What's in store for the Big 12/TCU this upcoming season? The staff at HornedFrogInsider take a look at what should come out of the 2015 season and discuss the ramifications for TCU's upcoming season.
What Big 12 team is going to surprise everyone with a better-than-expected finish?
Mitchell Stehly: Oklahoma State. They have a great young quarterback in Mason Rudolph and they are due for a bounce back year. They are not ranked in the preseason polls, but I see them finding their way into the top 25.
Mike Garland: Texas. Many don’t think that or even want to hear it but I see the Longhorns finishing no worse than third in the Big 12.
JD Moore: Although they are replacing a lot of production with their passing game, I think West Virginia should get nine wins this year. Their defense should be among the Big 12’s best.
What Big 12 team is going to largely disappoint?
MG: I’ll go with Oklahoma here. The “hype” is there but, Air Raid offense with a new QB… Gives doubts. Granted, they should have a running game but you got to be able to pass the ball effectively. Not to mention the defense has issues. If Mike Stoops had a different last name would he still be the DC at Oklahoma?
JD: They always say to never underestimate The Purple Wizard, but this will not be a pretty year for Kansas State. No JUCO player can replace the athleticism of Tyler Lockett, and Jake Waters is not going to be easily replaced.
BH: I could name a few, but I'll say Baylor because they're ranked so high. Though Baylor has a very good defensive line, their secondary never seems to get any better. With a new quarterback and a mediocre defense, the Bears could drop a few conference games if they don't play to their potential. TCU could very well end up in the same boat.
Who will be offensive player of the year?
MS: Trevone Boykin. He is the reigning offensive player of the year and he has nearly every playmaker coming back with him.
MG: Trevone Boykin.
JD: Trevone Boykin. TCU’s offense was unstoppable last year, and there is zero reason that Boykin shouldn’t exceed his production from last year.
BH: Trevone Boykin. He may not be the best quarterback in the nation, but his supporting cast could keep him in the mix for Offensive Player of the Year and the Heisman.
Who will be defensive player of the year?
MS: Oklahoma State defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah.
MG: Baylor defensive end Shawn Oakman.
JD: For the first time in several years, a TCU player will not win a conference defensive player of the year. I expect Oklahoma’s Eric Striker to put in an All-American year and get selected within the first two rounds of the 2016 NFL Draft.
BH: Eric Striker from Oklahoma. He's a beast, could be the first linebacker taken in the draft if he plays like he did last year.
Who will be this year’s Big 12 champ?
MS: TCU. I believe the offense will carry the team early in the year and the defense will continue to grow just in time for that November schedule.
MG: In my best non-biased opinion, TCU. The reason being they have Baylor at home.
JD: At 11-1, with a sole loss to West Virginia, TCU walks away as this year’s One True Champ.
BH: TCU. The Frogs have so much returning talent it's really tough not to pick them as the favorite.
Is a playoff spot a reasonable expectation for this year’s Big 12 champ?
MS: Absolutely. I believe the winner of the Big 12, unless it’s a two-loss team, will have a spot in the playoff. I don’t see the ACC being represented in the playoff this year.
MC: Yes. But that’s only if the champ is undefeated.
JD: Let’s get this out of the way - there will not be 6 P5 teams with one or less losses and claims to a conference title this year. Between the ACC, Pac-12, SEC and Notre Dame, there should be at least three power conference champions with at least two losses. Barring a 9-3 champion, or a 10-2 Baylor team, the Big 12 will get into this year’s playoff picture.
BH: Absolutely, but whoever it may be will most likely have to be undefeated unless some crazy stuff happens or some other team besides Baylor and TCU has a dream season to give the conference another highly ranked opponent.
What would be the dream season for TCU and the Big 12 as a whole?
MS: TCU brings home a national championship.
MG: Heisman winner Trevone Boykin leads the Frogs to a national championship. The Big 12 runner-up gets in a big time bowl game. The league wins bowl games. Not saying when all, but win most. Finally, Texas and Oklahoma are BOTH good, so the Red River Rivalry game will matter again on a national level.
JD: For TCU, the dream is an undefeated year and a national championship, preferably over Ohio State. For the Big 12, the dream season is eight bowl-eligible teams, with two teams in the playoffs/NY6 bowls. Of course, the dream is that these teams go 9-0 in postseason play, including a Big 12 national champ.
BH: Big 12? Texas and Oklahoma end up 12-0 and 11-1, respectively. Just kidding. TCU and Baylor go undefeated into the final game on Thanksgiving. TCU avenges their lost from last season and makes the playoffs. A playoff favorite from another conference loses a conference championship and Baylor gets in the playoffs too too. Kansas State or Oklahoma play above expectations and make a top-6 bowl game. TCU wins the national championship, while Baylor loses in the playoffs with a heartbreaker.