Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys

Sooners Top Big 12 Preseason Power Rankings

M. Hofeld

matthofeld

Game week is quickly approaching, which brings us to our final preseason rankings. This week we’re releasing our consensus power rankings as we head into the season. We’re at a consensus at the top and at the bottom of the conference but it’s the middle that has us all mixed up.

The consensus rankings come from a points system. A first place selection is worth 10 points, second place is 9 points, and they continue in descending order with tenth place equaling 1 point.

Below the consensus rankings are some thoughts on our selection process.

 

 Heartland Sports Consensus Preseason Big 12 Power Rankings
Ranking Points
1. Oklahoma 40
2. West Virginia 35
3. TCU 32
4. Texas 26
5. Oklahoma State 25
6. Iowa State 22
7. Kansas State 16
8. Texas Tech 12
9. Baylor 8
10. Kansas 4

Craig
1. Oklahoma | The Sooners lost their best player in Baker Mayfield, but almost every other position is going to improve this season. Rodney Anderson is primed to have a Heisman worthy season in the backfield, and wide receiver Marquise Brown will look to improve on his impressive season a year ago. With Lincoln Riley in his second season in charge, the Sooners could be the first team to ever win the Big 12 four years in a row.

2. West Virginia | The Mountaineers will be the Sooners biggest competition this fall. Will Grier is one of the best quarterbacks in the nation. When you combine that with David Sills and Gary Jennings at wide receiver, their offense will be deadly. The only thing stopping West Virginia this season will be their defense. There are tons of questions surrounding nearly every position on defense. If the Mountaineers can that figured out, they might just win the Big 12.

3. Oklahoma State | I have higher expectations for the Cowboys this season than most people. Mike Gundy has built a high quality program that isn’t going away anytime soon. I expect Oklahoma State to have a very successful season. The only thing holding back the Cowboys is the quarterback position. If they can find someone to step up and lead the offense the Cowboys could be the dark horse of the Big 12.

4. TCU

5. Texas

6. Iowa State

7. Kansas State

8. Texas Tech

9. Baylor | The Bears are looking forward to this season as they think they can get back to a bowl game. However, I don’t think the program is quite there yet. Charlie Brewer will lead the way for the Bears at quarterback this season. With Denzel Mims, Brewer will have a great target to throw to. I do think they Bears will improve from their one win a year ago, but I don’t see them being bowl eligible.

10. Kansas | All pressure is on Head Coach David Beaty this season. With a new athletic director in the program, if he doesn’t produce a few wins his job will be gone. The Jayhawks have gone 3-33 under the leadership of Beaty. Kansas does have some talent on the field this season, it’s just whether or not it can come together to win some football games. Winning is a culture that has to be set in a program, and right now, the Jayhawks have a losing culture.

Rich
1. Oklahoma | Undoubtedly, the Sooners are the most talented group in the conference on both sides of the ball. Behind a dominant offensive line and a stout rushing attack, the program looks poised to return to the Big 12 Championship game. Still possessing the ability to throw to Marquise Brown and CeeDee Lamb, there’s no lack of production that I can see on the surface. It all rides on the defense which should be much improved over last season.

2. West Virginia | With one of the nation’s premier quarterbacks health and ready to hurl the ball all over the field to numerous capable receivers. The defense will need to provide the occasional stop to keep the Mountaineers from playing shootouts every week. Needless to say, the biggest hurdle for WVU remains Oklahoma who has not lost a game to the ‘Eers as conference foes.

3. TCU | The most reliable defense belongs to the Horned Frogs. Behind a stacked front seven, this program is going to put pressure on all offenses to perform at a high level. With the turn over at quarterback in the league, it’ll be an interested match-up to watch throughout the year. However, TCU is also breaking in a new quarterback as well as an offensive line. Those two things in combination could be the downfall of the group this fall.

4. Texas

5. Iowa State

6. Oklahoma State

7. Kansas State

8. Texas Tech

9. Baylor | The Bears have returned to the bottom of the barrel for the time being. As a program, BU earned a single victory last season and hopes to build upon that number. However, Matt Rhule is concerned about the character of these young men first and foremost. I believe in his process but know it’s not a two year turn around for Bowl Eligibility.

10. Kansas | David Beaty averages one win a season over the course of his three year stay now. With sub par offensive production in a league that churns out points, it’s going to be a struggle once again for the Jayhawks. This could be the last season Beaty is with the program is KU fails to reach a bowl game.

Zack
1. Oklahoma | The Sooners are the preseason favorite because…well…because they’re the Sooners. I actually have a feeling this could be one of those rare seasons where another team barely edges out Oklahoma, especially since there is a Big 12 Championship game, but it’s just common sense to pick the Sooners as number one to start the season.

2. West Virginia | The Mountaineers have perhaps the best offense coming into the season with Will Grier throwing bombs to David Sills and Gary Jennings Jr., but their defense has some holes, and that puts them behind the Sooners to start the season.

3. TCU | The Horned Frogs had a solid season a year ago, finishing second in the conference. Sophomore quarterback Shawn Robinson has minimal experience, but TCU has upperclassmen at other skill positions on offense and nearly across the board on defense.

4. Oklahoma State

5. Texas

6. Iowa State

7. Kansas State

8.Texas Tech

9. Baylor | It shouldn’t be hard to improve on last season’s 1-11 record for the Bears, but don’t expect too much out of this team. While they return a lot of experience from last season, that doesn’t necessarily mean much.

10. Kansas | The Jayhawks are poised to remain at the bottom of the conference until further notice. They have won only five conference games in the last nine seasons, and I’m not confident that they get one this season.

Matt
1. Oklahoma | The Sooners are Kings of the Conference until someone proves otherwise. Yes, Baker Mayfield is gone but the cupboard is far from empty for Lincoln Riley when it comes to explosive talent. OU has yet to name a starting quarterback but whoever wins the job will be surrounded by plenty of weapons.

2. TCU | Yup, there are some questions on offense but the majority of the Big 12 teams have question marks on that side of the ball. TCU is in this position because of what they’re bringing to the table on defense. The Frogs will most likely bring the best defense to the conference this season.

3. West Virginia | Led by quarterback Will Grier along with receivers David Sills and Gary Jennings, the Mountaineers are going to score a ton of points this season. However, if they can’t make some improvements on defense then they’re going to give up a ton of points as well. That puts them in a lot of 50/50 games when it comes to conference play.

4. Texas

5. Iowa State

6. Oklahoma State

7. Kansas State

8. Texas Tech

9. Baylor | Year two of Matt Rhule has to bring some improvement to the Bears’ football program. Quarterback Charlie Brewer and preseason All-Big 12 receiver Denzel Mims gives Rhule the start to a dynamic offense.

10. Kansas | David Beaty has a 3-33 record in his first three seasons in Lawrence. Year four had better produce twice as many wins or it’ll be his last season in Lawrence.

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