Big 12 Conference is upside down-Kansas on top and Oklahoma in the depths of hell
Last week at this time I considered how good Kansas State was after it’s beat down on the Oklahoma Sooners. This week I have to also consider just how awful the Sooners are after another smashing yesterday as the Texas Christian Horned Frogs did the Wildcats one better. Is OU now just a team in rebuild or are the Wildcats of KSU and the TCU legitimate upstarts and title worthy in 2022? And do not forget Kansas and their five game winning streak which includes two Big 12 wins and Oklahoma State with an impressive win in Waco over the defending champs Baylor.
It is an easy thing to say that OU is going to have a hard time in the rest of their schedule as they might be the least impressive school in the conference for 2022. Fault cannot be placed on the Sooner coaching nor on a lack of intensity by their players in getting it handed to them the past two weeks. One must understand that the talent level in Norman is not as good as in the past and the loss of key players to the portal was devastating to the team. OU’s reload from the portal and new recruits has shown that the team comes out in a negative when you put the losses up against the adds. In reality, OU could get beat each and every week remaining in 2022. The injuries are mounting up and the Sooners just do not have replacements that will produce results that can and will make the team into a winner. With that, this season is not a wash as it gives Coach Venables and his staff time to evaluate what the Sooners have to carry forward to 2023 and to make sure the everyone that is going to be a part of the future teams is given a good look and evaluation.
I have no doubt that Coach Venables understood what he had (with his roster and their abilities) at the beginning of the season. With his evaluations of player after four games he knows how shallow his team is and how long the rebuild will take. He is not stupid. He knows talent and has been a part of championships too many times not to have a great take on his situation. The Sooners might suffer two extremely difficult years, 2022 and 2023 before the team is on the winning side of the ledger. Do not think that OU will not be back stronger in the near future and expect a highly competitive team in the SEC when that time comes. But if it happens next year, the team will learn on the job and it will be another learning season in 2023. Expect Venables to red shirt all the players he can not going over the four game limit on play. The group of freshmen in his first class at OU is the real building block of the team and wasting a year would be futile.
As for the Big 12 in 2022, we have a wide open league that anyone of six teams could make the Championship game the first week of December. Here is my predictions of the teams that have a better than decent chance to play for the Big 12 title. Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Texas, TCU, Baylor and Kansas.
Oklahoma State’s win at Baylor has the conservative Cowboy head coach Mike Gundy besting Baylor with field goals and not going for 4th downs at their own 18 yard line. Damn, Coach Dave Aranda, you have the biggest set of cojones since Little Tom Thumb. That win, on the road, is the biggest win so far in the league. OSU should at least lose one, maybe two conference game. Same with Texas, but their loss to a rather good, not great Texas Tech in Lubbock is not what champions are made of. They could get beat again and still make it. But they have two win of three tough matches on the road and then hold serve at home with TCU and Baylor. They are better but without their star freshman quarterback do not count on it.
Baylor could lose one more in conference and a two loss Bears could sneak in. KSU and TCU are playing great offense but how long will it last. And the Kansas bubble will burst and I expect them to lose at least three conference games but four or five is probably what will happen.
My ranking for the week:
This weeks Big 12 predictions
Texas 48 and Oklahoma 24
TCU 41 at Kansas 30
Oklahoma State 38 and Texas Tech 31
Kansas State 36 and Iowa State 27
Remember sports fans, things can and will happen with this Saturday’s results. As we all know. And it is never unexpected when the favorite loses and the dog wins.
Feature photo: TCU wide receiver Savion Williams (18) catches a touchdown pass as Oklahoma defensive back Jaden Davis (4) defends during the Horned Frogs’ 55-24 win over the Sooners on Saturday in Fort Worth, Texas.
Secondary photos: Baylor coach Dave Aranda is looking forward to fixing a lot of issues during the upcoming bye week following Saturday’s 36-25 loss to Oklahoma State.