Big 12 Football: 4 Reasons the Big 12 Will Be Better Than the SEC in 2013
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While the SEC is generally considered the best conference in college football, there are four reasons that the Big 12 could take that title in 2013.
First off, there are the two games in Week 1 between Big 12 and SEC teams that could see TCU and Oklahoma State deliver early losses to LSU and Mississippi State, respectively.
The offensive firepower is also usually much higher in the Big 12, with teams like Baylor and Texas Tech usually being among the top scoring teams in the nation. And what fan doesn't like to see points put up on the board in bunches?
Quality, headline-grabbing players run rampant in the SEC. But this year, it's more likely that a Big 12 player will take home individual awards.
Finally, 2013 will be the year that the SEC is dethroned from the BCS National Championship, and a Big 12 team could be the one to take its place.
Oklahoma State and TCU Will Deliver Week 1 Losses to SEC Teams
Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy's offense will overpower the Mississippi State Bulldogs.
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Two of college football's biggest games in Week 1 feature interconference battles between the Big 12 and SEC. The Oklahoma State Cowboys face the Mississippi State Bulldogs, while the TCU Horned Frogs take on the LSU Tigers.
Both of these games will go in favor of the Big 12.
For the Cowboys, they possess the offensive firepower (45.7 points per game last year) to overcome the Bulldogs, a team that is just average defensively compared to the rest of the SEC. In 2012, the Bulldogs gave up over 23 points per game.
Defensively, Oklahoma State also has a big advantage. Seven starters on defense return to Stillwater in 2013, according to David Ubben of ESPN, for a unit that is expected to improve dramatically in 2013.
Plus, the Bulldogs offense isn't all that great, either. Georgia averaged just 29.5 points per game last year and had the 85th-ranked rushing attack.
As for the TCU Horned Frogs, the return of quarterback Casey Pachall has injected hope that one of the newest teams in the Big 12 can make a run not only at a conference title, but also a national championship.
Like the Cowboys over the Bulldogs, the Horned Frogs have the advantage on both sides of the ball over LSU.
Behind Pachall and wide receiver Brandon Carter, the Horned Frogs will have one of the most prolific offenses in the country in 2013. That will probably be good enough to at least put up a few points against the Tigers, no matter how good LSU's defense is.
Meanwhile, the Horned Frogs have the best defense in the Big 12, with nine returners. That will come in handy against LSU, a team that usually struggles to find a true identify offensively despite being one of the best teams in the country.
The biggest obstacle for TCU will be the loss of defensive end Devonte Fields, who will be suspended for the first two weeks of the season and will therefore miss his team's game against LSU.
Currently, David Ubben of ESPN has both Oklahoma State and TCU grabbing wins in Week 1.
Expect the Big 12 to be 2-0 against the SEC after Week 1.
Better Offenses, More Points in the Big 12 Than SEC
Teams put up points in bunches in the Big 12.
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In the Big 12, teams can drive down the field and score in what seems like the blink of an eye.
And that's better football for the fans to watch.
In 2012, five teams from the Big 12 graced the top 20 in total yards offensively, while just three did for the SEC. That includes Baylor and Oklahoma State, the best and third-best offenses, respectively.
In total points per game last season, six teams were in the top 25 from the Big 12 compared to just four from the SEC.
The fast-paced, high-scoring games in the Big 12 make for undoubtedly more exciting football. Just go back two seasons ago, when Alabama faced LSU twice and the Tide beat the Tigers in the national title game. It wasn't until the final of eight quarters the two teams played that a touchdown was finally scored on either side.
Similar to how fans don't care as much about pitching as they do hitting in baseball, fans don't care for defensive battles in football as much as they do offensive showdowns.
And the Big 12 is where you can find good offense.
A Big 12 Player Will Win the Heisman, Not an SEC One
Baylor RB Lache Seastrunk could be the best running back in college football.
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While Johnny Manziel may have won the Heisman Trophy last season, in my opinion, he wasn't the best player last year. I thought Manti Te'o and Collin Klein both deserved the award more so than Manziel.
It's not necessarily right or fair, but it's true: Offensive players get more hype and more attention than defensive ones. And the Big 12 will have better offensive stars than the SEC this season.
The two biggest stars will be Pachall and running back Lache Seastrunk of Baylor.
Pachall is hands down the best quarterback in the Big 12. He's one of just two QBs in the entire conference who started Week 1 for their team last year, with the other being David Ash at Texas. Pachall will put big numbers at TCU his senior season and could contend for the Heisman.
The other possible Heisman candidate from the Big 12 is Seastrunk. Frank Schwab of Yahoo! Sports has Seastrunk as one of his six players to keep Manziel from going back-to-back in the Heisman Trophy race.
According to Josh Friemel of The Dallas Morning News, Seastrunk has the best odds to win the Heisman of any Big 12 player.
Seastrunk also has a lot of confidence in himself. According to Steve Greenberg of Sporting News, the Baylor back predicts that he will win college football's top honor in 2013: "I'm going to win the Heisman. I'm going to win it in 2013. If I don't, I'm going to get very close."
It's not called a sophomore slump for nothing, and with all the offseason drama surrounding Manziel, expect him to take a dip in production in 2013.
That will open the door for either Pachall or Seastrunk to claim one of the most coveted individual awards in all of sports.
The Big 12 Will Win the BCS National Title, Not the SEC
Bob Stoops (left) or Gary Patterson (right) could make a run at the BCS title in 2013.
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For seven straight years, the SEC has taken home the national title.
That will finally end in 2013, as the Big 12 will take home the final BCS title prior to the introduction of the college football playoff.
The signs will start to show in Week 1. As stated in the first slide of this piece, Oklahoma State and TCU will grab wins over Mississippi State and LSU, respectively. That will not only possibly eliminate two SEC teams from title contention, but it will also give two of the Big 12's better teams plenty of swagger.
Baylor finished last season as arguably the nation's hottest team. With a win over top-ranked Kansas State, the Bears finished the year on a 4-0 tear and won the Holiday Bowl. Now they're looking to keep that momentum going into 2013.
If an offensive juggernaut like Baylor wins the conference, it'd be hard to believe that a team that scores points like that would be dethroned in a national title game.
Then there are the Texas Longhorns. In the past few seasons, they haven't been the most competitive team in the Big 12. But if Ash can finally become an elite quarterback in the new, fast-paced offense, the Longhorns could start a new dynasty.
Plus, you can never count out Bob Stoops and the Oklahoma Sooners. Last year, Stoops' squad lost just two games in the regular season. One was to Kansas State, the Big 12 champions last season. The other was to Notre Dame, a team that made the BCS National Championship.
Alabama and Texas A&M will be great teams. But it's hard to imagine that a team could win a national title three years in a row. And the Aggies' hopes lie with Manziel, who is due for a sophomore slump.
Write it down: The 2013 BCS national champions will come from the Big 12.