The Big 12 has not one but two potential College Football Playoff contenders for the 2019 season. Preseason polls expect them to be the powerhouses: Oklahoma and Texas. The Sooners have three CFP semifinal appearances to their resume already, and a fourth is certainly in the cards this year. That is, of course, unless Texas has anything to say about it. The Longhorns have a possible Heisman Trophy contender in quarterback Sam Ehlinger and finally have their sights realistically set at the highest levels again after a decade of falling short. 

But what would the Big 12 be without a little chaos? The 10-team, round-robin scheduling format makes for some truly exciting finishes in November, and there are a handful of underdogs ready and willing to shake things up. Could the likes of Baylor, Iowa State or Oklahoma State crash the party? The Big 12 should once again flex its depth in 2019, leading to a wide variety of opinions. As such, our college football team at CBS Sports sat down to provide picks for the season, including the projected order of finish. How do each of our experts see things shaking out? You can check out all our picks in the table and explanations below. 

Graphic by Michael Meredith

Most overrated team

Texas: It's not like I think Texas will be bad or anything. They'll be pretty good ... but like 8-4 or 9-3 good. That's not an improvement on last season, which has launched the Longhorns into the playoff discussion. Sure, quarterback Sam Ehlinger is a playmaker, but can he stay healthy? And I have questions about the rebuilt offensive line and defense; though, to be fair, Texas has a number of new "starters" who saw plenty of game action last season, Overall, I'm just not quite as sold on the Horns as others. -- Ben Kercheval (also Tom Fornelli)

TCU: I have seen the Horned Frogs predicted as high as third in the Big 12 this preseason, but that may be a bit optimistic. The quarterback position is a big question mark.  Mike Collins is the only QB on the roster with playing experience, is injured, so that leaves coach Gary Patterson with a choice between unproven players Alex Dalton and Michael Collins to choose from. Combine that with a schedule that includes road games with Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Iowa State, and the bounce back year many Horned Frogs fans expect may bet tough to obtain. -- Jerry Palm (also Dennis Dodd)

Oklahoma: I think Oklahoma is good enough to be in the College Football Playoff again and good enough to have another Heisman Trophy winner; I certainly think they're good enough to win another Big 12 title, and I actually picked them to do it. But there seems to be a level of invincibility that has been thrust on the Sooners that I'm not ready to give this team yet. It's not running unopposed here. Last season, Texas was probably the only Big 12 team good enough to beat Oklahoma. This year, Texas, TCU and Iowa State are all god enough, and I'm not putting it past Baylor or Oklahoma State to have inched closer to that tier. With four NFL offensive linemen gone and a new defensive coordinator needing some time to instill his culture, Oklahoma is going to be tested more this year than either of the past two seasons. -- Barton Simmons

Iowa State: I love Matt Campbell and the long-term trajectory of his career at Iowa State -- or wherever he may end up after his time with the Cyclones -- but I think the hype has exceeded my expectations for this season. Brock Purdy is a gifted quarterback with a high ceiling, but that offense lost its most important playmakers from last year's eight-win team. Iowa State is firmly in the middle pack of the Big 12 as a solid, top-40 team, but repeating the success of the last two years may be tougher than some expect. -- Chip Patterson

Oklahoma State: It's hard to pick a team in the Big 12 that's overrated because I think most preseason predictions are pretty accurate. But for those who think that the Cowboys will contend -- I don't really see it. The quarterback situation is solid, but are Spencer Sanders or Dru Brown difference-makers? In the Big 12, if you don't have a reliable defense (the Cowboys don't), the quarterback has to pick up the slack in order to legitimately contend for the Big 12 Championship Game. I trust coach Mike Gundy to keep this team competitive, but that's about all you should expect in 2019. -- Barrett Sallee

Most underrated team

Iowa State: This isn't a two-team race in the Big 12 with Texas, Oklahoma and everyone else. The top tier now stretches all the way to Ames, Iowa. Don't get distracted by the loss of skill stars David Montgomery and Hakeem Butler to the NFL because that's not what powers this program. Matt Campbell has built a culture that is strengthening by the year. It doesn't hurt that he's also entering Year 2 of the Brock Purdy era, returns his entire offensive line, recruited two four-star running backs and has stars on all three levels of the defense. Make room for iowa State at the big boy table. -- Barton Simmons (also Dennis Dodd, Tom Fornelli)

Baylor: This is a team that went from 1-11 in Matt Rhule's first season to 7-6 in his second. It will be much more difficult to make that kind of improvement in 2019, but this Baylor team will be better. Charlie Brewer is an underrated QB that will become a bigger name this season, they have plenty of talent on offense and a young defense will enter the 2019 season with a lot more experience. That should lead to more turnovers forced, which is something the Bears struggled doing last season. This is a team ready to move up in 2019. -- Tom Fornelli (also Ben Kercheval)

Oklahoma State: The Pokes have one of the country's best wide receivers in Tylan Wallace, and Mike Gundy isn't the kind of coach we expect to see produce back-to-back down years. After just seven wins a year ago, there should be a course correction closer to double-digit wins in 2019. -- Chip Patterson

TCU: The Horned Frogs were absolutely decimated by injuries last year, but defensive lineman Ross Blacklock is back after missing the entire season and South Carolina transfer Shameik Blackshear should be a force off the edge. They return five of their top six rushers from a year ago, with the only absence being former starting quarterback Shawn Robinson. Speaking of quarterbacks, Kansas State transfer Alex Delton is in the mix but freshman four-star prospect Max Duggan will be a star sooner rather than later. You combine him with established star receiver Jalen Reagor, and the Horned Frogs will be in the mix for the conference title. -- Barrett Sallee

Bold prediction

  • Dennis Dodd: This will be Matt Campbell's last year at Iowa State. He will be leading a Big Ten program next season. 
  • Jerry Palm: Jalen Hurts will have a Heisman Trophy-caliber season, even if he does not actually win it.
  • Tom Fornelli: Four teams in the conference will finish with three Big 12 wins or fewer. 
  • Chip Patterson: Jalen Hurts will win the Heisman Trophy. Lincoln Riley returns to that comfortable post in New York City in December, rolling through the award circuit with the nation's top quarterback. I've got Oklahoma winning the league and making the playoff, and I think Hurts will be a big part of that effort. 
  • Barton Simmons: An Oklahoma defense that has been in the bottom three in the Big 12 in turnovers forced each of Lincoln Riley's first two seasons will finish in the top three in turnovers forced in 2019. 
  • Barrett Sallee: The script will be flipped in the 2019 season. Oklahoma will beat Texas in the Red River Rivalry, but lose to the two-loss Longhorns in the Big 12 Championship Game. As a result, the Big 12 will knock itself out of the College Football Playoff.
  • Ben Kercheval: Jalen Hurts will start at quarterback in Week 1 for Oklahoma, but freshman phenom Spencer Rattler will get playing time as well and even start at least one game. 

Big 12 predicted order of finish

Big 12 champion

Oklahoma: Somewhat quietly, Oklahoma is attempting to win its fifth outright consecutive Big 12 title. That's the longest outright streak in the Missouri Valley/Big Six/Big Seven/Big Eight/Big 12 since OU won 12 in a row from 1948-1959. Jalen Hurts may not win the Heisman, but in the short time we saw him last season, his throwing seemed to have improved. Plus, he's got the best quarterback whisperer in football as his coach. A resurrected defense under Alex Grinch might be the difference in a fifth consecutive conference title and another playoff berth.  Dennis Dodd (also Jerry Palm, Tom Fornelli, Chip Patterson, Barton Simmons and Ben Kercheval)

Texas: I'm not firmly entrenched in the camp of Texas being back as a national power, but another year in the system for quarterback Sam Ehlinger combined with the return of wide receiver Collin Johnson should make this one of the more potent offenses in the country. Perhaps more importantly, Texas has already shown that it can win shootouts and slugfests, which makes it more likely to avoid upsets in 2019. The script will be flipped this season. Texas will lose to Oklahoma in the regular season but get revenge in the Big 12 Championship Game. The only question is if that will knock the entire Big 12 out of the College Football Playoff. I'm leaning toward "yes." -- Barrett Sallee