#13-iowa-state-logo#13 Iowa State
#17-texas-logo#17 Texas
12:00 pm, November 27
#2-notre-dame-logo#2 Notre Dame
#19-north-carolina-logo#19 North Carolina
3:30 pm, November 27
penn-state-logoPenn State
michigan-logoMichigan
12:00 pm, November 28
kentucky-logoKentucky
#6-florida-logo#6 Florida
12:00 pm, November 28
#22-auburn-logo#22 Auburn
#1-alabama-logo#1 Alabama
3:30 pm, November 28
pittsburgh-logoPittsburgh
#3-clemson-logo#3 Clemson
3:30 pm, November 28
louisville-logoLouisville
boston-college-logoBoston College
4:00 pm, November 28
lsu-logoLSU
#5-texas-a&m-logo#5 Texas A&M
7:00 pm, November 28
#9-georgia-logo#9 Georgia
south-carolina-logoSouth Carolina
7:30 pm, November 28

2020 Big 12 Football Preview

Check out the CSD preview for the Big 12’s 2020 season in this loaded preview, featuring in-depth coverage of everything you need to know about all ten teams, projected records based on thousands of computer simulations, the projected all-conference team, awards, and more.

The league has announced that it plans to play the normal nine conference games this year and that its teams are allowed to play up to one non-conference game.

Projected Standings

1. Oklahoma

Head Coach: Lincoln Riley
2019 Record: 12-2 (8-1 Big 12)
Average Projected 2020 Record: 8.6 wins, 1.4 losses (7.6 wins, 1.4 losses Big 12)

Schedule

Sept. 12 Missouri State
Sept. 19 OPEN DATE
Sept. 26 Kansas State
Oct. 3 at Iowa State
Oct. 10 Texas (in Dallas)
Oct. 17 OPEN DATE
Oct. 24 at TCU
Oct. 31 at Texas Tech
Nov. 7 Kansas
Nov. 14 OPEN DATE
Nov. 21 Oklahoma State
Nov. 28 at West Virginia
Dec. 5 Baylor

For the third year in a row, a brand new, highly-touted QB will take the field for Lincoln Riley’s Oklahoma Sooners. This time, it will be social media superstar Spencer Rattler, who is so good that the dropoff from Hurts may be unnoticeable. Where the Sooners may struggle, though, is the running back spot, where Trey Sermon transfers away to Ohio State and Kennedy Brooks will be an opt-out for the NFL draft. Senior Rhamondre Stevenson is the default #1. Stevenson scampered for 515 yards and six touchdowns last year as the Sooners’ #3. The receiving corps is still stacked even without CeeDee Lamb. Charleston Rambo (17 YPC in 2019) looks to be the next big thing in Norman, and awesome recruiting will provide plenty of depth.

On defense, Oklahoma improved under Alex Grinch last year, but the secondary was still a massive hole, and with its best player, Parnell Motley, gone, I don’t expect it to get much better. The big reason that the Sooners were better last year was the pass rush, and the line looks to be solid again, with LaRon Stoke and Marcus Stripling coming off the ends, and Ronnie Perkins threatening to tear up Big 12 O-lines. LB Nik Bonitto and CB Tre Brown taking steps up will be the key to whether or not OU can take another step forward on defense this year. As for the Sooners as a whole, I do see a slight step back because of the uncertainty at the RB spot and Rattler’s unproven nature, but they are the favorites for a Big 12 title and thus a College Football Playoff spot.

2. Texas

Head Coach: Tom Herman
2019 Record: 8-5 (5-4 Big 12)
Average Projected 2020 Record: 8.0 wins, 2.0 losses (7.0 wins, 2.0 losses Big 12)

Schedule

Sept. 12 UTEP
Sept. 19 OPEN DATE
Sept. 26 at Texas Tech
Oct. 3 TCU
Oct. 10 Oklahoma (in Dallas)
Oct. 17 OPEN DATE
Oct. 24 Baylor
Oct. 31 at Oklahoma State
Nov. 7 West Virginia
Nov. 14 OPEN DATE
Nov. 21 at Kansas
Nov. 28 Iowa State
Dec. 5 at Kansas State

A 5-4 Big 12 record in 2019 was clearly disappointing for Texas, but the Longhorns were probably better than that record indicated, and almost everyone is back, including star QB Sam Ehlinger (32 touchdowns) who decided to pass on the NFL draft to return to Austin. Five-star RB Bijan Robinson will push returning top back Keontay Ingram (853 yards, seven touchdowns, 242 receiving yards, three receiving touchdowns) in the run game, and T Samuel Cosmi is a legit NFL prospect working around a solid line. A pair of guys that caught six touchdowns each return in the receiving corps as well, although the losses of Collin Johnson and Devin Duvernay hurt. This should be one of the better offenses in the country.

The defense was alright in Big 12 adjusted terms, and it returns a lot. Gone is Malcolm Roach from the pass rush, but almost everyone else is back, including LB Joseph Ossai (five sacks) and MLB Juwan Mitchell. CB D’Shawn Jamison had a very impressive season for a year one starter in 2019, and I expect him to be an All-Big 12 caliber player by the time he leaves Austin. Former Rutgers head coach Chris Ash is the new defensive coordinator, and the group should improve after they were killed with injuries last year. Texas will compete for a Big 12 title again, but the holes on defense are obvious.

3. Oklahoma State

Head Coach: Mike Gundy
2019 Record: 8-5 (5-4 Big 12)
Average Projected 2020 Record: 7.7 wins, 2.3 losses (6.8 wins, 2.2 losses Big 12)

Schedule

Sept. 12 OPEN DATE
Sept. 19 Tulsa
Sept. 26 West Virginia
Oct. 3 at Kansas
Oct. 10 OPEN DATE
Oct. 17 at Baylor
Oct. 24 Iowa State
Oct. 31 Texas
Nov. 7 at Kansas State
Nov. 14 OPEN DATE
Nov. 21 at Oklahoma
Nov. 28 Texas Tech
Dec. 5 at TCU

Nine starters are back from what was already one of the most dangerous offenses in the country. Watch out Big 12. RB Chuba Hubbard returns after running for over 2,100 yards and 21 touchdowns last year, and WR Tylan Wallace has the potential to be an All-American caliber player (and was on his way there last year before an ACL tear). The line looks to be solid, with both tackles back and a West Virginia transfer at guard. The talent in the skill positions are incredible, the Cowboys just need a reliable QB. Spencer Sanders runs well but threw way too many interceptions as a freshman. If he can clean that up, this offense will be one of the nation’s very best.

On defense, everyone is back from a much-improved group outside of star corner AJ Green, but any team will take 12 of its top 13 tacklers returning. LB Amen Ogbongbemiga was the captain of the defense last year, and the Cowboys also boast the best safety duo in the conference in Tre Sterling and Kolby Harvell-Peel. The defense will take another step forward, and this team will compete for a Big 12 title.

4. Iowa State

Head Coach: Matt Campbell
2019 Record: 7-6 (5-4 Big 12)
Average Projected 2020 Record: 6.6 wins, 3.4 losses (5.8 wins, 3.2 losses Big 12)

Schedule

Sept. 12 Louisiana
Sept. 19 OPEN DATE
Sept. 26 at TCU
Oct. 3 Oklahoma
Oct. 10 Texas Tech
Oct. 17 OPEN DATE
Oct. 24 at Oklahoma State
Oct. 31 at Kansas
Nov. 7 Baylor
Nov. 14 OPEN DATE
Nov. 21 Kansas State
Nov. 28 at Texas
Dec. 5 West Virginia

For three years running, Iowa State has finished with a winning record in the Big 12, but this may finally be the year that the ‘Clones truly take that next step forward into title contention. QB Brock Purdy (3,928 yards, 27 touchdowns) is one of the best pass-throwers in the country and TE Charlie Kolar is the best tight end in the Big 12. Throw in excellent back Breece Hall, who struggled out of the gate as a true freshman but cranked up the volume in the second half of the season for 897 yards and nine touchdowns, and you have a bona fide awesome offense. The line worries me, but outside of that, this attack should rock. On defense, I have a lot more worries. The group slid last year and loses leading tackler Marcel Spears, but a ton of talent still returns. Edge rusher JaQuan Bailey is awesome, and there is decent depth around him. Mike Rose and O’Rein Vance combined for ten sacks a season ago, and in the secondary, four of the top five return, including the dynamite safety duo of Greg Eisworth and Lawrence White (combined 15 PBUs/INTs between the two last year). I have ISU at 6-3 in Big 12 play this year, meaning they’d probably only need to overperform expectations by one game to make the Big 12 title game. Go get ’em Matt Campbell.

5. Baylor

Head Coach: Dave Aranda
2019 Record; 11-3 (8-1 Big 12)
Average Projected 2020 Record: 5.6 wins, 4.4 losses (4.7 wins, 4.3 losses Big 12)

Schedule

Sept. 12 Louisiana Tech
Sept. 19 OPEN DATE
Sept. 26 Kansas
Oct. 3 at West Virginia
Oct. 10 OPEN DATE
Oct. 17 Oklahoma State
Oct. 24 at Texas
Oct. 31 TCU
Nov. 7 at Iowa State
Nov. 14 at Texas Tech
Nov. 21 OPEN DATE
Nov. 28 Kansas State
Dec. 5 at Oklahoma

Matt Rhule is off to the NFL, but Baylor made an excellent hire to replace him in 2019 National Championship winning Defensive Coordinator Dave Aranda. Aranda will have to rebuild the defense, one that only returns two starters, but on offense QB Charlie Brewer (3,161 yards, 21 touchdowns) is back after leading the Bears to 11 wins last year. Much of Brewer’s receiving corps, including Denzel Mims, departs, but four starters return from an offensive line that struggled last year but should improve with experience. Leading rusher John Lovett will be the key to the run game.

On defense, the worries really start to set in, as almost everyone is gone. Arkansas State transfer William Bradley-King will provide some pressure in the pass rush after a few very productive years in the Sun Belt, and former WR-turned-CB Raleigh Texada is solid, but that’s about where the positives end for the Bears. Baylor was lucky to win 11 games last year. Add in some massive losses on defense and regression to the mean is inevitable.

6. TCU

Head Coach: Gary Patterson
2019 Record: 5-7 (3-6 Big 12)
Average Projected 2020 Record: 4.2 wins, 4.8 losses (4.2 wins, 4.8 losses Big 12)

Schedule

Sept. 12 OPEN DATE
Sept. 19 OPEN DATE
Sept. 26 Iowa State
Oct. 3 at Texas
Oct. 10 Kansas State
Oct. 17 OPEN DATE
Oct. 24 Oklahoma
Oct. 31 at Baylor
Nov. 7 Texas Tech
Nov. 14 at West Virginia
Nov. 21 OPEN DATE
Nov. 28 at Kansas
Dec. 5 Oklahoma State

TCU was better than their 5-7 record indicated last year, but the play of freshman QB Max Duggan cost them a trip to a bowl game for just the third time in Gary Patterson’s tenure as TCU head man. 2019 starting QB Max Duggan will sit out this year due to a health issue, and former walk-on Matthew Downing looks to be the guy at the QB spot. Jalen Reagor is off to the NFL, but the next five receivers return, including five-TD TE Pro Wells. The offensive line is a big question mark, and the top two running backs depart as well. This offense will really struggle unless five-star RB Zachary Evans steps up insanely fast for a true freshman.

On defense, this TCU team will be solid. Gary Patterson teams always are. The linebacking corps, led by La’Kendrick Van Zandt and Garret Wallow, should be good, and the Horned Frogs add in an LSU transfer, Marcel Brooks. The safety duo of Ar’Darius Washington and Trevon Moehrig (16 PBUs/INTs) is the best in the country.

This may be the best defense in the conference saddled with what may be the worst offense. I find it hard to get a read on this team because of that, but with Gary Patterson at the helm, the floor is relatively high.

7. Kansas State

Head Coach: Chris Klieman
2019 Record: 8-5 (5-4 Big 12)
Average Projected 2020 Record: 4.3 wins, 5.7 losses (3.4 wins, 5.6 losses Big 12)

Schedule

Sept. 12 Arkansas State
Sept. 19 OPEN DATE
Sept. 26 at Oklahoma
Oct. 3 Texas Tech
Oct. 10 at TCU
Oct. 17 OPEN DATE
Oct. 24 Kansas
Oct. 31 at West Virginia
Nov. 7 Oklahoma State
Nov. 14 OPEN DATE
Nov. 21 at Iowa State
Nov. 28 at Baylor
Dec. 5 Texas

Year one under Chris Klieman for Kansas State was awesome, the Wildcats went 8-5, but with just nine starters returning, Klieman’s team will almost assuredly take a step back this year. QB Skylar Thompson returns, but he loses his top target and his entire offensive line. If Malik Knowles or Phillip Brooks can break out as pass-catchers, I think this offense could surprise some people, but it is admittedly a big question mark.

On defense, the Wildcats will get at the quarterback. Edge Wyatt Hubert is an All-Big 12 candidate, and he should take the pressure off the rest of the rotation. The secondary loses some transfers but also brings some in, and should be a solid group all in all. There’s not a whole lot of experience on this team, but the talent is there, and Klieman is a great coach. This team could surprise some folks.

8. West Virginia

Head Coach: Neal Brown
2019 Record: 5-7 (3-6 Big 12)
Average Projected 2020 Record: 3.9 wins, 6.1 losses (2.9 wins, 6.1 losses Big 12)

Schedule

Sept. 12 Eastern Kentucky
Sept. 19 OPEN DATE
Sept. 26 at Oklahoma State
Oct. 3 Baylor
Oct. 10 OPEN DATE
Oct. 17 Kansas
Oct. 24 at Texas Tech
Oct. 31 Kansas State
Nov. 7 at Texas
Nov. 14 TCU
Nov. 21 OPEN DATE
Nov. 28 Oklahoma
Dec. 5 at Iowa State

Granted, last year was supposed to be a rebuilding year for West Virginia with a ton of roster turnover and a new coach, but the offense took a massive step back. QB Jarret Doege, one of the few bright spots of last year, returns, as does almost the entire receiving corps, which was absurdly young last year and thus should take a big step forward in 2020. Leading pass-catcher Sam James (69 catches) returns, and former Alabama slot man TJ Simmons stepped up last year. The big issue last season for the Mountaineers was the run game, where leading rusher Leddie Brown only totaled one touchdown and 367 yards, and three starters are gone from a line that already struggled in the run game. Doege, who only started the back half of 2019, will lead this offense to a much improved year, but the run game will struggle still.

The defense will compete with the best in the conference. Seven of the top ten tacklers return from last year’s team, including the extraordinary pass rush brother duo of Dante and Darius Sills (combined 14 sacks). Also back is the team’s #2 leading tacklers, LB Josh Chandler, an awesome play-maker against the run despite his small frame. The secondary features one of the best pairs of safeties in the conference in Sean Mahone and Kerry Martin Jr.

CB Tykee Smith will step up off of a two-interception year as a true freshman and will easily step into the #1 role, not to mention the addition of Arizona transfer Scottie Young. The offensive line and the massive hole at running back are two glaring issues, but outside of that this is a very dangerous team and one that could really surprise some people in Big 12 play.

9. Texas Tech

Head Coach: Matt Wells
2019 Record: 4-8 (2-6 Big 12)
Average Projected 2020 Record: 3.4 wins, 6.6 losses (2.4 wins, 6.6 losses Big 12)

Schedule

Sept. 12 Houston Baptist
Sept. 19 OPEN DATE
Sept. 26 Texas
Oct. 3 at Kansas State
Oct. 10 at Iowa State
Oct. 17 OPEN DATE
Oct. 24 West Virginia
Oct. 31 Oklahoma
Nov. 7 at TCU
Nov. 14 Baylor
Nov. 21 OPEN DATE
Nov. 28 at Oklahoma State
Dec. 5 Kansas

Year one for Matt Wells at Texas Tech gets a pass because of a bevy of injuries, but the Red Raiders were alright even without star QB Alan Bowman. The receiving corps is loaded, with TJ Vasher and Erik Ezukanma back as potential All-Big 12 level players. RB SaRodorick Thompson returns after 765 yards and 12 touchdowns last year; Thompson can also bring in passes – he landed 39 grabs last year. The line is an issue, but just by way of staying healthy, this offense should improve.

The defense really struggled last year, something that has been true for Texas Tech for as long as I can remember. The secondary is especially shaky outside of #1 corner Zech McPhearson, and this is a defense that might struggle at all three levels – many of their best players from last year’s group are gone. The defense will take a step back after an already bad year, and I don’t think the offense is good enough to drag the Red Raiders to a competitive year. Tech will struggle.

10. Kansas

Head Coach: Les Miles
2019 Record: 3-9 (1-8 Big 12)
Average Projected 2020 Record: 0.8 wins, 9.2 losses (0.3 wins, 8.7 losses Big 12)

Schedule

Sept. 12 Coastal Carolina
Sept. 19 OPEN DATE
Sept. 26 at Baylor
Oct. 3 Oklahoma State
Oct. 10 OPEN DATE
Oct. 17 at West Virginia
Oct. 24 at Kansas State
Oct. 31 Iowa State
Nov. 7 at Oklahoma
Nov. 14 OPEN DATE
Nov. 21 Texas
Nov. 28 TCU
Dec. 5 at Texas Tech

3-9 was a great start for Les Miles at Kansas, but I feel skeptical that the Jayhawks will be able to repeat that. Pooka Williams is back at running back after a 1,000+ yard year, and the receiving corps returns three of the top four, along with Pooka, who can catch himself. QB is still a question, but senior Thomas MacVittie seems to be the favorite. I think this offense takes a small step forward thanks to the talent in the skill corps, but it really all comes down to how good the QB play is.

The defense, on the other hand, looks to be a real mess, as only three starters return from what was already one of the worst defenses in the Big 12. LB Kyron Thompson is strong in coverage, and the recruiting has been pretty good for Miles early on (he also adds in some JUCO transfers). This defense will really struggle, and Kansas will finish last in the Big 12 yet again.

Big 12 Title Game Pick: Oklahoma over Texas

All-Big 12 Team

QB – Sam Ehlinger, Texas
RB – Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State
RB – Pooka Williams, Kansas
WR – Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State
WR – Charleston Rambo, Oklahoma
TE – Charlie Kolar, Iowa State
C – Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma
OL – Samuel Cosmi, Texas
OL – Teven Jenkins, Oklahoma State
OL – Marquis Hayes, Oklahoma
OL – Adrian Ealy, Oklahoma

DL – Nik Bonitto, Oklahoma
DL – Darius Stills, West Virginia
DL – Ronnie Perkins, Oklahoma
DL – William Bradley-King, Baylor
LB – Garrett Wallow, TCU
LB – Amen Ogbongbemiga, Oklahoma State
LB – Joseph Ossai, Texas
DL – Trevon Moehrig, TCU
DL – Ar’Darius Washington, TCU
DL – Tre Brown, Oklahoma
DL – Raleigh Texada, Baylor

Most Appearances By Team:

Oklahoma – 7
Oklahoma State – 4
Texas – 3
TCU – 3
Baylor – 2
Iowa State – 1
West Virginia – 1
Kansas – 1

Offensive Player of the Year: RB Chub Hubbard, Oklahoma State
Defensive Player of the Year: LB Joseph Ossai, Texas
Coach of the Year: Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State
Freshman of the Year: QB Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma
Game of the Year: Texas @ Oklahoma State (October 31)

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