2013 Pre-Preseason Big 12 Rankings - No. 6-10
Baylor RB Lache Seastrunk
Baylor RB Lache Seastrunk
Posted Jan 20, 2013

The too early look at how good the Big 12 teams should be in 2013 - Teams Ranked 6 to 10

CFN 2013 First Look Rankings

Big 12 - No. 6 to 10

2012 CFN Final Season Rankings
The Top 10 | Rankings 11-29 | Rankings 30-48 | Rankings 49-67
- Rankings 68-86Rankings 87-105The Bottom 19

FINAL 2012 Rankings By Conference
- ACC | Big East | Big Ten | Big 12 | C-USA | Ind
- MAC | Mountain West | Pac-12 | SEC | Sun Belt | WAC
- Based On Opinion ... CFN 2012 FINAL Rankings, Top  25

- 2013 Big 12 Rankings - No. 1-5

It might seem way too early, but considering the returning starters and the teams coming back, where does everyone stand before Signing Day and spring ball? Here's CFN's first look at all the teams for 2013 based on how good they appear to be at the moment. 

6. Baylor (8-5)

How was the Bear offense going to do without RG3? It finished second in the nation in total offense, fourth in scoring offense and fourth in passing thanks to quarterback Nick Florence, who finished second in the nation in total offense after leading the way for a big chunk of the season (some Manziel guy ended up taking over the top spot with a big bowl performance). This year, all eyes early on will be on Bryce Petty, an impressive 6-3, 235-pound junior with a live arm and all the tools to keep the Art Briles attack rolling. However, the real excitement is over Lache Seastrunk, the talented running back who dominated over the second half of the season and has already been bold enough to claim he'll be in the Heisman race. Working behind a strong offensive front with three returning starters, led by blasting guard Cyril Richardson, the ground attack should be fantastic.

Defense has been an issue over the last several years and was the second-worst in the nation last season. Seven starters are back, but the interior will be an issue losing tackles Nick Johnson and Gary Mason, Jr. The horrible secondary in the 4-2-5 alignment gets almost everyone back and has solid depth. The key, though, going forward is the recruiting – the Bears are starting to get more and more looks from stronger prospect. BU is becoming one of the hot programs, especially on offense.

7. Texas Tech (8-5)

How much fun will the Kliff Kingsbury era be? The fan base is charged up to have one of its heroes at the helm – the faithful never really took to Tommy Tuberville – and the team has enough pieces in place to be better, especially on defense.

Of course, all eyes are going to be on the offense to see what Kingsbury will do with the nation's No. 2 air show, but the defense could be the bigger surprise after making a huge leap up in production to finish second in the Big 12 behind TCU in yards allowed. The production fell off the table in the second half of the season, but eight starters return including the entire front four that has to be far better at getting into the backfield. However, two of the lost starters are safeties D.J. Johnson and Cody Davis, two of the best in the league at the position.

The offense now turns to Michael Brewer, a Texas high school passing star who saw a little bit of time last season and should be ready to hit the ground running. He's not a big passer, but he's smart and accurate. The line has to replace three starters including both tackles, but the receiving corps is loaded despite losing Darrin Moore. Eric Ward and Kenny Williams will be statistical superstars.

8. West Virginia (7-6)

Now it's time to see just how strong the Dana Holgorsen system is. The offense will continue to put up big numbers, but it can't help but take a step back after losing Geno Smith, Stedman Bailey, Tavon Austin, and two offensive linemen.

Can Paul Millard be the answer to take over for Smith? The jury is out, on whether or not he can put it all together and be consistent, while 6-5, 225-pound redshirt freshman Ford Childress might be the one who turns into the team's newest star. Out of all the issues on offense, the line should be fine and Andrew Buie shouldn't have a problem cranking out big rushing yards with Austin's flash gone to the next level.

The defense will be under just as hot a spotlight after a disastrous season, finishing last in the Big 12 in scoring defense and pass efficiency D. Only five starters return, but Karl Joseph is a rising star at safety and should be a good piece for the rest of the secondary to work around. Overall, the defense has to be a lot tougher and far more consistent after being ripped to shreds time and again, giving up 30 points or more in nine games.

9. Kansas (1-11)

Baby steps, baby steps, baby steps. Charlie Weis has a strong recruiting class coming in and just enough young players to build around to hope for a better season – or at least a win over an FBS team. The Jayhawks were painfully close time and again, only to keep coming up short. This season it'll be all about coming up with points for a team that finished last in the conference in yards, scoring and passing.

James Sims will be the hot running back coming into the season after ripping through the Big 12 slate. Michael Cummings took over the reins at quarterback late in the season, and while he showed he could make some noise as a runner, he has a lot to prove as a passer for an attack that finished dead last in the country in efficiency. With three starters gone up front, his mobility will come in handy at times unless Jake Heaps takes over the gig. The former No. 1 recruit for BYU has waited his year, and now he has to show what all the fuss was about. With a year of tutoring under Weis, the sky's the limit.

113th in the nation in total defense and with no pass rush, this spring will be about finding more playmakers up front with ends Toben Opurum and Josh Williams gone. The back seven has potential, but there will be a dogfight for jobs. There will be lots and lots of newcomers itching for playing time right out of the gate.

10. Iowa State (6-7)

The Cyclones keep managing to be just good enough to get to bowl games and throw a few scares into the Big 12 big boys, but is this going to be the season when everything jumps up to another level? That might take some work.

Gone is Jared Barnett, who took off to Illinois even though he would've been in a fight for the starting quarterback spot with Steele Jantz gone. That means it's Sam Richardson's show after making some noise over the final three games of the season throwing for 541 yards and eight scores with a pick. A good runner and playmaker, the sophomore has the tools, but he needs weapons to work with. Four starters are back up front to help him out.

Gone are A.J. Klein and Jake Knott from the linebacking corps, but the bigger concern will be up front with three starters needing to be replaced. The special teams should be solid with punter Kirby Van Der Kamp as solid as any in the Big 12.

- 2013 Big 12 Rankings - No. 1-5