It is finally time for Big 12 win totals. The season is here and almost just as important, college football gambling is back. It has been far to long since I have melted down praying for the over in a Kansas vs Baylor game. But thankfully, we are here. Below are a few Big 12 win totals to keep an eye on with the season starting next week. All lines are from the Fanduel Sports Book and all odds are as of July 31st.
Oklahoma – O/U 10.5 Wins
It isn’t a secret that Oklahoma is one of the very best teams in the country yet again. Lincoln Riley apparently doesn’t even have to recruit the QB position because he is a QB whisperer and top talent will just transfer to him anyway. But even if Hurts doesn’t work out, Spencer Rattler is generating plenty of buzz out of camp.
Looking at their schedule, I see four games that could give them serious problems. Houston is kind of an unknown in Dana Holgorsen’s first year. But Holgorsen is a proven offensive coach and the cupboard isn’t bare. Grinch’s defense will get tested in week one but barring a fluke, Oklahoma most likely pulls away. The next game is @UCLA. Also an unknown and playing on the West Coast plays a part in that. On paper UCLA doesn’t scare me but I keep holding out hope that Chip Kelly will turn them into his old Oregon teams. Last year is what some would call, “not ideal”. But Kelly has proven he can recruit and win at the college level. Does Oklahoma lose here? Almost definitely not, but I’m trying to look at any slip ups that could push them to under 10.5
Next comes the two games that Could legitimately push Oklahoma to the under. The Texas game is a toss up. Texas has a talented defense and a solid QB. They also beat Oklahoma during the regular season last year and that is with an offense that still had Hollywood Brown and Kyler Murray. I’m buying into Hurts but expecting him to put up the same production would be unfair. Theo Wease and Ceedee Lamb will be dynamic, however Texas has a defense that can make a few stops. Lastly, Oklahoma State. Blond mullets and being a man for an extra 12 years makes Mike Gundy a wild card. They took Oklahoma to the wire last season in one of the best games of the year. The Cowboys also have one of the best receivers in the country in Tylan Wallace.
Between these four games, going unscathed would be incredibly difficult. However we are talk about one of the best coaches in the country and he is battle tested. That is why I put them at a project 12-0 in my Big 12 predictions and at the top of my Big 12 win totals
Hit the over, even if Oklahoma drops a game or two, they will be in the Big 12 Championship and a bowl game at the least. With 14 games, Riley will land 11 wins.
Oklahoma – Over 10.5
Texas – O/U 9.5 Wins
This is a tough one to pick because Tom Herman and his team are so inconsistent. Some of this is projecting more growth as he continues to develop, but last year was rough. Texas had great wins against Oklahoma, USC and Georgia. But they also had one score wins against Tulsa, Kansas State, Baylor,Texas Tech and Kansas. If a couple bounces or unlucky breaks go against them, Texas could have lost five more games last year. Instead of a strong feeling that Texas is back, we could be talking about Tom Herman on the hot seat. He can get his team up for big games but then lose to Maryland as well. But 2019 is a new year with new expectations.
Referring back to my preview, I have Texas losing two games. While I listed LSU as a projected loss, I still go back and forth because I believe in wha Tom Herman is doing. Texas has proven they get up for the big games and they get LSU at home. But I don’t think Texas beats Oklahoma and they will drop another game to either LSU or @Iowa State.
This all comes down to Texas is back. That doesn’t mean they are going to the playoff, but they are a relevant team in 2019 and all eyes will be on them. They are expected to perform and beat everyone they should beat. There is no excuse for Texas to win less than 10 games in 2019. They will likely be playing in the conference championship and a bowl game as well. Just don’t let me down Tom, I’m putting faith in you.
Texas – Over 9.5
West Virginia – O/U 5 Wins
It is universally agreed upon that Neal Brown was a great hire. He is a proven coach when it comes to building a program. He also has some weapons to work with coming into 2019. But he also has to replace an unbelievable amount of talent. This would be a tall order for any coach that wasn’t going into his first year at a new program. West Virginia won’t be great in year one as they work on building a culture and putting in new systems and coaches under Neal Brown. While Brown comes from the same school as Holgersen, there will still be some growing pains. With all that said, West Virginia has a very bright future and should be competitive quickly.
Next year doesn’t matter when breaking down the 2019 season. So for 2019, I think WVU gets off to a hot start. The Mountaineers have James Madison, Missouri, NC State and Kansas in the first few weeks. I think they pull the upset at home against NC State and are sitting at 3-1 with a loss to Missouri. Then the schedule gets ugly.
They get a stretch of Texas, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Baylor and Texas Tech. That is a tough stretch for any Big 12 team and the Big 12 is probably the deepest conference in the country. I know SEC fans will mock that because of their dominance up but I would put TCU and Baylor up against Tennessee and Vandy. After that stretch, WVU should pick up a win against Kansas State and then it is right back into the thick of it with OK State and TCU.
It is just a tough year while West Virginia has to rebuild. They will be back in the mix and competitive within a few years. They could also steal a win to get to a push but there is a reason they are near the bottom in Big 12 win totals. For that reason, I have to play it safe.
West Virginia – Under 5 wins
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Started Saturday Tailgate in 2018. Covering all things college football and talking Notre Dame on Twitter.