Campus Corner

August 23, 2014

Big 12 blitz: Projections, bowl teams and award winners for 2014

The Star’s Blair Kerkhoff handicaps the 2014 Big 12 Conference football season, with projected order of finish, bowl teams, games to watch and award winners.

Campus Corner

The Star's blog on college sports, featuring Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri

Season projections

1. Oklahoma >> 8-1, 11-1

Rides the momentum of Sugar Bowl victory into season.

2. Baylor >> 7-2, 10-2

Bryce Petty is the league’s top early Heisman candidate.

3. Kansas State >> 6-3, 9-3

History of second-year starting quarterbacks bodes well for Wildcats.

4. Texas Tech >> 5-4, 8-4

No quarterback merry-go-round this year. It’s Davis Webb.

5. Oklahoma State >> 5-4, 7-5

A rebuilt defense has unenviable first task — Florida State.

6. Texas >> 5-4, 7-5

The Charlie Strong era begins, and the rebuilding continues.

7. TCU >> 3-6, 6-6

Frogs may be underrated here. New uptempo offense should help.

8. Iowa State >> 3-6, 5-7

Never underestimate a team with Mark Mangino on the coaching staff.

9. West Virginia >> 2-7, 4-8

Coach Dana Holgorsen’s seat is hot. Mountaineers can run it. What else?

10. Kansas >> 1-8, 3-9

If Jayhawks duplicate last year’s mark, does Charlie Weis survive?

Bowl teams

College Football Playoff: Oklahoma

Cotton: Baylor

Alamo: Kansas State

Russell Athletic: Texas

Texas: Texas Tech

Cactus: Oklahoma State

Liberty: TCU

Three can’t-miss games

Oct. 18: Kansas State at Oklahoma

The last time these teams met in Norman, K-State pulled off the upset and went on to the league championship.

Nov. 8: Baylor at Oklahoma

The defending champion Bears face their most difficult task of the season. Winner may have inside track to league title.

Nov. 15: Oklahoma at Texas Tech

The league leader tends to fall in a road game late. In 2011, it was Oklahoma State at Iowa State. It was Kansas State at Baylor in 2012, and Baylor at Oklahoma State last year (left).

Award winners

Offensive player of the year: Bryce Petty, Baylor quarterback. He’s bidding to become the first player to win this award in successive years since Oklahoma quarterback Jason White in 2003-04.

Defensive player of the year: Ryan Mueller, Kansas State defensive end. The Wildcats’ athletic pass rusher ranked second in the league in sacks with 111/2.

To reach Blair Kerkhoff, call 816-234-4730 or send email to bkerkhoff@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @BlairKerkhoff.

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