You can listen to my 2018 Big ten College Football Preseason Prediction Right Here!: https://bit.ly/2LroW4f
Last season TCU’stotal defense was best in the Big 12. The last 3 seasons, TCU has posted the second most wins out of any other team in the conference. The Horned Frogs will benefit greatly from the return of RBs Darius Anderson and Sewo Olonilua. Together these two combined for over 1000 yards rushing last season. QB Kenny Hill is gone but Sophomore Shawn Robinson will step up to fill the void. Robinson is the highest rated recruit Gary Patterson has ever had at TCU so his potential and ceiling are both very high. The defense will need to replace 5 starters but returns stars such as linebacker Ty Summers and defensive lineman Ross Blacklock who earned co-honors for Freshman Player of The Year last season. TCU hosts Ohio State at home but will face tough tests at Texas and then against Oklahoma during Week 8.
Oklahoma will need to find a way to replace the production lost by the departure of Heisman winning QB Baker Mayfield to the NFL. Certainly easier said than done, however it appears that junior Kyler Murray will try and fill the void. He’ll have some help from running backs Rodney Anderson and Trey Sermon. These two accounted for almost 2,000 yards rushing and 25 touchdowns last season. On defense they’ll have to replace 5 starters, but looking at their schedule, the Sooners should roll through their opponents but circle the matchup against TCU on October 20th.
First year TexasHead Coach Tom Herman was able to make some improvements and win 7 games last season for a Longhorns team that had only won 5 games apiece the two seasons prior. Texas has not been relevant in the College Football world for about 4 seasons, which seems very weird to say. I remember the days of Vince Young and Colt McCoy where their Longhorns teams would be ranked nationally and playing in big BCS bowl games. Now they’re just lucky enough to earn a bid in the Valero Alamo Bowl, or Texas Bowl. I’m just kidding Longhorns fans…Last season 4 out of Texas’ 6 losses were by a margin of a touchdown or less. 2 of those games were against ranked opponents and went into multiple overtimes. Can you imagine if Texas won all of those close matchups and went 10-3? They would have most certainly been in the conversation for the college football playoffs and Tom Herman would be looking like the second coming of Mack Brown. Well, reality is that they went 7-6 last season but this season they return 14 total starters and will earn a second straight bowl bid. The Longhorns will be a sleeper team to watch in 2018.
Oklahoma Stateseems to be a team that can’t get over the 10-win hump. For the past 3 seasons the Cowboys have posted 10-3 records but also during that time they’ve gone 0-3 against in-state rival Oklahoma. If Mike Gundy’s Cowboys are finally going to make it over the hump and into the college football playoffs then they’ll have to finally beat Oklahoma on the road this season. The TCU matchup will also be a tough test on the road during Week 12.
West Virginia had a disappointing season in 2017 compared to its 10-3 campaign in 2016. The Mountaineers lost within 7 points to ranked opponents Virginia Tech during the season opener and TCU during Week 5. West Virginia also dropped tough losses against Oklahoma State, and Texas, and Oklahoma during the last two weeks of the regular season. The Mountaineers lose its top 1000 yard rusher from a season ago, but Will Grier returns at QB with Big Game Ability. He tossed the rock 34 times for touchdowns and amassed close to 3500 yards passing. West Virginia returns 12 total starters this season with 7 of those players on the offensive side of the ball. It is not outside the realm of possibility that West Virginia could make a serious run at the Big 12 conference crown.