2012 CFN Big 12 Pre-Spring Preview
TCU QB Casey Pachall
TCU QB Casey Pachall
Posted Feb 9, 2012

Spring ball is coming fast. Is this the year the Big 12 finally turns the corner?

2012 Pre-Spring Preview   

Why To Be Excited - Big 12

Baylor | Iowa State | Kansas | Kansas State | Oklahoma
Oklahoma State | Texas | TCU | Texas Tech | West Virginia 

2012 Big 12 Pre-Spring Preview
- Big 12 Pre-Spring Rankings
- Why Every Big 12 Team Should Be Excited
- Why Every Big 12 Team Should Be Grouchy
- What Every Big 12 Team Needs To Work On 
- Big 12 Recruiting Rankings

While the losses on offense might seem huge, three starters are back on the line and the talent is waiting in the wings to produce. The Baylor offense is the Baylor offense, and it works no matter who coach Art Briles has running it. Is there a Robert Griffin talent to run the show? No, but the receiving corps has a ton of skill with Terrance Williams and Tevin Reese able to pick up the slack with the loss of Kendall Wright. Defensively, the entire secondary returns and all the defensive ends are back.

Iowa State

The team should be better than the one that came up with six wins, and while it won't be strong enough to win the Big 12 title, it has shown enough under coach Paul Rhodes to expect an upset or two and another good year. The linebacker corps should be among the best in the league with A.J. Klein and Jake Knott back on the outside to go along with four other returning starters on D. QB Jared Barnett has a year under his belt and should be more consistent, and all the top runners, including James White, are back.


It's halftime in Kansas. The Turner Gill experiment was a disaster, but Mark Mangino showed that it really is possible to come up with a winning program at a basketball school. Can a motivated Charlie Weis be the difference? He doesn't have a loaded team to work with, and he's cleaning house a bit, but he should bring more of a decided schematic advantage to an offense that finished 106th in the nation and last in the Big 12. This season should be fine with Dayne Crist taking over at quarterback, but the real excitement revolves around 2013 and beyond if Weis can unleash the potential of one-time BYU super-recruit Jake Heaps.

Kansas State

There might be several key holes to fill, but Bill Snyder has reworked tougher situations. If he could come up with ten wins and a run to the Cotton Bowl with that team, he can piece together another productive squad. QB Collin Klein is a good place to start, and John Hubert is a quick runner who could put up big numbers with a little more work. The special teams should be a strength, especially on kickoff returns with Tramaine Thompson. Schedule-wise, Miami has to come to Manhattan, and the other two non-conference games are against Missouri State and North Texas.


The Sooners are loaded again. There's no Ryan Broyles, and a few good players are gone off the defense, but Mike Stoops is back to run the defense and QB Landry Jones returns for one more season to lead the offense. Four starters are back on the offensive line, and the receiving corps that showed glimpses of greatness should stand out with Kenny Stills leading a loaded group. LB Tom Wort leads a strong defense that gets eight starters back and should be far more consistent in the secondary. Basically, the 2011 preseason No. 1 team is every bit as strong, and even better in some ways, coming into 2012.

Oklahoma State

There's enough talent to come up with another terrific season on offense. Justin Blackmon might be gone, as is No. 2 target Josh Cooper, but Isaiah Anderson leads a good group of receivers waiting to show what they can do. The cupboard isn't bare. The linebacking corps should be among the Big 12's most active and aggressive with three starters returning, while three starters are back for a secondary that turned out to be a strength. The interior of the defensive front has a great rotation to work around anchored by veterans Anthony Rogers and Nigel Nicholas.


Texas appears ready to be Texas again. After two years of rebuilding and reloading, the Longhorns have a peerless stable of top high school prospects ready to roll. The final record last year might have been mediocre, but the defense was a rock finishing first in the Big 12 in total defense, run defense, and pass defense. Seven starters return and there's wave upon wave of top-shelf talent beefing up the depth. The offense that was so inconsistent gets ten starters back depending on the formation, and the young backfield led by RB Malcolm Brown is among the nation's most exciting.


The passing game won't have any problems keeping up in shootouts. Casey Pachall proved last season that he could not only bomb away when needed, but he could also lead the way in the clutch highlighted by the impressive comeback against Baylor that fell just short and the classic win over Boise State. Josh Boyce, Brandon Carter, and Skye Dawson might turn out to be the Big 12's best trio of targets, while Ed Wesley, Waymon James, and Matthew Tucker form a tremendous rotation of backs to balance things out. The defense loses MLB Tank Carder, as well as three other contributors that were involved in an alleged drug-dealing ring.

Texas Tech

The passing game was good last year, but it wasn't consistent and the offense struggled way too much to put points on the board late in the season. QB Seth Doege knows what he's doing and is good enough and fearless enough to push the ball down the field more often. All of his top wide receivers are back and he should be able to spread the ball around at will if he gets a little bit more time to work. LaAdrian Waddle and Terry McDaniel are very big, very experienced tackles who should be stronger in pass protection. The defense might have ten miles to go to become merely decent, but ten starters return.

West Virginia 

The offense is poised to take flight in 2012, coach Dana Holgorsen's second one in Morgantown. With burgeoning QB Geno Smith and top targets Stedman Bailey, Tavon Austin and Ivan McCartney in tow, the Mountaineers are going to be as exciting and prolific with the ball as any group in the country. Three starters are back on the offensive line and eight starters in all return up front. Defensively, depending on the alignment, seven starters return with the secondary likely to be among the best in the Big 12.

2012 Big 12 Pre-Spring Preview
- Big 12 Pre-Spring Rankings
- Why Every Big 12 Team Should Be Excited
- Why Every Big 12 Team Should Be Grouchy
- What Every Big 12 Team Needs To Work On