Oklahoma is the pick to win a third consecutive Big 12 football title, but the Sooners have a tough road ahead to reach the playoffs as we look at NCAA football futures odds.
It has been a slow decline for the Big 12, one that started back in the old Southwest Conference days which was always inclined to favor the Texas Longhorns. Its recent fall from grace in the pecking order of the current Power 5 leagues can be attributed to one man, and one man alone: Commissioner Bob Bowlsby.
To quote longtime educator Anita Hogarth, Bowlsby is “a twiddler, a dreamer, a silly heart,” and he has been at the helm of the conference’s decline since the advent of the College Football Playoffs. The Big 12 has missed the CFP two of the first three years, and if NCAA football futures are any indication, it’s soon to be three out of four.Double Bedlam Could Be The Story In 2017
Bowlsby thinks bringing back a conference championship game, which hasn’t happened since 2010 when schools like Nebraska and Texas A&M were still a part of the league, will help the Big 12. But with the game pitting just the Nos. 1 and 2 teams in the conference instead of division champs like other leagues, it could be more detrimental than helpful
The one team that could make it to the playoffs is Oklahoma. Bob Stoops and the Sooners are 10/1 on the college football odds to win the National Championship, putting them just behind the top four (Alabama, Ohio State, Florida State and USC). Having Heisman trophy candidate Baker Mayfield under center is a plus and makes OU the cream of the league. But just winning a third consecutive conference crown won’t cut it, and the Sooners will have to avenge last year’s embarrassing loss at home to the Buckeyes when they travel to Ohio State in Week 2.
Picked as the most likely team to meet the Sooners in the Big 12 title tilt is Oklahoma State, meaning we might see Bedlam twice this season. The Cowboys are 50/1 to go all the way and return a very prolific combination in quarterback Mason Rudolph and wide receiver James Washington. Their biggest non-conference test is Week 3 at Pitt, but to earn a shot at making the playoffs, Mike Gundy’s group has beat rival Oklahoma twice. Considering OSU has only two wins in the last 14 series meetings, that would seem a long shot.
Can Wildcats Buck Odds To Be Surprise Team Of ’17?
With new head coach Tom Herman now in Austin, Texas sits between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State on the national championship odds at 25/1. The immediate task for Herman and his staff is improve a defense that ranked 94th allowing nearly 450 yards per game and 89th in scoring (31.8 PPG). Herman’s long-term job is to consistently beat Oklahoma, those two slated to renew their Red River rivalry in Dallas on October 14. But before he gets a crack at the Sooners, Herman and the ‘Horns have a big game out west at Southern Cal. There’s plenty of talent at Texas, and the Longhorns could very well make it to the conference championship, possibly beyond.
One long shot that intrigues me is Kansas State. Bill Snyder consistently does a better job with lesser talent than other coaches in the Big 12, and even at 65/1 to reach the NCAA football title game, the Wildcats can’t be overlooked in the conference race with their efficient offense that returns QB Jesse Ertz. The defensive side of the football is full of question marks but might be better than advertisesd.
The odds will be adjusted once teams shore up their depth charts coming out of summer camps, so keep your browsers pointed at SBR for the latest updates and free college football picks.