by Badger of Predictem.com
Continuing with our previews for all the NCAA Conference Championships in college football, now lets look at the Big 12
The 2010 Big 12 Conference Championship game returns to Cowboys
Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the same venue as the Super Bowl this
season. Last year the Texas Longhorns (South) needed a long, last-
second field goal to slip past the Nebraska Cornhuskers (North) by a
13-12 score and save their BCS title game bid.
Adding drama to the Big 12 race this season is the uncertainty of the
Championship game for 2011 and beyond. With Nebraska set to bolt for
the Big Ten after next season, and with Colorado joining the Pac 10
the year after, the Conference will no longer have the required 12
teams needed for a conference title game. So this years champ could
earn the title as the last Big 12 champ in history, ever, unless
someone like a Boise State would happen to join the Big 12 to keep
them at twelve.
The futures odds listed are available at BetUS.com and Sportsbook.com
and are the odds to win the Big 12 Championship, not just their division.
BIG 12 NORTH
Nebraska Cornhuskers (2.4-to-1)
Missouri Tigers (15-to-1 at Sportsbook.com)
Colorado Buffalos (75-to-1 at Sportsbook.com)
Kansas Jayhawks (75-to-1 at Sportsbook.com)
Iowa State Cyclones (100-to-1 at Sportsbook.com)
Kansas State Wildcats (100-to-1 at Sportsbook.com)
Even though the Cornhuskers lost a few players to the NFL, namely
Ndamukong Suh, the oddsmakers in Las Vegas expect a return to the
title game for the Corn as the North representative again this year.
Theres a lot to like in Lincoln, with the return of the Blackshirt
defense the offense of quarterback Zach Lee and Roy Helu Jr., the
Huskers are certainly good enough to get back into the Big 12 title
game, which makes them a very short favorite in most bettors eyes.
Nebraskas main competition in the North, Missouri and Colorado, are
mirror images of each other with questions at quarterback that dampen
At Missouri, the jury is still out on QB Blaine Gabbert, who threw for
3,500 yards and 24 TDs last season, but only hit on less than 60
percent of his passes and will be throwing to a whole new set of
receivers due to graduation. The Tigers will have to beat the
Cornhuskers in Lincoln on October 30th if they have any chance at all
at pulling off the Big 12 title.
Colorado may be playing in head coach Dan Hawkins final year at the
helm, and now that hes finally benched his son at QB the Buffalos
will get one last chance to surprise this year. New QB Tyler Hansen
is an upgrade, but only slightly if his 8-to-7 touchdown-to-
interception ratio doesnt improve to try and lessen the load on
running back Rodney Stewart. But with both Nebraska and Missouri on
the road this season, the Hawkins clan may be packing boxes in December.
Iowa State is a great team to bet on each week (9-3 ATS last year)
because they are an improving team, but anything more than .500 in
the conference is a great season and one that head coach Paul Rhoads
and the Cyclones should be proud of if they get there.
Kansas and Kansas State are still in full-fledged rebuilding mode, as
Turner Gill enters year one at the helm in Lawrence and Bill Snyder
enters year two in Manhattan. Both teams have way too many questions
at multiple positions, namely quarterback, to even contend for a
title so fans in the Sunflower State will be in a bad mood all fall.
BIG 12 SOUTH
Texas Longhorns (2-to-1 at BetUS.com)
Oklahoma Sooners (2.5-to-1 at BetUS.com)
Texas Tech Red Raiders (15-to-1)
Texas A&M Aggies (25-to-1 at Sportsbook.com)
Oklahoma State Cowboys (75-to-1 at Sportsbook.com)
Baylor Bears (75-to-1 at Sportsbook.com)
All signs point to a two-horse race in the Big 12 South this season
between Texas and Oklahoma, which means the Red River showdown should
be THEE game in the Big 12 this season again.
Since I covered both of those teams already in my 2011 BCS predictions article, Ill summarize quickly that I think the Sooners
will reap big rewards for being forced to play Landry Jones at QB
last year, thus getting him ready for a title run in 2010.
I have little doubt that Texas will suffer much with Garrett Gilbert
at QB, and the Longhorns will have one of the best defensive
backfields in the college game, which is huge in the pass-happy Big 12.
Texas Tech is listed at 15-to-1 for the Big 12 title, but I have a hard time finding many reasons why thats a good bet. Both of their
quarterbacks (Taylor Potts and Steven Sheffield) are coming off of
surgeries, and the players former coach Mike Leach assembled are
different from what new coach Tommy Tubervilles runs, so there might
be too many growing pains to expect the Red Raiders to contend this
For lack of a better team to pick the Texas A&M Aggies could be
classified as the sleeper in the Big 12 South this season. Their
offense with QB Jerrod Johnson and running backs Cyrus Gray and
Christine Michael is one of the best in the conference (33 ppg in
2009), but their defense was the 12th-ranked unit in a 12-team
league, which needs no further explanation. A favorable home schedule
(Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Nebraska at home) could help the Aggies set-
up a showdown game for the Big 12 South title in their annual
finale with the Longhorns in Austin.
How far have the Oklahoma State Cowboys fallen in a year? Wow. Last
year they were the hot pick to win the Big 12, and turmoil turned it
into a 9-4 season (6-2 in Big 12). Unfortunately, the Cowboys lost a
huge amount of talent from that underachieving team and it looks like
its going to take more than one year to turns things back around in
The Baylor Bears will be much better in 2010 than they were last year
(1-7 in Big 12) simply because they get their quarterback Robert
Griffin back. With him the Bears will be able to stay in the game
longer and could even pull off a shocker or two, but .500 in the
conference is more of a realistic goal and not a Big 12 title at 75-
Badgers Big 12 Picks:
Short Favorite Oklahoma (2.5-to-1) With Jones nearly a full year
ahead of Texass Gilbert on the QB progression chart, Im leaning
toward the Sooners as my chalk.
Middle of the Road Texas A&M (25-to-1) With Oklahoma, Nebraska
and Texas all so close in odds (all short favorites), I guess Ill
take the Aggies as my middle pick. Although, let me state that I
think coach Mike Sherman is a terrible coach and I think hell be
long gone before the Aggies win anything in the Big 12.
Longshot Colorado Buffalos (75-to-1) Again, the Buffs are my long
shot simply on principle alone. Ill bet the loose change in my
pocket that somehow, someway the Buffalos can rally behind Hawkins
and save his job.