Big 12 Preview: Can Oklahoma reclaim the top spot in the balanced league?

Via RJ Young
FOX Sports College Football Writer

Have Oklahoma already Clemson‘d?

Clemson is the Oklahoman he should have been in the last decade. While the Sooners were merely demonstrating the promise of the CFP, the Dabo Swinney’s Tigers actually beat the best teams the SEC put out and won the national championship.

Adding insult to injury, Clemson won two national titles with a defensive coordinator who had spent the previous 13 years coaching at Oklahoma. Now the defensive coordinator, Brent Venables, has returned to Norman as head coach, and he has brought everything he learned from Swinney’s program with him.

After a very public and sometimes messy breakup between Lincoln Riley and Oklahoma, Venables is using its advantages and resources to fill its program in its image, recruiting at a high level and push to get the OU back to the top of the convention and potentially win its first national title since 2000 – I think.

We’ll know for sure in three months’ time.

12 biggest storylines

RJ Young analyzes how the Oklahoma Sooners will look like the Clemson Tigers under Brent Venables and ranks other top storylines in his Big 12.

You can see the “No.1 ranked show with RJ Young” above YouTube or subscribe to podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts.

These are the other top storylines in the Big 12.

maybe Baylor and Oklahoma State do it again?

They shocked us all last season, not by winning the Big 12 Conference championship, but by eliminating Oklahoma boxing. The Bears and Cowboys beat the Sooners for the first time since 2014 – a year in which the Sooners finished 8-5 – and did so with stellar defense.

What remains to be seen is whether this is a passing moment for the Sooners, like the 2014 season, or an honest-to-good change of the guard inside a Big 12. The Bears and Pokes, respectively. , back to the quarterbacks won the Big Title 12 (Blake Shapen) and defeat Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl (Spencer Sanders).

The defending Big 12 Bears champion also has the right to return to both coordinators while OSU coach Mike Gundy hires Derek Mason to direct his defense after Jim Knowles accepted the defensive coordinator job at Ohio State.

Gundy has proven he can build winners at OSU, and Dave Aranda has shown he can turn a show around in a short amount of time – from two wins to 12 in a year. I don’t think either of them will end up in this year’s Big 12 title game, but it wouldn’t shock anyone if they did.

Who nurtures the rear?

I don’t think it will be like that Kansas. In fact, I think the Jayhawks will be a problem for the Big 12 in 2022.

We saw what Lance Leipold’s show was capable of when KU went to Austin and took the first win Longhorns on Forty acres – ever. This is the Jayhawks’ first win on the Big 12 since 2008. And that’s only Year 1.

Predict the total big winnings in 12

RJ Young predicts which Big 12 team will surpass their pre-season win total, according to FOX Bet, and which team will fall short.

Since that win, the Jayhawks have added 14 players out of the transfer gate, including the former Ohio State guard. Craig Young, Minnesota run again Period Thomas and one of the best ways to prepare to run back from Oklahoma in recent memory in Nebraska transfer Sevion Morrison.

The yardstick for the Jayhawks is winning three conference games. But they look like a team that will be bowling in 4 months.

I can’t recall the last time I felt the Big 12 this tight from top to bottom.

Who is the best QB in the league?

It’s probably suffice to admit that the OU – with two Heisman winners at QB over the past five years – will have competition on that front, and that hasn’t been the case for a while.

Normally, I would take any OU field as the starting quarterback versus the pitch to answer this question. But this is the first time since 2015 that Riley is not a QB picker and developer at Oklahoma.

None of this says OU offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby and quarterback Dillon Gabriel could not have formed like Voltron to be a dynamic duo. To say – in my most Monique accent – I want to see it.

To name three more groups that I think could prove to be the level of Group 12, there’s a combination of Texas coach Steve Sarkisian and Quinn EwersShapen and Baylor offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes and Sanders and offensive coordinator Kasey Dunn.

Is Texas finally back, or is Texas just Ferrari?

In Formula 1, no team has more fans on this nervous little planet of ours than Ferrari. For nearly a century, Scuderia has been synonymous with the sport, but it’s been more than a decade since Ferrari won the world championship.

Which Big 12 team can compete for the title?

RJ Young explains why only one team outside of Oklahoma, Texas, Oklahoma State and Baylor will actually compete for the College Rugby Round. RJ also predicts which team will win the Big 12 title.

Similarly, it’s been over a decade since Texas last played in a national title game. And, like Ferrari, that decade was filled with mid-season and extreme seasons.

The Longhorns are one of the sport’s most prolific programs and there’s no shortage of quality players wanting to wear burnt orange. It is simply a matter of putting those pieces together in a way that leads to winning the championship.

With the Sarkisian advancing into Year 2 after a modest Year 1, the Longhorns have a chance to reach their full potential once again, starting with their September 10 matchup against Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide.

RJ Young is a FOX Sports national college football writer and analyst and podcast host.No.1 ranked show with RJ Young. “Follow him on Twitter at @RJ_Youngand subscribe”The RJ Young Show“on YouTube. He’s not on StepMill.

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