The Big 12 is arguably one of the best all-around conferences in all of college football in 2022. The season just passed the halfway mark and each Big 12 team controls its own destiny. There are a few teams that appear to be true front-runners, but those behind them are going to go all out to take over the top two spots.
Let’s dive into the most likely results of the Big 12 as the final full month approaches.
Current Big 12 Standings
With the conclusion of week eight, there are six teams in the Big 12 with a .500 or better record in conference play while only four are under that mark. With five weeks remaining there is still plenty of time for the standings to get completely shaken up.
The only remaining undefeated team is the TCU Horned Frogs who are 4-0. Behind them are the two one-loss teams the Oklahoma State Cowboys and Kansas State Wildcats who are both 3-1. The Texas Longhorns hold down third place with a 3-2 record. Then there are the Baylor Bears and Texas Tech Red Raiders who are both at 2-2.
Behind those six are the four whose seasons would have to completely turn around to get anywhere near the top two. One of those teams is the Oklahoma Sooners (1-3) who claimed the Big 12 title six straight seasons between 2015-20. It appears they are going to fail to claim the Big 12 title in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2013-14.
The team looking to reign supreme is Baylor who claimed the title last season in a nail bitter against Oklahoma State. Their 2-2 record puts them in the middle of the pack and in order to get back they will need an amazing finish. They have one of the toughest roads to the finish line as their final three games are at home against Kansas State and TCU before going on the road to face Texas.
With Oklahoma and Baylor falling behind, let’s look at who has the edge and could land one of the two coveted spots.
Predicted Big 12 Results
The easiest choice for the top spot is TCU which has made quite a statement this season. They are the last remaining undefeated in the Big 12 and they stand at No. 7 in the AP Top 25 with a 7-0 record.
They have had a rather tough schedule, but have not backed down to a single challenge. All four of their conference matchups have been against ranked opponents.
It began against No. 18 Oklahoma which was the game that truly put this team on the map. They put up 27 in the first quarter and then 14 in the second and third quarters to cruise to an easy 55-24 victory. They followed that up with an intense 38-31 win over No. 19 Kansas to hand them their first loss of the season.
Their last two games are something to behold. Taking on No. 8 Oklahoma State they fell behind by 17 after just 20 minutes into the game. Against No. 17 Kansas State they fell behind by 18 just 22 minutes into the game. They ended up winning both of those games. They outscored Oklahoma State 36-16 to win 43-40 in overtime and outscored Kansas State 28-0 to win 38-28.
All of this is only possible with an excellent QB and they have that in Max Duggan. He is having an incredible senior year with a 68.9 completion percentage, 1,871 pass yards and 19 pass TDs. He is well on his way to toppling his previous highs for all three categories. Additionally, he has five games of 280 or more pass yards, he only had two in 32 games prior to this season.
TCU last made the Big 12 Championship game in 2017 when they were destroyed by Oklahoma 41-17. In 2014 they were co-champs with Baylor, but they have never stood alone as the best and they are aiming to change that this season.
The second spot is most likely going to come down to the final game of the regular season. The most likely battle is going to be between Oklahoma State and Kansas State. The two factors that will be extremely crucial are schedules and QB health.
Week nine is a matchup between these two teams at Kansas State which will be massive moving into the games after that.
Following that massive game, Kansas State has back-to-back tough games against Texas and Baylor. They get to end the season against the struggling West Virginia Mountaineers and Kansas Jayhawks, but it could be too late to make a leap to the top two.
It gets even better for Oklahoma State. They only have to worry about their in-state rival Oklahoma on Nov. 19. On either side of that game are matchups at home against the Iowa State Cyclones and West Virginia to wrap up the season.
The difference for either team could also be their QBs.
Oklahoma State is led by the incredible Spencer Sanders. He is in his fourth season at the helm of Oklahoma State and is having the best season of his career. In six of the seven games this season he has thrown for over 240 yards. In his four years prior he only had eight such games during the regular season. The best thing is that he has cut down on interceptions which was a major issue last season.
On the other side is transfer QB Adrian Martinez who came to Kansas State from Nebraska. He has topped all expectations. He is not racking up massive numbers, but he is doing excellent work to keep his team in each game. After tearing apart Oklahoma with 234 pass yards and 148 rush yards with four rush TDs it was clear he was ready for the big moments. Over four seasons at Nebraska, he committed 30 interceptions but this season he is the only Big 12 QB without an INT.
Unfortunately, Martinez only lasted one drive in their last game against TCU as he exited with an injury. He was replaced by backup Will Howard who went 13/20 for 225 pass yards, three total TDs and an INT. It was a solid showing by Howard, but if Martinez has to miss more time it is going to be tough to win.
Based on all of this the most likely suitor for the second spot is Oklahoma State.
The Big 12 has provided some of the most entertaining games of the 2022 college football season. The struggles of Oklahoma and Kansas starting 5-0, this season has proved that anything is possible. As the season heads into the latter half it is time for teams to buckle down as they consider their chances of making the Big 12 Championship game. With how well TCU is playing they appear to be a lock, but there are several excellent teams behind them looking to shock the conference.
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