Shibley’s 2017 Big XII Preview

If you like offense, then this is the conference for you. Get ready for some insanity. Despite the Big XII adding a championship game this season even thought they still only have ten teams, I do not think it will make much difference as these team will all beat each other up all season.

Champion: Kansas State

The teams getting the most hype as champions in this conference either have a first year coach (Oklahoma) or I do not trust to close (Oklahoma State) so this season I am going with consistency.

Bill Snyder is turning 78 and has been a model of consistency at Kansas State. Last season the Wildcats had an extremely young team getting a combined 135 starts from underclassmen and went 9-4 with a couple of 4th quarter letdowns against West Virginia and Oklahoma State. This season just seems right for the Wildcats. While they will definitely not go undefeated this season, they have an experienced team, a do it all senior quarterback, and a coach who has been there before. Add in the fact that Snyder underwent treatment for throat cancer in the offseason plus rumors that this will be his last season, I am going with the storybook ending.

Best of the Rest: Oklahoma and Oklahoma State

It seems a little strange having the Bedlam Game in early November instead of the end of the season, but that’s what we have. Both teams have dynamic and explosive offenses led by star quarterbacks, Baker Mayfield and Mason Rudolph. They will put up plenty of points, but I have doubts for both teams and it revolves around their head coaches. Lincoln Riley got the job in Norman after long time coach Bob Stoops suddenly retired this summer, so while he has been with the program for a few years as offensive coordinator, this is his first season as head coach. Meanwhile, Mike Gundy is a bundle of energy that his team and fans feed off of. The problem is, Oklahoma State has always found a way to lose a game or two that they really should not and I think that will cost them again this season.

Anyone Else?

TCU is going to have a nasty defense (at least by Big XII standards) so the Horned Frogs will definitely be a tough out, especially if quarterback can cut down on the interceptions and the wide receivers stop dropping the ball.

West Virginia has a marquee quarterback in Florida transfer Will Grier, however the Mountaineers are desperately thin on defense, especially on the line and in the secondary.

Texas has a new high profile young head coach in Tom Herman plus a solid quarterback in Shane Buechele. The Longhorns might still be a year or two away from true contention.

With all the offense, lack of defense, and the fact that the championship game will be a rematch from the regular season, who knows what may happen in the Big XII.

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