SEASON WIN TOTAL PREDICTIONS

(Regular season only)

Baylor Bears

(O/U 6 Wins)

The Baylor Bears’ 2017 season was uncharacteristic of their success success this last decade. They finished the season 1-11 and missed a bowl game for the first time since 2009. Head coach Matt Rhule will begin his second season in Waco, hoping to turn things around and get back into bowl contention in 2018. While at Temple, he led the Owls to their first conference title since 1967. Baylor QB Charlie Brewer will be the 6th different starter since Bryce Petty led the school to back-to-back Big 12 championships in 2013 and 2014. He will get transfer athlete Jalen Hurd from Tennessee, who converted from RB to WR this off season. Their offensive line returns four starters, and Baylor as a team ranks 8th in returning production among all Power 5 schools. The trouble will be on defense, where they only return four healthy starters, and ranked 9th in the conference overall in 2017 (allowing 457 yards per game).

The Pick: Under 6

 

Iowa State Cyclones

(O/U 6.5 Wins)

The college football Gods came through for Iowa State, granting QB Kyle Kept a 6th year of eligibility. Kempt is just the kind of leader head coach Matt Campbell needs in his 3rd season with the Cyclones. He makes smart decisions, knows the offense well, and protects the football (15 TDs and only 3 INTs in 2017). The Iowa State offense will also be returning junior RB David Montgomery who rushed for nearly 1,200 yards last season, good for 3rd in he conference. Two senior cornerbacks, Brian Peavy and D’Andre Payne, return on defense. Peavy and Payne have a combined 54 starts under their belts, and Peavy is the active career leader in tackles, interceptions, and starts for Iowa State. Matt Campbell signed a six-year $22.5 million contract extension this off season, but rumors have Campbell as one of the top candidates to take over at Ohio State if Urban Meyer does not return. Three of Iowa State’s five losses in 2017 were by 4 points or less. With a lot of talent and leadership returning on both sides of the ball, there’s a lot to like about the Cyclones in 2018.

The Pick: Over 6.5

 

Kansas Jayhawks

(O/U 3 Wins)

The Jayhawks have been comparable to the Cleveland Browns as of late. Head coach David Beaty is 3-33 in three seasons with Kansas, and is likely at the end of his run if things don’t change soon. Their only win in 2017 was to SE Missouri State (an FCS school). For the fourth straight year, Kansas entered Fall camp unsettled at the quarterback position, and continues to have major concerns on the offensive line. Their turnover margin was -17 in 2017, which ranked 128th overall in the nation. The bright side for the Jayhawks is that they return a combined 91% of their offensive and defensive production from last season (2nd in FBS). All-American linebacker, Joe Dineen Jr. led the nation in solo tackles in 2017, and will hope to get some support from the rest of the defense this season.

The Pick: Under 3

 

Kansas State Wildcats

(O/U 6.5 Wins)

Kansas State may be the most difficult team to predict year after year. Bill Snyder is now entering his 50th year with the Wildcats. To be fair it’s only his 27th year, but let’s just say he’s been the coach at K-State longer than I have been alive. Snyder promoted former wide receivers coach, Andre Coleman, to be the next offensive coordinator. He will be keeping a close eye on the quarterback battle between Alex Delton and Skylar Thompson. In the backfield, they have lots of depth and a solid offensive line to lead the way, with all five starters returning from last season. On the defensive side, they will need to replace their best run stopper and pass rusher, Will Geary. Top defensive back D.J. Reed is also gone after leaving early for the NFL Draft. K-State had the slowest tempo in the nation last season (30.1 seconds between snaps), but benefitted from a +10 turnover margin, which helped them reach 8 wins.

The Pick: Under 6.5

 

Oklahoma

(O/U 10 Wins)

There is a lot of hype this season for the Sooners who finished 2017 with one of the best offenses in the nation (45 ppg and 580 ypg). They will be without Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield, as well as two All-Americans in LT Orlando Brown and TE Mark Andrews. The former 5-star recruit, Kyler Murray will step in at quarterback. Murray transferred from Texas A&M and also signed an MLB contract to play for the Oakland A’s. The A’s are allowing Murray to finish out this football season with the Sooners, but many may wonder if the baseball contract will be a distraction for the young star this season. If Murray is able to turn it on, he will have a ton of talent around him. RB Rodney Anderson didn’t start until the 8th game last season and still managed to rush for 1,161 yards and 13 TDs. Out wide, WR Marquise “Hollywood” Brown leads a talented group who will look to terrorize Big-12 defenses again in 2018. How far the Sooners go this season will depend on the play of Murray, as well as a suspect defense that allowed nearly 400 yards per game and ranked 87th in pass defense in 2017. They open the season with Lane Kiffin’s FAU squad, followed by the return of Chip Kelly and the UCLA Bruins in week 2.

The Pick: Under 10

 

Oklahoma State

(O/U 8 Wins)

The 2018 Cowboys will be without QB Mason Rudolph and playmaking WR James Washington. The dynamic duo led Oklahoma State to the #1 ranked passing offense in the nation last season (389 ypg). The good news is that their offensive line will return eight players that have starting potential, including All-Conference guard Marcus Keyes. In the backfield this season will be junior RB Justice Hill, who rushed for 1,467 yards in 2017 (led the conference). Their defense will look to implement a more aggressive and attacking style to help against the spread happy Big 12 offenses. The Cowboys biggest hole will be in the secondary, where they will need to replace all three safeties. Five of their first six games will be at home with the one road game being at Kansas, which should be a tune up before getting into the heart of the conference schedule. Do not sleep on Oklahoma State, especially with the talent returning on both sides of the ball and a favorable first half schedule.

The Pick: Over 8

 

TCU

(O/U 7.5 Wins)

Gary Patterson may be the best coach in the Big 12 right now. Year after year, TCU delivers one of the best defenses in the conference. 2018 shouldn’t be any different, as the horned frogs will return six seniors on their defense which ranked #1 in every major category in the conference last season. Opponents gained at least 5 yards on just 28% of carries, which was good for 2nd lowest in the nation. Sophomore QB Shawn Robinson should be the man under center this season. Robinson started on a weeks notice last season on the road at Texas Tech and got a decisive 27-3 victory. WR Jalen Reagor could be a breakout star in 2018 after leading the team with 8 TD catches as a true freshman, including a record setting 93-yard score against Stanford in the Alamo Bowl. Their offensive line will be the key to their production this season if they hope to improve upon their top-30 ranked scoring offense from a year ago (only one returning starter).

The Pick: Over 7.5

 

Texas

(O/U 8.5 Wins)

The Longhorns are dangerous and should not be taken lightly this season. Tom Herman came over from Houston and led Texas to a 7-win season and their first bowl game victory since 2012. Their rushing defense was top-10 in the country, and stuffed opponents behind the line of scrimmage on 27.1% of rushes (4th in FBS). On the offensive side, Herman hired Auburn assistant coach Herb Hand as the new offensive line coach. Coach Hand will look to improve the team’s biggest problem group from last season. Sophomore QB Sam Ehlinger gets his chance to run the offense through a complete season, after holding 4th quarter leads and coming a few plays short of victories against USC, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State. Texas will miss their Co-Defensive Player of the Year, Malik Jefferson, but the players that remain seem to be buying in nicely to Herman’s approach. Expect a confident and inspired group this season, who will get TCU, USC, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Iowa State all at home.

The Pick: Over 8.5

 

Texas Tech

(O/U 6 Wins)

The pressure is on for Kliff Kingsbury to put together a successful 2018 campaign, or it could his last rodeo in Lubbock. The Red Raiders haven’t won a bowl game since 2013, and their defense has been atrocious the last couple of years. With that said, they did make a big improvement last season compared to the year prior. In 2017, Texas Tech allowed 32.2 ppg, which was actually an 11.3-point improvement from allowing 43.5 ppg in 2016. Believe it or not, their defense may be their strength in 2018 with 9 returning starters, including ‘Last Chance U’ star and All-American candidate Dakota Allen. Overall, the defense will be loaded with upperclassmen and experience. On the offensive end, Texas Tech will bring back their entire starting offensive line. Every starter played together at the exact same five positions for 11 straight games in 2017, a very rare but important occurrence. Chemistry will be strong, and the x-factor will be quarterback play and the emergence of young receiving talent. The Red Raiders lose 70% of their receiving production from a year ago.

The Pick: Over 6

 

West Virginia

(O/U 7 Wins)

There hasn’t been this much excitement in Morgantown since the days of Geno Smith, Tavon Austin and company back in 2011. Florida transfer and Big-12 Newcomer of the year, Will Grier, is a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate this season. Grier threw for nearly 3,500 yards and 34 TDs last season, but couldn’t finish out the season after breaking his finger in a loss to Texas. The Mountaineers were not the same team without Grier, losing their final three games by an average of 19.3 ppg, including an ugly 14-30 loss to Utah in the Heart of Dallas bowl. They will also need to improve on a -7 turnover margin which ranked 105th in FBS. On the defensive side they have sustained some painful injuries to their linebacking core, and have serious concerns with only four returning starters from 2017. Both starting cornerbacks will also need to be replaced. The non-conference schedule is no cake walk, as they open the season at a neutral site game vs Tennessee, and then get pesky NC State on the road in week 3.

The Pick: Under 7

 

HEISMAN HOPEFULS

Will Grier (Sr, QB, West Virginia)

Justice Hill (Jr, RB, Oklahoma St)

Kyler Murray (Jr, QB, Oklahoma)

Rodney Anderson (Jr, RB, Oklahoma)

Marquise Brown (Jr, WR, Oklahoma)

Jalen Hurd (Sr, WR, Baylor)

David Montgomery (Jr, RB, Iowa St)

 

HOW THEY WILL FINISH

Texas 10-2 (7-2)

Oklahoma 9-3 (7-2)

Oklahoma State 9-3 (6-3)

Iowa State 9-3 (6-3)

TCU 8-4 (6-3)

West Virginia 7-5 (5-4)

Texas Tech 7-5 (4-5)

Kansas State 5-7 (3-6)

Baylor 4-8 (2-7)

Kansas 3-9 (0-9)

 

BIG-12 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Texas defeats Oklahoma, 31-30

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Author Details
Content Creator at Armchair Betting & Wagers , The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
Raised in the Bay Area. University of Oregon class of 2014. I graduated the same year and from the same major as former Heisman Trophy winning quarterback, Marcus Mariota. From 2012 to 2014, I worked as an undergraduate recruiting intern for the Oregon football coaching staff. Most notably under Chip Kelly for the 2012-13 season. For the last few years, I have co-hosted The Dollar Parlay podcast with a buddy from Los Angeles. We focus on all major sports from a betting perspective. I invite you to join us on your way to the office, while you’re pretending to work, or whenever you’ve got your feet up with a cold one. I now reside in Portland, Oregon.
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Content Creator at Armchair Betting & Wagers , The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
Raised in the Bay Area. University of Oregon class of 2014. I graduated the same year and from the same major as former Heisman Trophy winning quarterback, Marcus Mariota. From 2012 to 2014, I worked as an undergraduate recruiting intern for the Oregon football coaching staff. Most notably under Chip Kelly for the 2012-13 season. For the last few years, I have co-hosted The Dollar Parlay podcast with a buddy from Los Angeles. We focus on all major sports from a betting perspective. I invite you to join us on your way to the office, while you’re pretending to work, or whenever you’ve got your feet up with a cold one. I now reside in Portland, Oregon.

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