Football 2013

Big 12 Blitz: Predictions, storylines for conference

Updated: 2013-08-26T01:45:50Z

By BLAIR KERKHOFF

The Kansas City Star

1. Oklahoma State 8-1, 11-1

If not best team, best schedule in Big 12 and could be in national title hunt.

2. Oklahoma 7-2, 9-3

Key is improved defense, which in ’12, was dreadful by Bob Stoops’ standards.

3. TCU 6-3, 8-4

Perhaps best defense in Big 12, and QB Casey Pachall is back.

4. Kansas State 6-3, 9-3

So many new faces on defensive side could make it tough to defend Big 12 title.

5. Texas 5-4, 8-4

Horns have improved each year since bottoming out in 2010.

6. Baylor, 5-4, 8-4

New QB in Bryce Petty, and offense should be nation’s best.

7. Iowa State 3-6, 6-6

Only Cyclones and Ohio State have beaten ranked foe on road each of last three years.

8. Texas Tech 2-7, 5-7

Kliff Kingsbury returns home seeking to reverse Raiders’ conference fortunes.

9. West Virginia 2-7, 4-8

Reality set in after fast start in ’12, now Mountaineers continue without big playmakers.

10. Kansas 1-8, 4-8

Ending the 21-game conference losing streak is the first step in road to recovery.

•  Fiesta: Oklahoma State

•  Cotton: Oklahoma

•  Alamo: TCU

•  Buffalo Wild Wings: Kansas State

•  Holiday: Texas

•  Texas: Baylor

•  Pinstripe: Iowa State

•  Aug. 31, TCU vs. LSU (at Arlington, Texas): Frogs will be without Devonte Fields, but it’s a statement opportunity for Big 12 vs. SEC.

•  Oct. 12, Oklahoma vs. Texas (at Cotton Bowl, Dallas): Pressure is on Longhorns’ Mack Brown, who has lost three straight in series, last two by 118-38 score.

•  Dec. 7, Oklahoma at Oklahoma State: Winner of Bedlam, not Red River Rivalry, has produced at least a share of last three Big 12 winners.

•  Offensive player of the year: Lache Seastrunk, Baylor (with ball). The Oregon transfer averaged 138.5 rushing yards over final six games.

•  Defensive player of the year: Devonte Fields, TCU (left): Yes, he’s suspended for the first two games, but Frogs look for him to come back strong.

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