Post-Spring Big 12 Football Rankings


1. Oklahoma Sooners

Despite losing seven starters on offense and five starters on defense, the Sooners remain the favorites in the Big 12. The conference schedule is fairly daunting for the Sooners, with two of their last three games at West Virginia and at TCU. Landry Jones will try and bounce back after an inconsistent 2011 season in which he threw for 29 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Although Jaz Reynolds, Trey Franks and Kameel Jackson have been suspended indefinitely, look for the Sooners to regain the top spot in the Big 12 Conference in 2012.

2. West Virginia Mountaineers

If there’s one team that can topple Oklahoma as champion of the Big 12, it’s West Virginia. The Mountaineers have one of the most explosive offenses in the country, led by quarterback Geno Smith and wide receiver Tavon Austin. Although this is the school’s first season in the Big 12, head coach Dana Holgorsen is familiar with the conference after being a part of coaching staffs at Texas Tech and Oklahoma State.

3. TCU Horned Frogs

TCU is another school new to the Big 12 that has a chance to win the conference in its first year. Despite the drug scandal during the offseason, the Horned Frogs have the talent to win the Big 12. The team returns six starters return on offense and five on defense. The conference schedule picks up towards the end of the season with home games against Oklahoma and Kansas State, and away games against West Virginia and Texas.

4. Kansas State Wildcats

The Wildcats surprised everyone last year with a 10-3 record and an appearance in the Cotton Bowl against Arkansas. The expectations for this season are high and the goal of reaching last season’s success will be led by quarterback Collin Klein, who had 40 total touchdowns last season. The Wildcats only lose three starters on offense and five starters on defense. Kansas State’s marquee non-conference game will be against the Miami Hurricanes on September 8 in Manhattan.

5. Texas Longhorns

Texas looks to make its way back to being one of the nation’s most consistent and powerful programs. The Longhorns are loaded with young talent, such as defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat and incoming freshmen running back Jonathan Gray. Although most of the team’s tough conference games are in Austin, the team must find consistent quarterback play from either Case McCoy or David Ash in order to reach the program’s goals.

6. Oklahoma State Cowboys

Although the Cowboys lose Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon from one of the most explosive offenses in the country last season, the team returns eight starters on both offense and defense. Look for freshman quarterback Wes Lunt to step up and play well in Mike Gundy’s potent offensive system. Lunt’s first test as quarterback will come on the road against the Arizona Wildcats on September 8.

7. Baylor Bears

After arguably the most successful season in school history, the Bears will look to capitalize on the momentum. Although RGIII and Kendall Wright departed for the NFL, the Bears return some promising talent. New starting quarterback Nick Florence played well when he got a chance last season and running back Lache Seastrunk, a transfer from Oregon, will make a big impact on the team’s offense in 2012.

8. Texas Tech Red Raiders

The Red Raiders return nine starters on both sides of the ball and are looking to rebound from a disappointing 5-7 record last season. Quarterback Seth Doege returns for his senior season after leading a potent passing attack for Texas Tech last season. Although it will be tough for the Red Raiders to move up in the rigorous Big 12, look for Texas Tech to improve on both sides of the ball.

9. Iowa State Cyclones

Head coach Paul Rhodes has been commended for the job he’s done at Iowa State and will look to lead his team into the upper echelon of the Big 12. The defense is led by star linebackers A.J. Klein and Jake Knott, who have been named to the preseason All-Big 12 first team. The lack of a definite starting quarterback is one of the biggest issues that could bring prevent the Cyclones from bowl eligibility in 2012.

10. Kansas Jayhawks

After last season’s 2-10 disaster, it can only get better for the Jayhawks. Kansas fans are excited about the arrival of head coach Charlie Weis and impact transfers like former Notre Dame quarterback Dayne Crist. The team’s non-conference schedule is less daunting than the last couple seasons, which could help the season start on a more positive note. Despite the excitement surrounding Charlie Weis and the program, it will be tough for Kansas to get out of the Big 12 cellar. If Dayne Crist gets injured, the team’s record could be just as bad or worse than last season.