The 2020 College Football season is right around the corner. After an off-season that was dictated by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is time to finally talk some football.
Here are The Voice of Motown’s 2020 Preseason Big 12 Power Rankings:
10. Kansas Jayhawks:
The Jayhawks were able to show improvement in their first season under Les Miles, but the boys in Lawrence could take a step back this season. Not only do they have to replace starting quarterback Carter Stanley, but the starting lineups are largely depleted all across the board. Expect Kansas to be competitive, but a winless season in league play seems likely.
9. Texas Tech Red Raiders:
The Red Raiders actually took a step back in Matt Wells’ first season at the helm. The success of the team will rely solely on the health of quarterback Alan Bowman. If he finds himself in the injury tent once again this season, it could be another long year in Lubbock. Tech will be fighting for bowl eligibility in late November, but yet another holiday season at home may be in the cards.
8. Kansas State Wildcats:
After first-year head Coach Chris Klieman was able to splash onto the scene knocking off Oklahoma and finishing 8-5, don’t expect a repeat for the Wildcats in 2020. The offense will be replacing virtually their entire offensive line, potentially posing to be very worrisome for senior quarterback Skylar Thompson. This season will likely be spent hovering around the 6-6 mark while Kansas State builds for the future.
7. TCU Horned Frogs:
West Virginia was able to knock the Frogs out of bowl eligibility in the season finale last season. Gary Patterson’s crew should make a return to the postseason, but it will not be flashy. Unless Alex Duggan can build on the flashes he showed in 2019, the offense may struggle as it has in recent years. However, five-star running back Zachary Evans could be a huge boost for the offense this season. As usual, Patterson’s defense will be stout no matter the team’s record.
6. West Virginia Mountaineers:
How high West Virginia is able to climb in 2020 will depend on the improvement of their running game, and the defense’s ability to adjust to a “by committee” coordinator. However, if Neal Brown has proven anything in the past it’s that he can pull off the shocker. We expect to see that this year for the Mountaineers, but not to the magnitude he was able to at Troy. The Mountaineers will likely return to the postseason with Jarret Doege under center, and this year will be used as a building block for future success.
5. Baylor Bears:
The Bears suffered a huge blow when former head coach Matt Rhule bolted for the NFL. In comes former LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, but he will be faced with a huge challenge due to the COVID-19 shortening the offseason. Charlie Brewer should have a successful final year in Waco, but the talent lost from last year up and down the board will result in the team taking a step back in 2020.
4. Iowa State Cyclones:
Will this finally be the year Iowa State breaks through? It’s unlikely. However, junior quarterback Brock Purdy could lead the squad to some major upset wins in 2020. As always, Matt Campbell’s squad will be a tough outing for each opponent, and will finish the year with around 8-wins. Also, this could finally be the year Campbell decides to bolt for a bigger job — so live in the moment, Cyclones.
3. Texas Longhorns:
Is Texas back? Hell no, but they will be a top contender in the conference. Sam Ehlinger will hope for huge success in his last year in Austin, and the defense will likely improve after taking a step back last season. It seems as if the Longhorns are still “one season away,” but this could be their last chance to breakthrough as they will have to replace Ehlinger in 2021.
2. Oklahoma State Cowboys:
While Mike Gundy may be a dud these days, his team certainly isn’t. Returning is Heisman contender Chuba Hubbard, and Spencer Sanders should cement himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the Big 12. The Cowboys should hit double-digit victories this season, and be a serious contender with the Sooners.
1. Oklahoma Sooners:
Lincoln Riley’s team will be the best in the conference once again, but this time they will have to work for it. Spencer Rattler should be the next great OU quarterback, but the fact of the matter is that he is inexperienced. Should he prove his talent worthy, the Sooners will be be in the national spotlight once again. Defensive coordinator Alex Grinch should have his unit towards the top of the conference as well.