Updated: Aug 26
Oklahoma Sooners (13-0)- No surprise here. Spencer Rattler is the real deal, the Sooners return their 3 leading receivers from 2020 and they get Kennedy Brooks back who rushed for over 1,000 yards in 2019 while splitting the backfield. Their schedule is also a complete joke as they get Iowa State and Texas at home. On defense, they were 3rd best in 2020 and Alex Grinch has completely changed the public’s perception about Oklahoma’s defense. Linebacker Nikko Bonnito had 8.5 sacks last year and I expect him to improve even more. Other than Bonnito, they return everyone important to their defense. This Sooners team is legit. Expect them to run through the BIG12.
Iowa State Cyclones (11-2)- Iowa State has one of the most balanced offenses in the country, with proven weapons all around and a great coaching staff this team can be dangerous. Quarterback Brock Purdy has solidified himself as elite and Breece Hall and Charlie Kohler are arguably the best players at their position in the country. On defense they had 4 players with over 60 tackles in 2020, three of those were linebackers. They all return in 2021 and are the glue that holds this defense together. Their best player however, is Will McDonald who led the nation in sacks last year with 10.5. This defense is relentless and one of the best in the nation. Two losses to Oklahoma keeps them out of the playoff.
Texas Longhorns (9-3)- I love this team and it hurts to have them at only 9-3. Casey Thompson is a future star and with Steve Sarkisian now at the helm, the sky's the limit for this offense. In the second half of the Alamo Bowl, Thompson was more impressive than Sam Ehlingher was in his entire career. His athleticism and accuracy as a passer make him extremely impressive for his young age and I expect him to burst onto the scene in a big way. I also expect Bijan Robinson to break out as the Longhorns every down back as he showed flashes of greatness towards the end of the year averaging 8.2 yards per carry. They return their leading receiver in Joshua Moore as well. Texas’ offense is the best they've had since the Colt Mccoy days and if they don’t finish as a top 10 offense in the country I would be shocked. On defense they ranked 7th out of 10 in the BIG12 and with a high powered offense, the defense will be on the field more and naturally cause them to regress statistically. Not to mention, they lose their best defensive player in Joseph Ossai. This defense will be bad, but the Longhorns electric offense will lead them to a 9-3 season.
TCU (8-4)- Honestly I like West Virginia and even K State more than TCU, but TCU’s schedule is much easier than the Mountaineers. Max Duggan is a very average passer and I don’t think he has what it takes to be an elite QB. However, his rushing ability will cause trouble for mediocre Big 12 defenses.The Frogs have one of the best deep threats in the conference in Quentin Johnson who averaged more than 22 yards per catch in 2020. TCU is always a very well coached team and I expect more of the same this year. They lose their two best defensive players but are still a very solid group. Expect their offense to get better and their defense to slightly regress, but not by much. I believe TCU will upset Texas in their 4th game of the season and end with a solid 8-4 record.
West Virginia (7-5)- Hats off to the mountaineers for scheduling two power 5 teams in their non conference. I believe they will win both as well and start the season 3-0. Jarrett Doege is nowhere near elite but I think he is very solid and can lead the Mountaineers to a successful season. Le