Projecting the outcome of a college football season, playoff teams and national champion is no easy task. Several factors go into predictions, including the schedule, coaching changes, returning starters, in-depth statistics, results from the previous year, breakout players and recruiting – just to name a few.
The last two seasons have been tough on West Virginia fans with up-and-down success from the both football and basketball teams. But an unexpected Sweet 16 run by the latter has fans prepared for what could be the Mountaineers' best seasons on the gridiron and court since joining the Big 12 conference.
There is a lot that is still unknown about the College Football Playoff Committee.
One thing that was learned about the new postseason format in year number one is that the voters value strength of schedule. Teams have ramped-up non-conference scheduling almost instantly (See: No. 4 below) and the results are a healthy list of top-level games.
The Big 12 may have missed out on the inaugural College Football Playoff last season, but that doesn’t mean the conference lacks for impact players. While some are more household names than other, each Big 12 team has their “wild card” players that figure to play a big role in how their respective season will pan out.
Projecting college football’s breakout players for any given season is no easy assignment. After all, each person has a different take on what a “breakout player” is, and college football is always home to several new faces throughout the season.