The “One True Champion” Big 12 has been an interesting race. Last year, it took an upset win on the last day to even give a team the chance to be a lone champion. This year, it appears the same might be true, with several of the top contenders already with a loss. So, out of the teams that still have a realistic shot at a championship, what do they have left and what are their odds of them capturing the Big 12?
|Team||Conf. Record||Overall Record||F/+ Combined Rank|
Oklahoma: 5-2 (2-2)
Remaining schedule - @ Iowa State, Baylor, @ Texas Tech, Kansas, Oklahoma State
Average F/+ Opponent – 59.4
The Sooners are a long shot right now. Their best case is probably a split title with another 2-loss team. With losses to TCU and Kansas State already, the Sooners have just two games against other contending teams. Luckily for them though, both are in Norman. At this point, the Sooners are probably rooting for West Virginia to finish tied with them at 2-losses and everyone else to beat each other up to win the tie-breaker.
Oklahoma State: 5-2 (3-1)
Remaining schedule – West Virginia, @ Kansas State, Texas, @ Baylor, @ Oklahoma
Average F/+ Opponent – 24.8
The other Oklahoma school, the Cowboys suffered their first loss in conference play against the Horned Frogs. Out of their 5 remaining games, four of them are against ranked teams with three of them on the road. They do get Texas and West Virginia at home, but their remaining schedule is by far the toughest in the Big 12.
West Virginia: 5-2 (3-1)
Remaining schedule – @ Oklahoma State, TCU, @ Texas, Kansas State, @ Iowa State
Average F/+ Opponent - 40
The Mountaineers announced their presence in the Big 12 championship race with their home win over the Baylor Bears. They already have a loss to Oklahoma on their ledger, but get both TCU and Kansas State at home. Getting TCU and Kansas State at home is huge for their chances, but the Mountaineers will have a tough test this weekend against the Cowboys.
TCU: 5-1 (2-1)
Remaining schedule – Texas Tech, @ West Virginia, Kansas State, @ Kansas, @ Texas, Iowa State
Average F/+ Opponent – 57.8
The Frogs have a big win at home against Oklahoma, but their last second loss to Baylor could continue to haunt them. The schedule lines up pretty nicely for TCU, but a tough road game in Morgantown against West Virginia awaits the Frogs.
Baylor: 6-1 (3-1)
Remaining schedule – Kansas, @ Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Kansas State
Average F/+ Opponent – 46.8
Yes, that is not a misprint. The Bears only have 1 true road game left. Their game against Texas Tech is in Arlington, with three true home games coming up. The big test will be up in Norman before a season closing game against Kansas State.
Kansas State: 5-1 (3-0)
Remaining schedule – Texas, Oklahoma State, @ TCU, @ West Virginia, Kansas, @ Baylor
Average F/+ Opponent – 41.5
The Big 12’s only undefeated team in conference play. The Wildcats only loss is a close home loss to Auburn, in a game that the Wildcats probably outplayed the Tigers. A few missed field goals turn into makes and you could be looking at a Top-3 team here. Unfortunately, the schedule is brutal from here on out. The three road games in their last four games are all against Top-25 teams, with the two other main contenders in TCU and Baylor both on the road.
The two logical choices to win the Big 12 right now are Baylor and TCU. They both get Kansas State at home. The Frogs schedule though is easier than the Bears, simply because they have already beaten Oklahoma. If the Bears can win against Oklahoma on November 8th, they will be in the driver’s seat with their victory over TCU and the season ending game against Kansas State at McLane Stadium. TCU is in prime position if the Bears falter though, as them finishing with 1-loss is higher than anyone else’s.
There are a few teams that are probably outplaying their ranking right now and one in particular that is greatly overrated according to F/+. The Oklahoma Sooners are much closer to not being a Top-25 team than they are the 2nd best team in the nation. Same with Oklahoma State, who has was blown out against TCU and struggled to beat Kansas.
On the flip side, TCU is playing its best football of the season, with West Virginia and Kansas State probably ranked too low. For the Baylor Bears, it works out perfectly. They have played West Virginia and TCU, while they still have both Oklahoma schools left on their schedule. The game in Norman looked substantially more difficult just 2 weeks ago. For Kansas State, it could not work out any worse. They still have Baylor, TCU and West Virginia all on the road. With that schedule, they are bound to get at least one more loss. If it is to the Bears, and Baylor runs the table, the Bears will be 2-time champions of the Big 12.