It’s becoming a trend that the only game with bearing over the Big 12 champion is Bedlam. It has decided the winner of the Big 12 three times since Nebraska, Colorado, Texas A&M and Missouri left. They’ve scheduled it for the last or second-to-last week of the season the last four years. It’s a big game every year as the teams from Oklahoma are almost always atop the rankings. This year, however, they had to move it up in the year because as the odds tells us, they will likely be duking it out in Arlington for the title once again this year.
According to Covers.com, OU and OSU open up as the respective favorites for the Big 12 title this year. While OSU typically plays the underdog, this year is no different despite what looks to be maybe the best Cowboy team ever assembled on paper. A historically bad OU defense last year has been overlooked, and a team that lost three of its four best offensive players disregarded. Since Gundy has had trouble jumping the Stoops hurdle so far, it’s not completely unwarranted. The Sooners open up at 5/7 odds to take home the hardware this year. The Cowboys are a distant second at 14/5 followed closely by Texas at 3/1.
For a team that (tied) had one less win last year than OU and is returning a greater bulk of its stars that seems quite low. The second best statistical returning quarterback in the country will be under center. In fairness, the best returning quarterback calls plays for the Sooners. However, Mason Rudolph will be protected by an improved offensive line, aided by a budding star toting the rock, and will be throwing to the best receiving corps in college football by a mile. The defense is as deep as it’s ever been and is only missing five starters from last year. The only area of concern on the defense is the secondary which was recently bolstered by Clemson graduate transfer Adrian Baker. It’s not surprising that OU is favored, it is however curious that they’re so heavily favored.
Longhorns 3/1 Odds to Take Home Big 12 Title
It seems the media is sipping the Texas Kool-Aid. Despite a 5-7 record last year, and a loss to Kansas (never forget), they’re still favored over the ever dependable purple wizard and the improving Mountaineers. Texas hasn’t had a winning record since 2013 and yet all it takes is a new coach to restore faith. Shane Buechele isn’t the savior those in Austin thought he might be, and despite their recruiting they simply don’t have that much talent. But of course there’s no Blue Blood bias, right?
Kansas State: 6/1
West Virginia: 7/1
Iowa State: 75/1
Texas Tech: 75/1
While the order in which they’re ranked isn’t too egregious, it still leaves a lot to be desired. Texas should be about tied with TCU, and far behind Kansas State and West Virginia. Oklahoma State shouldn’t be so far behind OU, but hey, Gundy loves being the underdog, and Stoops doesn’t know much other than the favorite.