Big 12: Expert Predictions

By Eye on College Football staff

CBSSports.com's panel of experts break down what to expect in the Big 12 during the 2013 season:

Tony Barnhart

Offensive player of the year: Josh Stewart, WR, Oklahoma State. The Cowboys played three different quarterbacks last season but they all found Stewart, who caught 101 passes.

Defensive player of the year: Devonte Fields, DE, TCU. Last season as a freshman Fields was unblockable, posting 10 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss for the No. 1 defense in the conference. He'll be the defensive POY despite missing the first two games on suspension.

Top newcomer: Jake Waters, QB, Kansas State. Nobody has a bigger hole to fill than the one left by Collin Klein's departure from Kansas State. Bill Snyder has a good track record of plugging in juco players, and Waters led Iowa Western to a 12-0 record and a national championship last season.

Coach of the year: Gary Patterson, TCU. The Horned Frogs had a rocky start to life in the Big 12 last sason. But with Casey Pachall's return at QB and another great Dick Bumpas defense, TCU could win the Big 12 in year two.

Next coordinator to become a head coach: Phillip Montgomery, OC, Baylor. After Heisman winner RGIII left to join the NFL, everyone assumed the offense would sag at Baylor. Instead, Montgomery plugged in Nick Florence, who finished second in total offense (375.15 ypg) only to Johnny Manziel, last season's Heisman winner. This season he'll plug in junior Bryce Petty.

Next head coach to become a coordinator: He's not going to lose his job, but this is a big year for West Virginia's Dana Holgorsen after last season's 7-6 collapse. There are some nervous Mountaineer fans out there who wonder if they made a mistake in jumping to the Big 12.

Most intriguing conference game: Oklahoma at Oklahoma State, Dec. 7. If TCU stumbles, this one should be for the Big 12 championship.

Most intriguing nonconference game: LSU vs. TCU, Aug. 31 in Arlington, Texas. The Horned Frogs could sneak up on a talented team that lost 11 juniors to the NFL draft.

Bold conference prediction: I know conventional wisdom says go with the old reliables in Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas in this conference. I say TCU is the surprise team in college football and gets it done.

Dennis Dodd

Offensive player of the Year: Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor. Baylor led the league in plays per game last season. Seastrunk is on record as saying he can win the Heisman. Do the math. The kid could run for 1,500 yards in that offense.

Defensive player of the year: Jackson Jeffcoat, DL, Texas. The popular pick is TCU's Devonte Fields, who is suspended for the first two games of the season. Jeffcoat is motivated 1) after returning from a season-ending torn pec and 2) to improve a historically bad Texas season.

Coach of the Year: Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State. Quick, name the last Big 12 coach to win national coach of the year. It wasn't Bob Stoops or Mack Brown. Since 2010, Gundy has one less win than Stoops (32-31) and one more conference title than Brown. The Cowboys are Big 12 favorites this year.

Next coordinator to become a head coach: Josh Heupel, co-offensive coordinator, Oklahoma. OK, so Landry Jones didn't exactly go out with a bang. Since 2006, Heupel has coached a Heisman winner (Sam Bradford) and Big 12's career passing leader (Jones). The Blake Bell era is next.

Next head coach to become a coordinator: Charlie Weis, Kansas. AD Sheahon Zenger isn't going to get rid of Charlie after this season but there has to be improvement from 2012.

Most intriguing conference game: Are you kidding? Oklahoma vs. Texas or Texas vs. Oklahoma depending on your loyalty. Lots of pressure on Brown this season after one of the worst Red River Shootout efforts in recent memory.

Most intriguing non-conference game: LSU vs. TCU, Aug. 31 at Cowboys Stadium. Two guys lucky to have a spot on the roster return. Frogs' quarterback Casey Pachall is coming back from rehab. LSU tailback Jeremy Hill was voted back by his teammates after a couple of assault allegations – one sexual.

Bold conference prediction: Kansas State will win at Texas or Oklahoma State, perhaps both, and remind everyone that last season wasn't a fluke.

Bruce Feldman

Offensive player of the year: Lache Seatrunk, Baylor: With all of the speed the Bears have on the outside, the Oregon transfer could average close to 10 yards a carry this season.

Defensive player of the year: Jordan Hicks, Texas: The Longhorns defense will be much better with Hicks anchoring the middle and bringing some much-needed toughness back to Texas.

Top newcomer: Charles Sims, West Virginia: Houston transfer may be the best all-around RB in college football and Dana Holgorsen will find a lot of creative ways to use him for his rebuilt offense.

Coach of the year: Art Briles, Baylor: The Bears have continued to improve and now that their defense nearing respectability, this team has a legit shot -- thanks in large part to its dynamic offense -- to win a down Big 12.

Next coordinator to become a head coach: Phillip Montgomery. As the Bears continue to work their way into the spotlight, Briles' proteges will ge a closer look, starting with his right hand man for the spectacular offense.

Next head coach to become a coordinator: Charlie Weis. He's gone all in on JC transfers after going 1-11 in his first year. Weis probably will get a third year, but don't expect more than that.

Most intriguing conference game: Texas vs. Oklahoma, Oct. 12 in Dallas, Texas.

Most intriguing nonconference game: TCU vs. LSU, Aug. 31.

Bold conference prediction: The good news for the Big 12? There's only one bad team in the league (Kansas). The bad news? This is the weakest the top of this conference has ever been. Then again it might work out so Mack Brown can snag another league title as a young team comes of age.

Jeremy Fowler

Offensive player of the year: Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor. He wants a Heisman. He's confident enough to go for it. And he'll get plenty of chances to put up silly numbers in Art Briles' offense.

Defensive player of the year: Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas. Potential first-round NFL talent missed seven games last season while the Longhorns made a mockery of tackling. Jeffocat will help fix that. He barely gets the nod over TCU's Devonte Fields, who's suspended for the first two games.

Top newcomer: Clint Trickett, QB, West Virginia. A competent quarterback in Dana Holgorsen's offense can flourish. Trickett, a coach's son with the on-field presence to show it, should have the inside track on the starting job by late August and will run with it.

Coach of the year: Art Briles, Baylor. Briles has college football's attention after a resounding 49-26 win over UCLA in the Holiday Bowl, and he's got toys to play with on offense. If the defense makes late-game stands, Baylor should be in the thick of the Big 12 race.

Next coordinator to become a head coach: Shannon Dawson, offensive coordinator, West Virginia. Holgorsen came from Mike Gundy's successful lineage of coordinators-turned-head-coaches, and he can start a new pipeline with Dawson, who garnered interest from Louisiana Tech last year.

Next head coach to become a coordinator: Charlie Weis, Kansas. Mack Brown's seat is the hottest in the league, but no way a 61-year-old Hall of Famer takes a coordinator job. Though Kansas should improve in Weis' second year, the Jayhawks haven't beaten a current Big 12 team since 2009. Weis faces a mountainous rebuilding job.

Most intriguing conference game: Kansas State at Texas, Sept. 21. The Wildcats will miss Collin Klein but have enough to remain steady under Bill Snyder. Dropping a conference home game in September would be deflating with the Cotton Bowl looming three weeks later.

Most intriguing nonconference game: TCU vs. LSU, Aug. 31. Nothing would punctuate the Horned Frogs' growth in the Big 12 more than a win over a perennial SEC power in Jerry's World. Late August might be the best time to get LSU as it transitions from losing 11 early entrants to the NFL draft.

Bold conference prediction: At least two Big 12 teams will finish in the national top 10 and Texas will record its first double-digit-win season since 2009. Four different Big 12 teams will average at least 45 points per game.

Big 12
Finish

Barnhart

Dodd

Feldman

Fowler

Palm

Fornelli

Hinnen

Patterson
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