Put It In Pencil! Chip's B12 predictions

Maybe you think Trevor Knight is the next Drew Brees. Or that Baylor is about to go back to being Baaaaay-lure - from Sic 'Em to sick and tired. Maybe you think David Ash is due for something other than Excedrin.Well, let me tell you what I think in my "put-it-in-pencil!" annual Big 12 preseason predictions! (Not responsible for increased blood pressure.)

Here we go:

#1 … Baylor (11-1, 8-1 Big 12)

at Oklahoma Nov. 8

What I like: QB Bryce Petty (32 TD passes, 3 INTs in 2013) and tons of play-making depth at WR and RB; a defensive line that can roll two deep.

What I don’t: Still some questions replacing 3 starters on the O-line; and replacing the heart-and-soul leadership on defense of LB Eddie Lackey and S Ahmad Dixon.

He’s not a household name … yet: Art Briles appears to love 6-5, 280-pound TE Tre’Von Armstead

Bottom line: Baylor’s schedule comes down to two road games - at Texas on October 4 and at OU on Nov. 8. While there’s a part of me that thinks Texas can pull the upset, I think Baylor’s offense is going to be ridiculous, and I’m still unsure about the things all Texas fans are unsure about - UT’s O-line and QB.

#2 Oklahoma (10-2, 7-2)

at TCU Sept. 27; Texas Oct. 11

What I like: Three returning starters on the offensive line; 9 starters returning on defense

What I don’t: Still not sold on QB Trevor Knight. If Baker Mayfield was eligible, I think Mayfield would be the starter.

He’s not a household name … yet: RB Keith Ford is a beast.

Bottom line: I think TCU has a big bounce-back this season because it is going to spread out the offense and not try to run a pro-style attack behind a line that can’t block. I think OU gets caught in a flat spot in Fort Worth.

And as surprised as OU was by a fired-up, focused Texas team last season in a 36-20 loss, I think OU gets its first taste of the never-soft-again Longhorns under Charlie Strong in a second-straight loss to UT.

#3 Texas (9-3, 7-2)

UCLA (Arlington) Sept. 13; Baylor Oct. 4; at Kansas St. Oct. 25

What I like: The new mindset under Charlie Strong; deep and talented at RB and WR; front four on defense; CB Quandre Diggs

What I don’t: Questions at QB and on the O-line; LB position an enigma; outside of Diggs, no proven playmakers in the secondary

He’s not a household name … yet: I expect WR Marcus Johnson to have a breakout year and start to contend for all-conference honors.

Bottom line: Charlie Strong is betting on himself – telling recruits not to commit elsewhere but rather wait until they see Texas play this fall. With BYU, UCLA, Baylor and OU all in the first six games, everyone will know by midseason if Strong’s attitude adjustment has been a success.

#4 TCU (9-3, 6-3)

at Baylor Oct. 11; at West Virginia Nov. 1; at Texas Nov. 27

What I like: Texas A&M graduate transfer QB Matt Joeckel gives TCU quality depth along with Trevone Boykin to run a new offense; defensively, TCU is loaded

What I don’t: The change to a spread offense is a serious departure for the pro-style, play-action pass tendencies of Patterson. Will he meddle?

He’s not a household name … yet: Remember RB Aaron Green, who started his college career at Nebraska? He’s all grown up as a junior at TCU and needs a big year.

Bottom line: If the offensive changes take, TCU’s defense appears helacious – as long as DE Devonte Fields is recommitted to football after missing games in 2013 with a foot injury and after being mugged and beaten but refusing to press charges.

#5 Kansas State (9-3, 6-3)

at Oklahoma Oct. 18; at TCU Nov. 8; at Baylor Dec. 6

What I like: Bill Snyder; QB Jake Waters (18 TDs, 9 INTs in 2013) throwing to WR Tyler Lockett (81 catches, 1,262 yards, 11 TDs in 2013); DE Ryan Mueller, a former walk-on who posted 11.5 sacks in 2013 (and delivered the hit that ended David Ash’s season).

What I don’t: Replacing 4 starters on the O-line; the losses of RB John Hubert (1,048 yards and 10 TDs rushing in 2013) and QB Daniel Sams, who ran for 807 yards and 11 TDs last year.

He’s not a household name … yet: RB Dalvin Warmack (5-9, 183) is a true freshman whose speed and shiftiness could lead to a breakout season.

Bottom line: In my out-of-conference upset of the year, I’m calling for K-State to upset defending SEC champion Auburn in Manhattan, Kan., on Thursday, Sept. 18 before losing to OU, TCU and Baylor - all on the road.

#6 Oklahoma State (6-6, 4-5)

Florida State Aug. 30; at TCU Oct. 18; at K-State Nov. 1; Texas Nov. 15; at Baylor Nov. 22; at OU Dec. 6

What I like: Senior RB Desmond Roland, who ran for 811 yards and 13 TDs in 2013 with a 4.6 ypc average; a salty defensive line led by DT James Castleman; the dual-threat abilities of QB J.W. Walsh

What I don’t: Losing 8 of the team’s top 9 leading tacklers from last season; three new starters on the offensive line and having to replace O-line coach Joe Wickline; replacing leading WRs Josh Stewart and Tracy Moore.

He’s not a household name … yet: Junior college transfer WR Tyreek Hill, a 5-10, 185-pound blazer … and I mean blazer.

Bottom line: With an outright Big 12 title on the line and as a double-digit favorite, Mike Gundy should never have lost OSU’s 2013 home, season finale to OU (which played all three of its QBs, finishing with now TE Blake Bell and still won, 33-24).

This season, the thing that bothers Gundy the most about working for AD Mike Holder and mega-booster Boone Pickens - the lack of schedule control - results in a home, season opener vs defending national champ Florida State in Jerryworld in Arlington.

Last year, OSU used a home game to play Mississippi State at Reliant Stadium in Houston. Gundy is seen as a top recruiter. This year should be a good barometer of that with OSU getting only 8 starters back - fewest in the conference ( and no Wickline).

#7 Texas Tech (6-6, 3-6)

at Oklahoma St. Sept. 25; at K-State Oct. 4; at TCU Oct. 25; Texas Nov. 1; Oklahoma Nov. 15; Baylor (Arlington) Nov. 29.

What I like: The momentum Tech picked up from a 37-23 win over double-digit favorite Arizona State in last season’s Holiday Bowl. QB Davis Webb went off (28 of 41 passing for 403 yards, 3 TDs and 0 INT); all 5 starters back on the O-line; K Ryan Bustin (13 of 13 FGs in 2013).

What I don’t: Losing 7 starters on defense; replacing leading pass catchers TE Jace Amaro (106 rec for 1,352 yards, 7 TDs) and WR Eric Ward (83 rec, 947 yards, 8 TDs); lack of QB depth behind Webb after transfers by Michael Brewer and Baker Mayfield.

He’s not a household name … yet: Tech is expecting JUCO nose tackle Rika Levi (6-2, 350) to be an impact player in its 3-4 defense.

Bottom line: Defense, defense, defense. If Tech can play some, the Red Raiders have a chance for another season of 8 wins or more (which Tech has accomplished nine of the last 10 years, including last season’s 8-5 record).

#8 Iowa State (3-9, 2-7)

Toledo, at Kansas, West Virginia

What I like: Paul Rhoads has hired Mark Mangino as offensive coordinator (Mangino was the OC for Oklahoma when OU won the national title in 2000); 10 starters back on offense, including QB Grant Rohach

What I don’t: Having to replace tackling machine LB Jeremiah George

He’s not a household name … yet: QB Grant Rohach has supplanted Sam B. Richardson

Bottom line: Mangino may have to work miracles to get Iowa State to reach its first bowl game since 2012.

#9 West Virginia (3-9, 2-7)

Towson, Kansas, TCU

What I like: WVU has my favorite defensive player in the Big 12 - safety Karl Joseph

What I don’t: Having to replace RB Charles Sims, who rushed for 1,085 yards and 11 TDs

He’s not a household name … yet: RB Rushel Shell is one of the top recruits of the Dana Holgorsen era

Bottom line: Holgorsen has probably broken too many headsets to be a head coach. But I’d still love to party with the guy.

#10 Kansas (2-10, 0-9)

SE Missouri State, Central Michigan

What I like: 8 starters back on offense; 9 starters back on defense

What I don’t: Charlie Weis is turning to yet another QB - Montell Cozart. It’s been a revolving door at the most critical position on the field.

He’s not a household name … yet: Cozart needs to be a miracle worker this season to help save Weis

Bottom line: After 1-11 and 3-9 seasons, how much improvement does Weis needs to show before Kansas AD Sheahon Zenger (who hired Weis) pulls the plug?

Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year: Baylor QB Bryce Petty

Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year: Oklahoma LB Frank Shannon

Non-conference upset of the year: Kansas State over Auburn in a Thursday night game in Manhattan Sept. 18

Big 12 upset of the year: TCU over Oklahoma in Fort Worth on Oct. 4

Big 12 game of the year: Oklahoma over Baylor in a thriller in Norman on Nov. 8

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