It's currently unclear when -- or, worst-case scenario, if -- the 2020 college football season will start as the coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep the country. As such, some bookmakers haven't released win totals for the upcoming year, but that hasn't stopped us from looking ahead and parsing through the schedules to come up with our own win totals.
CBS Sports has taken a deep dive into every game and come up with preliminary record predictions for every Big 12 team (subject to change, of course). Oklahoma will once again be the favorite as it looks for its sixth straight Big 12 championship, but there are a few teams who are finally looking to upend the Sooners. Who's it going to be? Texas? Iowa State? Oklahoma State? Someone else?
We give our best crack at win predictions for each team based on returning production, talent and coaching, along with schedule difficulty. Check out the educated guesses for each team, and all 12 of their games, below.
Oklahoma (11-1, 8-1)
- Wins: Missouri State, Tennessee, at Army, Baylor, at Iowa State, Oklahoma State, at TCU, at West Virginia, Kansas State, Kansas, at Texas Tech
- Losses: Texas
- Analysis: It feels like we've written the same preview about Oklahoma every year, and it goes something like this: "The Sooners have lost key parts of their offense and will have to replace them, but don't worry because in comes a crop of blue-chip players who will go on to win individual awards and be drafted in the NFL." While that probably still holds true, there are a few things to monitor. The first is Oklahoma gets arguably its three toughest opponents -- Texas, Iowa State and Oklahoma State -- in consecutive weeks, and only one of those games, Bedlam, is in Norman.
With receiver Jadon Haselwood reportedly tearing his ACL, depth in that group might be a little thinner than OU would like. I also can't shake the feeling that losing running back Trey Sermon to transfer is going to come up in some big situational moments. Obviously, the Sooners are still the favorites to win the conference, but they've only gone unbeaten in conference play once since the Big 12 moved to a round-robin format. However, it's been five seasons since OU has lost more than one conference game. Among playoff contenders, only Clemson and Ohio State can say that. Are the Sooners due for an extra loss? Perhaps, but they should be favored in every game this year.
Texas (9-3, 7-2)
- Wins: South Florida, UTEP, at Kansas State, Oklahoma, West Virginia, at Texas Tech, Baylor, at Kansas, Iowa State
- Losses: at LSU, TCU, at Oklahoma State
- Analysis: The good news for the Longhorns is their conference road schedule is manageable: at Kansas State, at Texas Tech and at Kansas should all be wins. However, things get tricky with a Thanksgiving weekend game at Oklahoma State coming off a short week. The Horns will also likely be dogs heading into their Week 2 game at LSU, but I do like this experienced team in their big rivalry against Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl. I just think that in the Big 12's round-robin format it's easy to get tripped up unexpectedly, so I have TCU pulling an upset in Austin in November.
Oklahoma State (9-3, 6-3)
- Wins: Oregon State, Tulsa, Western Illinois, Iowa State, at Kansas, at Baylor, West Virginia, at Kansas State, Texas
- Losses: at TCU, at Oklahoma, Texas Tech
- Analysis: The Cowboys return quarterback Spencer Sanders, running back Chuba Hubbard and receiver Tylan Wallace. They are going to be tons of fun. But what's the ceiling on fun? Sanders needs to take a step forward in his consistency, and the Pokes need an answer to their Oklahoma problem. Not to mention, although coach Mike Gundy's a genius, once a year he's good to cough one up that he's not supposed to. But come November, I wouldn't be surprised if this team got on a hot streak and ended in the thick of the Big 12 Championship Game race.
Iowa State (9-3, 6-3)
- Wins: South Dakota, at Iowa, UNLV, Texas Tech, at Kansas, Kansas State, at TCU, Baylor, West Virginia
- Losses: at Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, at Texas
- Analysis: The Cyclones once again enter the year as a conference title game dark horse. They return one of the conference's more experienced teams and are led by quarterback Brock Purdy, one of the two or three best at his position in the Big 12. The schedule sets up well, too, but road games at Oklahoma State and Texas are difficult. Still, if coach Matt Campbell is going to get his team to the Big 12 Championship Game, this might actually be the year.
TCU (7-5, 5-4)
- Wins: at Cal, Prairie View A&M, Oklahoma State, at West Virginia, Kansas State, at Texas, at Kansas
- Losses: at SMU, at Baylor, Oklahoma, Iowa State, Texas Tech
- Analysis: Based on my projections, TCU is Team Chaos in the Big 12. A college football meme, the Horned Frogs beat Texas and Oklahoma State, two Big 12 title contenders, while losing to Texas Tech and Baylor. But that seems on-brand for coach Gary Patterson, a defensive mastermind capable of being a thorn in the side of any prolific offense while also having some questions of his own. The development of quarterback Max Duggan will have a lot to do with the ceiling of this team, but the Frogs have to pick up the slack from the losses of receiver Jalen Reagor, defensive tackle Ross Blacklock and cornerback Jeff Gladney.
Baylor (7-5, 4-5)
- Wins: Ole Miss, Kansas, Incarnate Word, Louisiana Tech, at Texas Tech, TCU, Kansas State
- Losses: at Oklahoma, at Texas, Oklahoma State, at Iowa State, at West Virginia
- Analysis: Of the eight conference games Matt Rhule's Bears won a year ago, four came by a single score or less and two went into overtime. Then again, close games were Baylor's M.O. and the same applied to the program's two losses to Oklahoma by a combined 10 points. The point being, though, Baylor lived a bit of a blessed life. Couple in a new coaching staff and a tough conference road schedule, and I reckon that pendulum swings in the other direction. They'll still be good enough to go bowling.
Kansas State (6-6, 3-6)
- Wins: Buffalo, North Dakota, Vanderbilt, at West Virginia, Kansas, Texas Tech
- Losses: Texas, at TCU, at Iowa State, at Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, at Baylor
- Analysis: An easy nonconference schedule gives Kansas State a leg up in the race for bowl eligibility. All the Wildcats would have to do is win three conference games to get to six wins, and they're good enough to do that. But I don't know if they're good enough to do more than that. The schedule gets hellish after a late October bye week with games at Iowa State, at Oklahoma, vs. Oklahoma State and at Baylor to end the year. The Cats might get off to a hot start, but I would be surprised if they stay hot.
Texas Tech (6-6, 3-6)
- Wins: at UTEP, Alabama State, Arizona, at Oklahoma State, Kansas, at TCU
- Losses: at Iowa State, West Virginia, Baylor, Texas, at Kansas State, Oklahoma
- Analysis: The Red Raiders will be better (and healthier at quarterback) in Year 2 under Matt Wells. They won't lose to Kansas again, but in a deep conference with good quarterback play where everybody faces each other, it'll be hard for Texas Tech to emerge from the cannibalized middle. However, I wouldn't put it past the Red Raiders to pull a fast one against a team they'll be underdogs against -- I have that penciled in at Oklahoma State. We'll see.
West Virginia (5-7, 3-6)
- Wins: Eastern Kentucky, Maryland, at Texas Tech, Kansas, Baylor
- Losses: Florida State, Kansas State, TCU, at Texas, Oklahoma, at Oklahoma State, at Iowa State
- Analysis: First-year coach Neal Brown MacGyver'd West Virginia to five wins in 2019. I don't know how it was in as many competitive games, but that's a credit to Brown squeezing every last drop out of that team. Now that quarterback Jarret Doege is slotted to start for the year, the Mountaineers have a better chance to get bowl eligible. But that November slate -- Oklahoma, at Oklahoma State, Baylor, at Iowa State -- is brutal. Brown's coaching acumen means the 'Eers will clip a team they're not supposed to, but I can't get to six wins with Florida State as the opener.
Kansas (2-10, 0-9)
- Wins: New Hampshire, at Coastal Carolina
- Losses: at Baylor, Boston College, Iowa State, at Kansas State, Oklahoma State, at West Virginia, Texas, at Texas Tech, at Oklahoma, TCU
- Analysis: Whether you think Les Miles is the right guy to get Kansas out of the basement, the likelihood of a corner being turned this year feels low. It doesn't help that the Jayhawks have a tough conference schedule that includes five road games. Even what would be the more winnable ones -- Kansas State, Texas Tech and West Virginia -- are all on the road. Giving a team an 0-for is never fun, but the Big 12 is deeper this year and I'm not sure where that W is coming from.