by Dave Miller
June 20, 02013
With spring practice in the books and preseason camp battles not too far away, let's take a look at some power rankings for each FBS conference.
Today, we'll take a look at the Big 12 after looking at the SEC on Monday, the Big Ten on Tuesday and the Pac-12 on Wednesday. Tomorrow, we'll take a glance at the Big East/American Athletic Conference.
1. TCU: Casey Pachall is back to pace the offense, while the defense will remain strong with star end Devonte Fields. However, Fields will miss two games due to suspension (including the season opener against LSU), which is a big blow. Still, the Horned Frogs should have the conference's best defense in their second season in the league.
US PRESSWIREBlake Bell isn't just a runner anymore at OU.
2. Oklahoma: The Sooners begin the post-Landry Jones era with their sights set on reclaiming the Big 12 crown. But the defense was subpar in 2012 and lost some of its best players. Bob Stoops has a tough coaching job on his hand this fall, but Blake Bell will surprise with his passing ability. He is more than just the Bell-Dozer.
3. Oklahoma State: Mike Gundy's squad is going under the radar, but first-year defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer is installing a more aggressive defense that features a lot of seniors. No matter who starts at quarterback, the Pokes have a chance to win their second Big 12 title in three years. New offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich will keep this powerful offense prolific.
4. Texas: Can the Longhorns put behind a disastrous defensive effort in 2012? And will this offense finally be able to forge an identity? Quarterback David Ash is experienced and the running backs are talented, but can the 'Horns blend the up-tempo with the physical on offense?
5. Texas Tech: The Red Raiders are now led by Kliff Kingsbury, who steps into a nice situation as there are a lot of experienced players on this roster. The defensive line is strong, although the loss of Delvon Simmons hurts. But quarterback Michael Brewer, receiver Eric Ward and this offense should be exciting.
6. Baylor: I may be ranking the Bears a little bit too low, as Art Briles is quietly starting to turn Baylor into the "It" program in the Big 12. The Bears closed last season strong, and new quarterback Bryce Petty should emerge as a star on offense. The defense returns seven starters and has some depth, so if it plays better than last season the Bears will be the Big 12's dark horse.
7. Kansas State: The Wildcats only return eight starters from their Fiesta Bowl team, but never sleep on a Bill Snyder-coached squad. Offensively, John Hubert should get more touches and see his numbers rise, but how do you begin to replace do-everything quarterback Collin Klein? The defense lacks experience, and that's where the 'Cats will see the most dropoff.
8. West Virginia: The Mountaineers lost a ton from their explosive offense, and the defense may not improve that much from 2012. A tough coaching job looms for Dana Holgorsen.
9. Iowa State: The defense lost a ton of leadership and talent from linebackers Jake Knott and A.J. Klein. Paul Rhoads is a terrific head coach, and the ground game should be excellent behind a strong offensive line. But can the Cyclones get consistent quarterback play for 12 weeks?
10. Kansas: Charlie Weis is doing a very nice job on the recruiting trail of getting prospects for his Class of 2014. But will his nearly 20 junior college transfers in this past class pay dividends in the fall? New quarterback Jake Heaps is intriguing, and it will be interesting to see if he can revert back to the form he showed in his first season at BYU.