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2022 Big 12 Season Preview

(Mandatory Photo Credit: University of Texas Athletics)

Written by: Joseph Yun

The Big 12 is a conference in a major transition as they are set to add Cincinnati, BYU, UCF, and Houston in the 2023 offseason. All the while losing the conference’s leading actors Texas and Oklahoma in time for the 2024 season (well that’s the hope for those in charge of the two programs, anyway). All that to say that the 2022 season will be one of intrigue as several new coaches make their debut in the suddenly defensively aligned conference. Can defending champion Baylor retain its crown in the last vestiges of the current iteration? Will Texas Ever Be Back™? How will the Mountaineers fare as the currently lone eastbound outpost that’s soon to change? Who will be the next wave of offensive superstars to come out of Bedlam?

In case you missed the ACC and any subsequent previews, you can find them below as we go along

Note: All games are scheduled for Saturdays unless otherwise noted

Baylor (@BUFootball)

Sep 3 HOME vs. Albany (W)

Sep 10 AWAY @ BYU (L)

Sept 17 HOME vs. Texas State (W)

Sep 24 AWAY @ Iowa State (W)

Oct 1 HOME vs. Oklahoma State (L)

Oct 8 BYE

Oct 13 (Thurs.) AWAY @ West Virginia (W)

Oct 22 HOME vs. Kansas (W)

Oct 29 AWAY @ Texas Tech (W)

Nov 5 AWAY @ Oklahoma (L)

Nov 12 HOME vs. Kansas State (W)

Nov 19 HOME vs. TCU (W)

Nov 25 (Fri.) AWAY @ Texas (L)

Predicted Record: 8-4

- The reigning Big 12 champions have a lot of key slots to fill after a boatload of NFL prospects left beautiful McLane Stadium by the Brazos. Names such as Terrel Bernard, Jalen Pitre, Kalon Barnes, and JT Woods. Offensively, it will be a new look as runners Trestan Ebner, Abram Smith, and receivers Tyquan Thorton plus Drew Estrada are in the NFL. If nothing else, Dave Aranda is known for cobbling together a decent defense on short notice. Defensively, the Bears will rely on tackles Gabe Hall, Siaki Ika alongside linebackers Garmon Randolph and Dillon Doyle. Secondary-wise, they took a big hit but do return Al Walcott and Christian Morgan. Schedule-wise, it’s at least a bowl-eligible worthy one despite all the losses. A grudge match between OC Jeff Grimes (the guy who launched Zach Wilson into superstardom) and the Cougars awaits. Key dates are the Bedlam duo and of course Texas on Black Friday. November is will be an adventure with only one true easy game.

Iowa State (@CycloneFB)

Sep 3 HOME vs. Southeast Missouri (W)

Sep 10 AWAY @ Iowa (L)

Sept 17 HOME vs. Ohio (W)

Sep 24 HOME vs. Baylor (L)

Oct 1 AWAY @ Kansas (W)

Oct 8 HOME vs. Kansas State (L)

Oct 15 AWAY @ Texas (L)

Oct 22 BYE

Oct 29 HOME vs. Oklahoma (L)

Nov 5 HOME vs. West Virginia (W)

Nov 12 AWAY @ Oklahoma State (L)

Nov 19 HOME vs. Texas Tech (W)

Nov 26 AWAY @ TCU (L)

Predicted Record: 5-7

- Could Matt Campbell have overplayed his ascendant stock from a couple of years ago? He could be locked down in Ames for a while longer while other bigger names are bandied about. The Cyclones are reloading after losing tons of offensive production in the form of Brock Purdy, Breece Hall, and Charlie Kolar. In steps Hunter Dekkers as the heir to Purdy while Xavier Hutchinson returns as a leading receiver. Defensively, Will McDonald IV is still in town along with corner Anthony Johnson, Jr to lead the stop unit. The schedule is quite manageable to attain bowl eligibility as Campbell’s charges rebuild. However, the bye is sandwiched between the two conference powerhouses. The OOC slate is easy but a loss to rival Iowa is expected. The coaching staff will have its work cut out for them to compete for a conference title.

Kansas (@KU_Football)

Sep 2 (Fri.) HOME vs. Tennessee Tech (W)

Sep 10 AWAY @ West Virginia (L)

Sept 17 AWAY @ Houston (L)

Sep 24 HOME vs. Duke (W)

Oct 1 HOME vs. Iowa State (L)

Oct 8 HOME vs. TCU (L)

Oct 15 AWAY @ Oklahoma (L)

Oct 22 AWAY @ Baylor (L)

Oct 29 BYE

Nov 5 HOME vs. Oklahoma State (L)

Nov 12 AWAY @ Texas Tech (L)

Nov 19 HOME vs. Texas (L)

Nov 26 AWAY @ Kansas State (L)

Predicted Record: 2-10

- Another long year for the Jayhawks on the gridiron while they unabashedly celebrate their hoops title. Second-year head coach Lance Leipold is in a dogfight to get Kansas to four wins at best in 2022. There are not many attainable wins on the schedule. Yeah, it's going to be a slog in what will probably be a one-horse race to the Big 12 basement. Check back in 2023 if Leipold retains his role (more than likely given the standards and sordid history of the program).

Kansas State

Sep 3 HOME vs. South Dakota (W)

Sep 10 HOME vs. Missouri (W)

Sept 17 HOME vs. Tulane (W)

Sep 24 AWAY @ Oklahoma (L)

Oct 1 HOME vs. Texas Tech (W)

Oct 8 AWAY @ Iowa State (W)

Oct 15 BYE

Oct 22 AWAY @ TCU (L)

Oct 29 HOME vs. Oklahoma State (L)

Nov 5 HOME vs. Texas (W)

Nov 12 AWAY @ Baylor (L)

Nov 19 AWAY @ West Virginia (L)

Nov 26 HOME vs. Kansas (W)

Predicted Record: 6-6

- The Wildcats are the most consistent force in the conference if not all of college football. You can expect around .500 ball and having a devil of a time trying to beat them every year. The OOC is pillow soft with Missouri providing the only legitimate competition. Although Tulane has been a tough out over the past couple of years. A winning September beckons the denizens of the Little Apple. November should be very interesting yet manageable with some breaks here and there. KSU is always ripe to beat Texas because it just is for some reason or another. They return one of the more dynamic rushers in Deuce Vaughn who could be an early-round pick next April. The always enigmatic Adrian Martinez transferred in from Nebraska to replace the current Miami Dolphin Skylar Thompson. Expect the Oklahoma match to be a brutal bout of fun as it were. Head coach Chris Klieman can rely upon his charges to get to bowl eligibility in 2022.

Oklahoma (@OU_Football)

Sep 3 HOME vs. UTEP (W)

Sep 10 HOME vs. Kent State (W)

Sept 17 AWAY @ Nebraska (W)

Sep 24 HOME vs. Kansas State (W)

Oct 1 AWAY @ TCU (W)


Oct 15 HOME vs. Kansas (W)

Oct 22 BYE

Oct 29 AWAY @ Iowa State (W)

Nov 5 HOME vs. Baylor (W)

Nov 12 AWAY @ West Virginia (W)


Nov 26 AWAY @ Texas Tech (W)

Predicted Record: 11-1

- Oklahoma is under new management as Brent Venables returned to the program after many years of leading the defensive resurgence at Clemson. His predecessor shockingly left for the sunny confines of Los Angeles along with several recruits and transfers. However, there’s immense talent on both sides of the ball along with a decent quarterback. Receivers Theo Wease and Marvin Mims return alongside Drake Stoops. If current projections hold, all three should be gone by the end of Day 2 next April. Dillon Gabriel (UCF) comes in to replace the departed Caleb Williams who now is at USC. Defensively, they do have to replace Nik Bonitto, Perrion Winfrey, and Brian Asamoah off last year’s roster. In steps, Reggie Grimes who should make a bigger impact alongside tackles Jeffery Johnson (Tulane) and Jalen Redmond. The secondary will be anchored by Key Lawrence, DJ Graham, and UNC transfer Trey Morrison. The Sooners have the talent on hand to possibly run the table but they will likely drop one or two as is their habit. Of course, the key game of the season is the one at the Cotton Bowl against fellow SEC teammate and blood rival Texas. November could be tricky with three quality opponents including Bedlam. The OOC is pillow soft and could lead to a very good start to Venables’ tenure.

Oklahoma State (@CowboyFB)

Sep 1 (Thurs.) HOME vs. Central Michigan (W)

Sep 10 HOME vs. Arizona State (W)

Sept 17 HOME vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff (W)

Sep 24 BYE

Oct 1 AWAY @ Baylor (W)

Oct 8 HOME vs. Texas Tech (W)

Oct 15 AWAY @ TCU (L)

Oct 22 HOME vs. Texas (L)

Oct 29 AWAY @ Kansas State (W)

Nov 5 AWAY @ Kansas (W)

Nov 12 HOME vs. Iowa State (W)


Nov 26 HOME vs. West Virginia (W)

Predicted Record: 9-3

- The Cowboys have to replace a lot of talent, especially on the defensive side of the ball, including defensive coordinator Jim Knowles, who left for Ohio State. Fortunately, Spencer Sanders returns for another whirl at quarterback for Mike Gundy (who had some open flirtations with other programs, himself). Dominic Richardson replaces the productive Jaylen Warren at running back. Out goes Tay Martin and in steps Rashod Owens, Braydon Johnson, and Brennan Presley. The team has to replace star linebackers, Malcolm Rodriguez and Devin Harper. They went into the portal and got Xavier Benson from Texas Tech fame. The line will be anchored by Sione Asi and Tyler Lacy. Oklahoma State has the pieces on both sides of the ball to make yet another run to the conference title, which they painfully fell short of last year. Bedlam will be the key game of the season in Norman. October will be crucial for their success as the Texas game looms before a date against Kansas State. Expect it to be down to the wire for this team.

Sep 2 (Fri.) AWAY @ Colorado (W)

Sep 10 HOME vs. Tarleton State (W)

Sept 17 BYE

Sep 24 AWAY @ SMU (L)

Oct 1 HOME vs. Oklahoma (L)

Oct 8 AWAY @ Kansas (W)

Oct 15 HOME vs. Oklahoma State (W)

Oct 22 HOME vs. Kansas State (W)

Oct 29 AWAY @ West Virginia (L)

Nov 5 HOME vs. Texas Tech (W)

Nov 12 AWAY @ Texas (L)

Nov 19 AWAY @ Baylor (L)

Nov 26 HOME vs. Iowa State (W)

Predicted Record: 7-5

- A dawn of a new era awaits the Horned Frogs as longtime head coach Gary Patterson stepped down in the offseason. In his stead, Sonny Dykes steps into the void after crossing the divide between the TCU-SMU rivalry. QB Max Duggan returns to likely prosper in the very passer-friendly Dykes Air Raid offense. Quentin Johnson and super senior Taye Barber return to lead the receiver room as draftable prospects. Defensively, Dykes has one of the best cornerback prospects in Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson to lead the secondary that also features safety Mark Perry. Linebackers Dee Winters, Marcel Brooks, Johnny Hodges (US Naval Academy), and Dylan Horton should be impact players in the front seven. Schedule-wise, the OOC slate is easily manageable, including the (not so) kind regards given by SMU. The Colorado game should be a fun one. October should determine the fate of this season as it features four conference contenders, including home dates against both sides of the Bedlam rivalry and tough outs WVU + KSU. November doesn’t bring any relief as away dates against Texas and Baylor loom. For TCU to get to seven wins with this schedule would be a major accomplishment for Dykes and the crew. 2023 should be very interesting as most of the remaining talent leaves Fort Worth.

Sep 3 HOME vs. ULM (W)

Sep 10 HOME vs. Alabama (L)

Sept 17 HOME vs. UTSA (W)

Sep 24 AWAY @ Texas Tech (W)

Oct 1 HOME vs. West Virginia (W)


Oct 15 HOME vs. Iowa State (W)

Oct 22 AWAY @ Oklahoma State (W)

Oct 29 OFF

Nov 5 AWAY @ Kansas State (L)

Nov 12 HOME vs. TCU (W)

Nov 19 AWAY @ Kansas (W)

Nov 25 (Fri.) HOME vs. Baylor (W)

Predicted Record: 10-2

- The Longhorns enter year two of the Steve Sarkisian administration returning arguably one of the most talented cores in the nation. The quarterback battle is between former five-star transfer Quinn Ewers (Ohio State) and Hudson Card. Running back is loaded with talents such as Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson (who enters his second full-time season converting from QB). Robinson should be a leading contender for a litany of awards and an early-round draft selection. Receiver is stacked to the proverbial rafters with talents like Xavier Worthy (2024), Isaiah Neyor (Wyoming), and Jordan Whittington. Former Alabama tight end Jahleel Billingsley transferred in as well along with another Alabama transplant Agiye Hall. Defensively, they return a litany of draftable line prospects such as Moro Ajomo, Alfred Collins, Keondre Coburn, and T’Vondre Sweat. Linebacker DeMarvion Overshown should be in line for an early-round projection and many awards. A veteran secondary led by Anthony Cook, Jahdae Barron, and D’Shawn Jamison should be more than enough. Schedule-wise, one of the premier OOC games awaits as a cordial meeting with Sark mentor Nick Saban (unlike a much-anticipated showdown with another former Saban assistant in College Station). A sneaky contest between a former Horns assistant Jeff Traylor and UTSA awaits after. October will be a tough test featuring Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and West Virginia. November features traditional Texas bugaboos from the Sunflower State in the form of Kansas State and (*cackles endlessly) Kansas. With all that said, Texas should be a favorite to win the Big 12 for the first time in ages. Can Sark deliver in year two after a dud of a debut campaign in 2021?

Texas Tech (@TexasTechFB)

Sep 3 HOME vs. Murray State (W)

Sep 10 HOME vs. Houston (W)

Sept 17 AWAY @ NC State (W)

Sep 24 HOME vs. Texas (L)

Oct 1 AWAY @ Kansas State (L)

Oct 8 AWAY @ Oklahoma State (L)

Oct 15 BYE

Oct 22 HOME vs. West Virginia (L)

Oct 29 HOME vs. Baylor (L)

Nov 5 AWAY @ TCU (L)

Nov 12 HOME vs. Kansas (W)

Nov 19 AWAY @ Iowa State (L)

Nov 26 HOME vs. Oklahoma (L)

Predicted Record: 4-8

- The Red Raiders have a new sheriff in town named Joey McGuire (No relation to hoops legend Al). He comes from Baylor, having served under both Matt Rhule and Dave Aranda. Prior to Baylor, he was a Texas high school legend and the connections to boot, which arguably netted him the gig in Lubbock. It’s certainly an outside-the-box hire. There isn’t much talent left over from the previous regime but it’s mostly on the offensive side. As a result, it’s going to take a little bit of time for McGuire to get going and 2022 is a true year zero for Tech. October likely won’t be the most fun and could be a winless month. September could feature the majority of the wins this season. November could be managed with some key breaks. Circle around in 2023 for the Red Raiders’ progression. Bowl eligibility would be miraculous for McGuire’s men.

West Virginia (@WVUfootball)

Sep 1 (Thurs.) AWAY @ Pitt (L) “The Backyard Brawl”

Sep 10 HOME vs. Kansas (W)

Sept 17 HOME vs. Towson (W)

Sep 22 (Thurs.) AWAY @ Virginia Tech (W)

Oct 1 AWAY @ Texas (L)

Oct 8 BYE

Oct 13 (Thurs.) HOME vs. Baylor (L)

Oct 22 AWAY @ Texas Tech (W)

Oct 29 HOME vs. TCU (W)

Nov 5 AWAY @ Iowa State (L)

Nov 12 HOME vs. Oklahoma (L)

Nov 19 HOME vs. Kansas State (W)

Nov 26 AWAY @ Oklahoma State (L)

Predicted Record: 6-6

- Neal Brown enters his fourth season in Morgantown with a bit of hot seat warming up his hind quarters, sporting a 17-18 record. Former USC five-star signee turned UGA career backup JT Daniels transferred in for a final shot at starting. Daniels replaces the outgoing Jarret Doege who transferred to Western Kentucky. Star receiver Winston Wright transferred to Florida State. In his place, a three-headed hydra of Bryce Ford-Wheaton, Kaden Prather, and Sam James will attempt to replace lost production. Tony Mathis, Jr is the lead dog in the running back room after serving as a capable backup to Leddie Brown over the years. Defensively, they’re led by Dante Stills and Tajh Alston with new boys Lee Kpogba (Syracuse), Marcis Floyd (Murray State), Jasir Cox (NDSU), and Wesley McCormick (James Madison) joining the ranks. The OOC slate is relatively manageable besides the rivalry date with Pitt to open the season. November will be a key swing month for them as they teeter on the brink of bowl eligibility and utter disaster. “Country Roads” might be a sad rendition in 2022 given the tough schedule. Check back in 2023 if the embattled Brown retained his job.

Conference Champion: Oklahoma over Texas



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