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The beginning of the college football season is that one time of the year where every program is surrounded with hope. There’s hope for championships, hope for bowl berths, hope for better seasons than the last, and hope for another year after this one. Every conference has those coaches that can write their own tickets, the coaches who hope someone will be writing them a check this time next year, and those coaches who are somewhere in between.The make up of the Big 12 coaches falls directly in line with these three categories as well and, needless to say, there’s a lot riding on this season for some of them.

The Fat Cats

Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State (Record 94-47) | It doesn’t really seem like it was eight years ago that he declared himself a man at the age of 40. A lot has happened since that media meltdown and it’s all been good. Gundy led the Pokes to the conference title in 2011 and are coming off a season that took them to the Sugar Bowl.

Gary Patterson, TCU (Record 143-47) | Had his ticked punched even before the Frogs joined the Big 12. Led TCU to a share of the Big 12 title in 2014 but crowning moment has to be winning the Rose Bowl as a member of the Mountain West Conference in 2010.

Bill Snyder, Kansas State (Record 193-101-1) | The football stadium in Manhattan is named after the guy. He is literally a living legend and will stroll the sidelines of the Little Apple for as long as he pleases.

Bob Stoops, Oklahoma (Record 179-46) | The only coach in the conference with a national championship to his credit and nine conference titles to go with it. Stoops is the king of Big 12 coaches right now.

Guys In Limbo

David Beaty, Kansas (Record 0-12) | There are a lot of things to like about Kansas head coach but an 0-12 record in his first season isn’t one of them. There’s no real pressure on Beaty in 2016 but that elusive first win will be the monkey on his back until it finally arrives.

Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia (Record 36-28) | An offensive genius who struggles to build anything that resembles a defense. Mountaineer fans seem to be entertained by the product on the field but at what point do they begin to desire more?

The New Guy

Matt Campbell, Iowa State (Record 0-0) | Left Toledo after building a 35-15 record at Toledo, with three bowl appearances. It’s no secret that he has his work cut out for him in Ames.

On The Hot Seat

 Jim Grobe, Baylor (Record 0-0) | There’s absolutely nothing about Jim Grobe’s situation in Waco that would make a person jealous. The former Wake Forest boss was named the AP Coach of the Year in 2006 but faces the daunting task of guiding Baylor through the dark night of multiple scandals. Fans, boosters, alums, and players all want Art Briles back and if the Bears under perform in 2016 then Grobe’s job could be even more temporary then previously believed.

Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech (Record 19-19) | Took over the program in 2013 and has guided the Red Raiders to just two bowl games. A sub .500 season in 2016 could easily usher in the era of Texas Tech’s next football coach.

Charlie Strong, Texas (Record 11-14) | The Longhorns are paying Strong about a million dollars per win through his first two seasons in Austin. That’s pretty much all you need to know as he heads into the all-important third season.