Big 12 Betting: Oklahoma still on top

When looking at the O/U for Big 12 teams, you have to start with OU as Oklahoma is once again the best of the conference entering the 2008 season. Heisman candidate Sam Bradford and the Sooners will face two stern tests this season in the South Division, first from Colt McCoy and the Texas Longhorns in the annual shootout in Dallas and later from Graham Harrell and the Texas Tech Red Raiders in Norman.

Texas is the cradle of football in America. The headquarters of the Big 12 Conference are in Irving; four of its 12 teams are from the Lone Star State. But only one Texas team has won the conference title since the calendar turned 2000. The Oklahoma Sooners, on the other hand, have won five times.

The pecking order remains the same going into the 2008 college football season. Oklahoma is at the top; however, there are three other clubs (two of them from Texas) with designs not only on the Big 12 title, but a national championship as well.

Here are the win totals for all 12 members of this college football powerhouse.

Oklahoma Sooners (10)
The talent is there to win at least 10 games and play in another BCS bowl. The two tough matchups are the Longhorns in Dallas, and the Red Raiders in Norman. Heisman candidate Sam Bradford and his offensive line look good to split those two contests and go bowling as a one-loss team.

Missouri Tigers (9½)
The best of the North Division, and No. 9 in Fremeau efficiency last year to Oklahoma’s No. 7. Still a step below the Sooners, but OU is not on the schedule this year. QB Chase Daniel is Heisman material surrounded by talent. A stronger “over” bet than Oklahoma coming out of the weaker division.

Texas Longhorns (9)
Colt McCoy’s development at QB has been slowed by injuries, and the Longhorns have a tricky non-con schedule tacked onto their tough competition in the South Division.

Texas Tech Red Raiders (9)
Texas Tech has never looked better. The offense will put up the same videogame numbers as usual, and now there’s a defense to go with it. Chalk the Raiders up for at least a push built on the backs of four non-con cupcakes plus Baylor at home.

Kansas Jayhawks (8)
Nothing was simpler than betting on Kansas last year at 11-1 ATS. The schedule is tougher this year, but the North is still soft and the Jayhawks are still impressive on both sides of the ball.

Nebraska Cornhuskers (7)
Bo Pelini has arrived to save the program, and the Huskers get to play eight home games. Expectations for a rebound are high after last year’s 5-7 (3-9 ATS) embarrassment.

Oklahoma State Cowboys (7)
The Cowboys were a letdown last year at 7-6 (6-6 ATS). But if the ‘Pokes can’t win eight games on this fluffy-puff schedule, there’s something seriously wrong in Stillwater.

Texas A&M Aggies (7)
The Aggies are a new team under coach Mike Sherman. It should take them a while to get the right players into College Station to fit his program, which is much different from Dennis Franchione’s.

Kansas State Wildcats (6½)
After going 5-7 (5-6 ATS) last year, the Wildcats have restocked with JUCO talent on offense and defense. It might be enough to scrape together seven wins, but KSU will be content to go bowling again.

Colorado Buffaloes (5½)
The Buffs are still in rebuilding mode under Dan Hawkins and facing an incredibly tough non-con schedule, including West Virginia and Florida State.

Iowa State Cyclones (3)
This is ISU’s second year under Gene Chizik, and the trajectory for the Cyclones is up after going 3-9 (6-5 ATS) in 2007. Beating Baylor on the road should get them to four wins.

Baylor Bears (3)
Incredibly bad last year at No. 107 of 119 teams in Fremeau efficiency. The Bears have a new coach in Art Briles and a difficult non-con schedule. Matching their three wins in 2007 would be cause for celebration.