes games against Virginia Tech, Texas, and Baylor, this team can completely meltdown fairly early in the season.
Pick: Under 5.5 (+110)
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