Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Oklahoma is the 6-5 choice to win the
12. Teams in other conferences are heavier favorites to win their league title
such as Florida State. However, the gap between the No. 1 team and the second-
place squad is much larger in the Big 12 than in any other conference.
Time now to take a team-by-team look at the league with predicted straight-up
records (overall and in conference play) for those wagering on over/unders for
10) KANSAS (175-1 - All odds courtesy of 5Dimes) - The Jayhawks are 3-8 as
road underdogs the last three yeas.
Offense - Charlie Weis takes over as head coach and former Notre Dame
quarterback Dayne Crist will be his signal caller. Look for the Jayhawks to
average close to a touchdown more per game in league play after going for 17
ppg a season ago.
Defense -The Jayhawks only have one way to go since they finished last
nationally in scoring and total defense. The team returns six of its top eight
tacklers so improvement is expected under new defensive coordinator Dave
Prediction - Kansas went 4-1 to the under to end the season. Look for many
more overs in 2012 (3-9, 1-8).
9) KANSAS STATE (22-1) - The Wildcats are 13-3 as road underdogs the last five
years but are 3-11 as road favorites the last eight.
Offense - The Wildcats ranked fifth inside the Big 12 in scoring but ninth in
total offense. They were outgained in every single conference game but still
won seven of nine Big 12 contests. The offense will not be as lucky this year.
Defense - Last season's defense chopped off 100 yards and almost 2.0 yards per
carry from its 2010 numbers. However, the unit was dead last against the pass
inside conference play. The secondary must improve in a hurry with the
additions of West Virginia and TCU.
Prediction - The last four times Kansas State was above .500 ATS, it finished
.500 or below the following season. The Wildcats were 9-3 ATS last year (5-7,
8) TEXAS TECH (33-1) - The Red Raiders are just one game above .500 in league
play going all the way back to 2003.
Offense - The offense was not a concern last season (34 ppg average) and it
should remain strong in 2012 behind quarterback Seth Doege.
Defense - Not only did the Red Raiders finish last in the nation against the
run, they allowed 46 ppg in Big 12 play. Even Kansas gave up fewer points.
Eleven of the top 13 tacklers return to Lubbock so improvement is expected.
Prediction - This team should be better this season but not enough to make a
dent both SU and ATS (6-6, 3-6).
7) BAYLOR (60-1) - The Bears are 6-15 as home underdogs the last seven years.
Offense - The Bears lose Robert Griffin III (or Bob Griffin if one speaks to
Osi Umenyiora) as well as their leading rusher and receiver. Quarterback Nick
Florence is back after starting seven games in 2009, but the ppg average will
drop at least 10 points.
Defense - The defense ranked last in league play in total defense.
Nevertheless, the unit came into last year without its top five tacklers.
Seven of the top eight come back in 2012.
Prediction - The Bears went 10-1-1 to the over last year. Look for more unders
this season (6-6, 3-6).
6) IOWA STATE (85-1) - The Cyclones are 8-5 as road underdogs the last three
Offense - Iowa State has averaged 22 points in conference play each of the
two years. That number should increase with a much improved offensive line and
a bevy of solid running backs.
Defense - Seven of the top 12 tacklers return for a second straight season.
Last year's defense ranked No. 1 in conference play in red zone touchdown
percentage and 3rd in third-down conversion percentage. Expect similar numbers
Prediction - Iowa State came into last season with a 14-5 mark to the under in
its prior 19 games. The Cyclones ended 2012 going 6-1 to the under in their
final seven contests. Look for more overs this year with a stronger offensive
attack (6-6, 3-6).
5) TCU (9-1) - The Horned Frogs are 4-0 ATS off a SU loss the last four years.
Offense - The offense came into last season with only three starters and still
averaged 41 ppg while ranking 4th nationally in third-down conversion
percentage. This year five starters come back but the overall numbers should
decline with the move into the Big 12.
Defense - The Horned Frogs had their worst defensive showing in years as they
allowed 21.5 ppg. Expect that total to rise even higher with the loss of 10 of
their top 16 tacklers.
Prediction - TCU was 8-4 to the over last season. Expect more of the same in
2012 (8-4, 5-4).
4) WEST VIRGINIA (5-1) - The Mountaineers are 8-2 as road underdogs the last
Offense - Moving into the high-flying Big 12 will suit the offense just fine,
especially with eight returning starters, including quarterback Geno Smith.
Defense - If the Mountaineers allowed 29 ppg inside the Big East imagine how
many points this defense will give up against Big 12 offenses, particularly
without five of its top nine tacklers and just 30 percent of the team's sacks
back in Morgantown.
Prediction - With all the preseason hype, look for West Virginia's ATS mark to
be under .500 for the first time since 2009 (8-4, 5-4).
3) OKLAHOMA STATE (8-1) - The Cowboys are 28-9 ATS as favorites the last four
Offense - The Cowboys ranked second nationally in scoring but it is doubtful
they will come close to that mark with the loss of first-round draft choices
Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon. A total collapse won't happen either as
there is enough talent on board for them to stay in the low-to-mid 30s.
Defense - Oklahoma State was first in league play in scoring but seventh in
total defense. The key was the 44 turnovers gained - good for No. 1 in the
nation. Six of the top seven tacklers return so this side of the ball should
remain strong, but it won't be as good as it was a season ago.
Prediction - Oklahoma State is 19-7 ATS the last two years. The Cowboys will
surprise everyone again and finish above .500 ATS (in the regular season) for
the fifth straight time (9-3, 6-3).
2) OKLAHOMA (6-5) - The Sooners are 7-2 ATS off a SU loss the last three
Offense - Oklahoma has averaged 39 ppg inside the Big 12 conference each of
last two years. Expect another high-powered season even with the loss of Ryan
Broyles and three offensive line starters.
Defense - The Sooners ranked first in league play in quarterback completion
percentage. They also were fifth nationally in third-down conversion
percentage. This year's defense is a veteran group that should be one of the
top defenses in the conference.
Prediction - Oklahoma is 7-7 SU and 5-9 ATS on the road the last three years.
Bet against the Sooners away from home this season (11-1, 8-1).
1) TEXAS (5-1) - The Longhorns are 9-5 as road favorites the last four years.
Offense - The offense averaged eight more ppg in league play last year
to 2010 and almost everyone returns this season. The key will be the
quarterback play of David Ash and Case McCoy since the ground attack will be
Defense - The Longhorns lose their top two tacklers (both linebackers) but
return what could be the top defensive line and secondary in the country.
Prediction - Texas is 15-23-1 ATS the last three years. That 40 percent
winning percentage will be much higher in 2012 (11-1, 8-1).
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