The media may have picked Baylor as the preseason favorites in the Big 12 but Vegas has a different idea. The Bears received 17 first-place votes and will enter the season atop the Big 12 media poll for the first time in program history. The media isn’t taking bets though.
According to odds listed on some of the best online betting apps the Bears are actually sitting fourth in the Big 12 at +600 odds. That puts them firmly behind Oklahoma State (+500), Texas (+275), and Oklahoma (+200). What that translates to is an implied probability of 55.6% chance that the Sooners win the 2022 Big 12 championship. In other words, Oklahoma is the odds on favorite to win the conference crown for the seventh time in eight seasons.
Of course being the favorite isn’t necessarily a guarantee of victory. OU enters the 2022 season with a new coach and a new quarterback. Transfer Dillon Gabriel built an impressive career at Central Florida but he’s never played a down in the Big 12. In similar fashion, Brent Venables has a fantastic pedigree as an assistant coach but when he steps on the field September 3rd, for the season opener against UTEP, it’ll be his first experience as a head coach.
That said, In the 18-year history of the Big 12 conference championship game no team has played for the crown more times than Oklahoma. The Sooners have made eleven appearances in the title game and have left the field hoisting the trophy in all but one of them – Darren Sproles still gives me nightmares. The over/under on Oklahoma’s total wins in 2022 is at 9.5 which puts them right where they need to be to content for yet another conference championship.
Three Reasons Why Oklahoma Will Win The 2022 Big 12 Championship
1. Dillon Gabriel | The transfer from Central Florida will enter the 2022 season as the Big 12’s leading touchdown leader. With 60 passing touchdowns to his credit, Gabriel has ten more scores than Oklahoma State’s Spencer Sanders, fifteen more than Kansas State’s Adrian Martinez, and nineteen more than TCU’s Max Duggan. He may be a transfer quarterback but his experience, and reunion with OU offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby, put him a long way from completely starting over.
2. Brent Venables | Not only is the former defensive coordinator coming home, he’s returning with the top pedigree among Big 12 coaches. In 25 years as an assistant head coach he was never a part of a losing season. In fact, his teams won ten games or more 21 times during that span. He has coached in eight national championship games and fifteen conference championship games and has only lost one of them. It’s more rare for Venables to not be involved in a conference championship than it is for him to actually be there. The guy knows how to win!
3. Favorable Schedule | The Sooners play West Virginia in Morgantown but will host Baylor (November 5th), Kansas State (September 24), and Oklahoma State (November 19). That leaves TCU (October 1), Iowa State (October 29) and Texas Tech (November 26) as the most hostile Big 12 crowds the Sooners will face this season. If you’re setting up a schedule that’ll lead you to the conference title then this is certainly the way you’d want to go.
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