Conference Breakdown: Big 12

5 things to know about the Big 12

Biggest game: Oklahoma at TCU, Oct. 1

Player to always watch: It feels obvious to say, but no play involving OU's Baker Mayfield is over until it's over.

Team nobody wants to play: Baylor?

Coach who really needs wins: Dana Holgorsen at West Virginia and Charlie Strong at Texas ... and Jim Grobe at Baylor? "Baylor?" goes on every list.

Don't be surprised if ... The Longhorns finish 9-3 or so with Strong somehow on the hot seat anyway, amid rumors of a deal to add Houston if the Cougars give up Tom Herman. The conference adds Cincinnati and Memphis as Strong's Longhorns crack the 2017 preseason top 10. That's a lot, but this is the Big 12, baby.

Bill Connelly's Power Rankings

Tier 1


As long as Baker Mayfield's healthy, Oklahoma's a Playoff contender again.

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"My numbers think TCU's a top-35 team in 2016. I disagree," says Bill. "They might be top-10."

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Tier 2

Oklahoma State

Is OSU still a top-15 program? Guess we'll find out very soon.

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Well, we'll see what happens here.

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Can Strong pull off a long-term rebuild in a short-term world?

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West Virginia

Holgorsen needs a big 2016 from his frantic Mountaineers.

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Tier 3

Texas Tech

Again: this offense is amazing, and this defense is totally wasting it.

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Kansas State

It doesn't look good for K-State, but Bill Snyder's still here. (Bill Snyder's *still* here!)

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Iowa State

Matt Campbell was a great hire, but a brutal schedule will define his debut.

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Tier 4


KU will probably win at least one game this year!

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Tier 5