The Big 12 was nothing short of exceptional in 2017.
Some of college football’s premier passers called the Big 12 home, including Heisman winner, Baker Mayfield, who led Oklahoma to the College Football Playoff. Oklahoma State and TCU each owned playoff aspirations of their own, as well, but of course, those dreams never amounted to much thanks to the Sooners. Furthermore, 70 percent of the 10-team Big 12 made a bowl game, which marked the highest percentage of any league in the nation.
Much of that success, however, was courtesy of an abundance of proven playmakers; many of which are now departed to the NFL or out of eligibility. For the Big 12 as a whole, that means the league may suffer a bit of a regression in 2017, especially at the top. As evident by SB Nation’s 2018 projections, though, which includes eight Big 12 programs in the top 50 and three in the top 25, the league should still largely remain relevant.
- Oklahoma – 9
- Oklahoma State – 19
- TCU – 22
- Texas – 27
- West Virginia – 43
- Iowa State – 46
- Texas Tech – 47
- Baylor – 50
- Kansas State – 61
- Kansas – 103
Although the league isn’t expected to be quite as top-heavy as it was in 2017, the Big 12 pecking order is projected to remain largely in place, aside from Kansas State. And much like the final AP Top 25 of 2017, only three Big 12 programs or picked to enter 2018 ranked, although the latter included two teams in the top 10 (Oklahoma, TCU) and three in the top 15 (Oklahoma State).
In short, the Big 12 may not be in for an all-out rebuild in 2018, but after boasting arguably the best league in the nation last season, some updating with plenty of fresh faces is in order and that should be apparent in preseason polls.
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