(Photo by Frank Jansky – Icon Sportswire)
The 2021 College Football season will be here before you know it. While we wait these long eight months out, let’s go ahead and take a peek to what we have in store for us in terms of Big 12 football next season.
Here are our way-too-early Big 12 power rankings for 2021:
- Oklahoma: The Sooners will be at the top of the conference again next season. Spencer Rattler will be a year better, and the defense will continue to improve with Alex Grinch at the helm. Expect the Crimson and Creme to be back in the conference title game.
- Iowa State: Matt Campbell, Brock Purdy, and Breece Hall will all be back in 2021. The Cyclones had one of the best seasons in their program’s history in 2020, and we believe they can be even better next campaign. Barring any kind of collapse, it isn’t too far-fetched to expect them to be back in the conference championship as well.
- Oklahoma State: Despite losing Chuba Hubbard, expect Oklahoma State to once again be a solid team in 2021. They will have two capable quarterback options in Sanders and Ilingsworth, and the defense should remain consistent. Oddly enough, however, should they fail to reach the conference championship again, I expect the heat to be cranked up on Mike Gundy’s seat.
- West Virginia: Yes, I’m going to put WVU above Texas. The Mountaineers are nearing a breakthrough in their rebuild, and much of this is because of a solid defense. This unit will return much of their production in 2021, and should be one of the best in the conference statistically again. WVU is our dark horse pick in the Big 12, and should pull off an upset or two.
- TCU: Again, I’m also putting the Horned Frogs above the Longhorns. TCU was close in 2020, but not quite there. Much like WVU, they will be a dangerous team in 2021. Should they get consistent play out of their quarterback position, oh boy. Never count Gary Patterson out.
- Texas: Finally, a place for the Longhorns. I honestly believe firing Tom Herman will come back to bite this team in the ass. They are already having to replace star quarterback Sam Ehlinger, but now they will be under a new regime, meaning this thing could really sink next season. The only reason they are this high is because of a solid bowl outing, but they may wanna keep their receipt on unproven Steve Sarkisian.
- Kansas State: Will the Wildcats finally capture momentum and hold onto it? This team has beaten Oklahoma two straight years, but has stumbled down the stretch. Returning Skylar Thompson will help, and Deuce Vaughn should only improve, but will the rest of the team finally blend together? We are unsure, and for this reason, they are in the bottom half of the conference.
- Baylor: Dave Aranda’s first year in Waco was rough, and I expect much of the same for 2021. Out the door is experienced quarterback Charlie Brewer. For an offense that struggled as much as they did in 2020, this will spell bad news. Expect the Bears to hover around .500, if they’re lucky.
- Texas Tech: I expect 2021 to be the collapse of the Red Raiders under Matt Wells. We have all felt it coming, and it will finally arrive. Outside of Kansas, I don’t believe this team can beat anyone. Texas Tech will be back on the market for a head coach, possibly even before the end of the regular season.
- Kansas: This team is going nowhere. Les Miles couldn’t even save this program, and I expect the same ole Jayhawks in 2021. They’ll play one or two teams tough in conference, and then be blown out in the rest of their matchups. The Miles experiment has failed, and it is time for the Jayhawks to start from scratch…yet again.