The Big 12 lost two schools in 2011 and two more in 2012, but reeled in two solid schools that keep the conference among college football's elite.
Last year, this conference lost Colorado and Nebraska, and this year it loses Missouri and Texas A&M. So in a fit of desperation, they brought in West Virginia and TCU. Who knows what will happen next year, but for 2012, traditional powerhouse Oklahoma leads the way on the Big 12 odds menu. he Big 12 no longer plays a conference championship game; the league title is now determined by a round-robin schedule, just like in the old days.
Here's a look at the contenders in the Big 12 conference championship betting odds, aggregated by OddsShark.com.
Oklahoma is an even-money favorite at most online sportsbooks to win the Big 12 this season. The Sooners return 16 starters this season, led by QB Landry Jones, four on the O-line and seven on defense, from a team that went a disappointing 6-3 in conference last season.
But while OU gets Oklahoma State at home, it has to play at West Virginia and at TCU.
Texas is the second choice on the Big 12 board at 4/1. The Longhorns get 15 starters back, including four along the offensive line and six on defense, as they try to break a run of two-straight losing conference seasons. The schedule helps a little, as the 'Horns get both West Virginia and TCU in Austin.
The Mountaineers are the third pick to win the Big 12 this season at 5/1. West Virginia returns 14 starters from a team that went 5-2 in the Big East last year, including senior QB Geno Smith, a pair of 1,000-yard receivers and six on defense.
And while WVU has to play at Texas and Oklahoma State, it gets TCU and Oklahoma at home.
The Cowboys come next at 8/1. OSU gets back a dozen starters from its conference championship team of a season ago, including eight on defense.
But the Pokes will have to replace QB Brandon Weeden, WR Justin Blackmon and three starters along the O line. The schedule is kind, though, as Oklahoma State gets Texas, TCU and West Virginia all in Stillwater.
And those Horned Frogs, with 13 starters back from the team that won the Mountain West Conference last year, are pegged at 9/1 to win the Big 12 this season.
Rounding out the 2012 Big 12 championship betting board Kansas State, with 14 returning starters from a team that went 7-2 in conference last year, is getting 16/1.
Texas Tech, with 17 starters back for its third season under Coach Tuberville, is getting 30/1.
Baylor, now without Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Robert Griffin III, is listed at 40/1.
Iowa State is being offered at 75/1 and Kansas, with seven starters back on both sides of the ball for its first season under new HC Charlie Weis, is getting 150/1 to win the Big 12 championship this season.