The college football season is officially upon us! So let’s get this show started with some Big 13 power rankings that are almost certain to be 100% correct all season long!
2021 record: 2-10 (1-8 Big 12)
Okay yes, Kansas is not a good football team, but beating Texas last year was worth more than just that one win on their record. Lance Leipold will be entering his second year as HC, along with quarterback Jalon Daniels, running back Devin Neal, and some of their major defensive pieces.
2021 record: 5-7 (3-6 Big 12)
TCU is entering uncharted territory for this upcoming season. For the first time in a generation, Gary Patterson won’t be on the headset in Fort Worth. Sonny Dykes will the new coach and will have to make up for some key losses. Defensive end Ochaun Mathis and running back Zach Evans both entered the transfer portal after last season. Max Duggan is currently leading the QB race, but Dykes hasn’t finalized anything as of now. With new pieces on both sides of the ball and on the coaching staff, TCU could be in for a long season.
8. Texas Tech
2021 record: 7-6 (3-6 Big 12)
Texas Tech joins the new HC club as Joey McGuire will lead the Red Raiders into the 2022 season. They are coming off their first winning season since 2015 and are looking to carry the momentum. The expectations for Texas Tech is an okay offense and a good-looking defense. Tech and West Virginia are easily switchable on this list, but the QB play favors West Virginia as of now.
7. West Virginia
2021 record: 6-7 (4-5 Big 12)
Getting straight to the point, West Virginia took a major shot on defense, losing some high-profile transfers who weren’t returning a ton of experience beforehand. The positive part of the offseason was the addition of JT Daniels. The former 5-star recruit steps into an offense with a few solid offensive options and Graham Harrell (who worked with Daniels at USC).
6. Kansas State
2021 record: 8-5 (4-5 Big 12)
There are always two sides to a story. For Kansas State it’s simple. The offense is going to be very interesting and potentially fun to watch. New quarterback Adrian Martinez, Chabastin Taylor, Phillip Brooks and Deuce Vaughn (a 1,400-yard rusher with 18 TDs last year) are all very dangerous together. However, do they mesh well together and can Martinez keep the turnovers to a minimum? K-State also will have to replace three offensive line starters and a couple of secondary starters as well.
5. Iowa State
Let’s be honest, nobody really knows how good Dekkers is going to be. He has the arm strength and Xavier Hutchinson on the outside, but there are some concerns. For starters, there are worries about the offensive line and how Dekkers can handle pressure on and off the field. On defense, Will McDonald is creeping around the all-time sack leaderboard in the Big 12. The one worry on defense is the secondary and how it will handle the loss of multiple starters from a year ago.
2021 record: 5-7 (3-6 Big 12)
Is Texas back? Well, does finishing in the top 4 of the Big 12 mean they are back? A new coach, new system and new QB should put some butts in some seats in Austin. Quinn Ewers (a 5-star quarterback prospect) will have Xavier Worthy and Bijan Robinson to help him out. Robinson is currently in the top 10 of pre-season Heisman favorites. All those pieces just named can’t do a lick on defense, which was the fourth-worst in the Big 12 allowing 31.1 points per game.
2021 record: 11-2 (7-2 Big 12)
Lincoln Riley is gone and the Brent Venables era is here. There are a lot of new pieces for the Sooners, but those pieces are very talented. Dillion Gabriel will step in as the starting QB after his past years at UCF. The wide-receiver room is not as deep as it’s been in the past, so expect Marvin Mims to get a ton of action this year.
2021 record: 12-2 (7-2 Big 12)
Baylor will bring back most of their defensive starters from a year ago. Their defense was second only to Oklahoma State in allowing 20 points per game. Blake Shapen and Gavin Holmes both have a lot of promise for this season, even after some losses to their wide-receiver room. This Baylor team has a lot of talent and will compete to play in the Big 12 Championship Game. However, they do not finish as No. 1 on this list.
1. Oklahoma State
2021 record: 12-2 (8-1 Big 12)
Their top-notch defense from a year ago loses a lot of their starters. However, for this upcoming season, the offense will look to play the part. Spencer Sanders will look to take the Cowboys as far as he can this year. The O-Line and WR groups have depth and are solid all the way around. The 2021 Cowboys were one yard away from a potential seat in the College Football Playoff. Death, taxes and Mike Gundy finding a way to win in late October and November.