Big 12 Football Preview for 2021

Let’s get started with College Football previews for the Power 5 conferences for the 2021 season. We begin with the Big 12 Football Preview and go from bottom to top.

10- Kansas Jayhawks

Bringing up the rear in college football is no surprise for this team. The administration tried to improve the program a few years ago when they hired Les Miles. But isn’t working. In his short career in Lawrence, he is 3-18.

During the 2020 season, they lost many games by over 15 points. In fact, they scored the fewest points in the Big 12 by averaging 15.9 per game. The defense was dismal by giving up 46 points per game. Help may be on the way but is it strong and seasoned enough? Some of the new players will include tackle DaJon Terry, cornerback Karon Prunty, end Marcus Harris, and linebacker Kyron Johnson. These players have the potential to improve this poor team. 

  • DraftKings Over/Under: 1

2021 Kansas Schedule

  • Sept. 4   South Dakota                            
  • Sept. 11 at Coastal Carolina                
  • Sept. 18 Baylor*                                        
  • Sept. 25 at Duke                            
  • Oct. 2  at Iowa State*                            
  • Oct. 9   OPEN DATE
  • Oct. 16  Texas Tech*                            
  • Oct. 23  Oklahoma*                            
  • Oct. 30 at Oklahoma State*                 
  • Nov. 6 Kansas State*                              
  • Nov. 13 at Texas*                             
  • Nov. 20 at TCU*                            
  • Nov. 27 West Virginia*                     

*Conference game

9. Texas Tech

Big work is needed at Tech as last year they scored under 30 points per game and allowed 36.7 points to their opponents. Head Coach Matt Wells will need to step it up in Lubbock. He will have an experienced quarterback in Sonny Cumbie and Henry Colombi and Jack Anderson coming back with some offensive experience.

On the defense, Colin Schooler and Riko Jeffers return for the Red Raiders, To win this team needs to play better on team defense. 

  • DraftKings Over/Under: 4.5

2021 Texas Tech Schedule

  • Sept. 4 at Houston
  • Sept. 11 Stephen F. Austin
  • Sept. 18 FIU
  • Sept. 25 at Texas
  • Oct. 2 at West Virginia
  • Oct. 9 TCU
  • Oct. 16 at Kansas
  • Oct. 23 Kansas State
  • Oct. 30 at Oklahoma
  • Nov. 6 OPEN DATE
  • Nov. 13 Iowa State
  • Nov. 20 Oklahoma State
  • Nov. 27 at Baylor

8. Baylor Bears

Last season saw the Baylor Bears finish with a 2-7 record for head coach Dave Aranda. The offense last season averaged 23.3 points per game. This year, there is a quarterback battle. Charlie Brewer left for Utah and now Blake Shapen, Gerry Buhanon, Kyron Drones and Jacob Zeno are vying for the opening day start. Last year the offense only managed 2.7 yards per carry for the Bears.

The defense was pretty poor only garnering 31 total sacks in 2020. Offense coach Ron Roberts should have more to work with this season. The healthy return of Terrel Bearnard is likely to help the team this year.

  • DraftKings Over/Under: 5.5

Baylor Bears 2021 Schedule

  • 9/4 – at Texas State
  • 9/11 – Texas Southern
  • 9/18 – at Kansas
  • 9/25 – Iowa State
  • 10/2 – at Oklahoma State
  • 10/9 – West Virginia
  • 10/16 – BYU
  • 10/23 – Open
  • 10/30 – Texas
  • 11/6 – at TCU
  • 11/13 – Oklahoma
  • 11/20 – at Kansas State
  • 11/27 – Texas Tech
  • 12/4 – Big 12 Championship

7.  Kansas State

Last year this team ended the 2020 season on a five-game losing streak but only after they started 4-1. The good news is Slylar Thompson will return as quarterback. As the only senior of interest that is returning is center Nick Johnson Running back Deuce Vaughn is an exciting player along with receivers Phillip Borks, Chabastin Taylor, and Malik Knowles. The defense needs to step up after a bd yar in 2020. They allowed 6.1 yards per snap. Safety Jahron McPherson is returning and coach Chris Klieman might see some defensive improvement. 

  •  Draft Kings Over/Under: 5.5

2021 Kansas State Schedule

  • September 4 vs. Stanford            
  • September 11 Southern Illinois
  • September 18 Nevada         
  • September 25 at Oklahoma State
  • October 2 Oklahoma            
  • October 16 Iowa State            
  • October 23 at Texas Tech          
  • October 30 TCU                       
  • November 6 at Kansas           
  • November 13 West Virginia           
  • November 20 Baylor                      
  • November 27 at Texas         

6.  West Virginia

Things improved last year in Morgantown as head coach Neal Brown lifted the Mountaineers to a 6-4 record in 2020. They also defeated Army in the Liberty bowl which was the first postseason win since 2015. 

They will need for freshman quarterback Garrett Greene or freshman Jarrett Doege to step up and lead the Mountaineers football team. The rest of the team is returning with Leddie Brown as the primary rusher and four receivers return to enable the offense to improve. 

The defense was a Big 12 leader in fewest points allowed at 20.5 per yard per play with 4.65. Returning players include linemen Dant Stills, Akeem Mesidor, and safety Tykee Smith, and linebacker Josh handler-Semedo. 

  • DraftKings Over/Under: 6.5

West Virginia 2021 Schedule

  • Sat Sep 4 TBA @ Maryland             
  • Sat Sep 11 TBA LONG ISLAND
  • Sat Sep 18 TBA VIRGINIA TECH
  • Sat Sep 25 TBA @ Oklahoma             
  • Sat Oct 2 TBA TEXAS TECH             
  • Sat Oct 9 TBA @ Baylor             
  • Sat Oct 23 TBA @ TCU             
  • Sat Oct 30 TBA IOWA ST              
  • Sat Nov 6 TBA OKLAHOMA ST
  • Sat Nov 13 TBA @ Kansas St            
  • Sat Nov 20 TBA TEXAS            
  • Sat Nov 27 TBA @ Kansas            
  • Sat Dec 4 TBA Big 12 Championship (Arlington)

5. Oklahoma State

Even with this team listed fifth in the Big 12, it may be a top 25 team in the nation. This team could finish much higher in the conference but for now, they are here. Quarterback Spencer Sanders will need to show improvement and find a way to cut out his mistakes. He has allowed 19 interceptions in two seasons. Demon Jackson as the running back showed a lot of grit and has the potential to have a great season. The receiving corps is solid with Brennan Paisley and Braydon Johnson filling big shoes of some that left for the NFL. 

The defense, under coordinator Jan Knowles, was good in 2020 as they held opponents to 3.5 points per game. Several integral players have left for the NFL  and lots of players are needed to match those numbers. 

  • DraftKings Over/Under: 7.5

Oklahoma State 2021 Schedule

  • Sept. 4 Missouri State
  • Sept. 11 Tulsa
  • Sept. 18 at Boise State
  • Sept. 25 Kansas State
  • Oct. 2 Baylor
  • Oct. 9 (open)
  • Oct. 16 at Texas
  • Oct. 23 at Iowa State
  • Oct. 30 Kansas (Homecoming)
  • Nov. 6 at West Virginia
  • Nov. 13 TCU
  • Nov. 20 at Texas Tech
  • Nov. 27 Oklahoma
  • Dec. 4 Big 12 Championship Game (Arlington)

4. Texas Longhorns

The Longhorns could finish anywhere from 2-5 but we inserted them at 4 in the conference. Coach Steve Sarkisian has some quality football players to start his head coaching in Texas. The Longhorns finished 7-3 last season and had close encounters with several of the top teams in the Big 12 last year. 

Casey Thompson is the expected starter at quarterback. The defense is loaded with Bijan Robinson and his work on the line. The defense allowed 5.3 yards per play and they need to find a way to lower that. Texas has tough road games this season. 

  • DraftKings Over/Under: 8

Texas Longhorns 2021 Schedule

  • Sept. 4 vs. Louisiana
  • Sept. 11 at Arkansas
  • Sept. 18 vs. Rice
  • Sept. 25 vs. Texas Tech*
  • Oct. 2 at TCU*
  • Oct. 9 vs. Oklahoma* (Dallas)
  • Oct. 16 vs. Oklahoma State*
  • Oct. 30 at Baylor*
  • Nov. 6 at Iowa State*
  • Nov. 13 vs. Kansas*
  • Nov. 20 at West Virginia*
  • Nov. 27 vs. Kansas State*
  • Dec. 4: Big 12 Championship Game (Arlington)

Big 12 Football Preview – The Top 3

3. TCU Horned Frogs

Quarterback Max Duggan could be the key to this team moving up to a top 2 team in this conference. He led the team with 226 yards rushing and tossed for 1,705 yards with 10 touchdowns in 2020. Since 2017 the TCU Horned Frogs are 18-17, This is likely to be the best team for coach Gary Patterson.

With a bevy of running backs Kendre Miller, Zach Evans, and Darwin Barlow is a great collection of talent. Look for Quentin Johnson in the receiving group to be a top option in the air. TCU has five Big 12 road games next fall, including at Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, and Iowa State.

  • DraftKings Over/Under: 7

TCU Horned Frogs 2021 Schedule

  • Sept. 4 – Duquesne
  • Sept. 11 – California
  • Sept. 25 – SMU
  • Oct. 2 – Texas*
  • Oct. 9 – at Texas Tech*
  • Oct. 16 – at Oklahoma*
  • Oct. 23 – West Virginia*
  • Oct. 30 – at Kansas State*
  • Nov. 6 – Baylor*
  • Nov. 13 – at Oklahoma State*
  • Nov. 20 – Kansas*
  • Nov. 27 – at Iowa State*
  • Dec. 4 – Big 12 Championship Game

2. Iowa State Cyclones

QuarterbackBrock Purdy heads an offense along with running back Breece Hall and CharleieKolar at tight end that returns for an offense that averaged 32.0 points per game last season. Head Coach Matt Campbell has led the Cyclones to four straight winning seasons, and the streak should continue in 2021. 

The offensive line returns and Xavier Hutchison and Tarique Molton come back to lead an already good receiving corps. Also, they bring back one of the best defenses in the conference. 

  • DraftKings Over/Under: 9.5

Iowa State 2021 Schedule

 

  • Sept. 4: vs. UNI
  • Sept. 11: vs. Iowa 
  • Sept. 18: at UNLV
  • Sept. 25: at Baylor
  • Oct. 2: vs. Kansas
  • Oct. 16: at Kansas State
  • Oct. 23: vs. Oklahoma State
  • Oct. 30: at West Virginia
  • Nov. 6: vs. Texas
  • Nov. 13: at Texas Tech
  • Nov. 20: at Oklahoma
  • Nov. 27: vs. TCU

1. Oklahoma Sooners

Lincoln Riley can call Oklahoma home as his squad is heavily favored to win their 7th conference title in a row. Last season the defense allowed only 4.19 yards per snap and held teams to 21.7 per game. The offense scored more than 40 points per game. Led by quarterback and preseason Heisman trophy candidate Spencer Rattler. The toughest game will be at Iowa State. 

  • DraftKings Over/Under: 11

Oklahoma Sooners 2021 Schedule

 

  • Sept. 4: at Tulane
  • Sept. 11: Western Carolina
  • Sept. 18: Nebraska
  • Sept. 25: West Virginia
  • Oct. 2: at Kansas State
  • Oct. 9: Texas (at Dallas)
  • Oct. 16: TCU
  • Oct. 23: at Kansas
  • Oct. 30: Texas Tech
  • Nov. 6: OPEN
  • Nov. 13: at Baylor
  • Nov. 20: Iowa State
  • Nov. 27: at Oklahoma State

 

Be sure to check out ALL of our Power 5 football previews while you are here. Keep following the Sports 2.0 Network for all of the latest football news from around college football.

 


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About Tom Knuppel 16 Articles
I am a lover of ALL sports- big or small- some even obscure. I am a retired High School English teacher/coach that loves to write. and do book reviews of many sports. I want to write a book. Some around here call me “Dad” I am a St. Louis Cardinals fan from birth. Check out my History of Cardinals do com site Advice: Remember to always have a solid plan!