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Big 12 Second-Half Predictions and Midseason Review

Baker Mayfield

Baker Mayfield

Baylor and West Virginia enter the midpoint of the 2016 college football season as the only remaining unbeaten teams from the Big 12, but Oklahoma is still considered the favorite by most to win the conference. The Sooners lost two non-conference games (Ohio State and Houston) but have rebounded with three Big 12 victories, including wins over Kansas State and TCU. Coach Bob Stoops’ team still has to hit the road for a trip to West Virginia, but Oklahoma State and Baylor have to visit Norman in the second half of the year. The Mountaineers are the biggest surprise through Week 7. Coach Dana Holgorsen’s team is using a rebuilt defense and balanced attack on offense to start 5-0 and emerge as one of the league’s best teams. Baylor hasn’t been tested much through a 6-0 start, but the Bears will have a chance to work their way into playoff contention with remaining games against West Virginia, Oklahoma and TCU.

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In the middle of the league, Texas coach Charlie Strong needs to rally in the second half of the year to move off the hot seat. The Longhorns scored their first Big 12 victory of the year against Iowa State in Week 7 and a key road trip awaits to Kansas State in Week 8. Strong took over the play-calling duties on defense, and this unit is coming off a good showing against the Cyclones. Will that progress continue in the second half of the year?

At the midpoint of the 2016 college football season, here are Athlon’s picks for awards and a projection for the final standings in the Big 12:

Big 12 2016 Midseason Awards and Second-Half Predictions

Offensive Player of the Year

Steven Lassan

Mitch Light

Bryan Fischer

Allen Kenney

@AthlonSteven

@AthlonMitch

@BryanDFischer

@BlatantHomerism

Patrick Mahomes QB, TTU

Patrick Mahomes QB, TTU

Patrick Mahomes QB, TTU

Dede Westbrook WR, Oklahoma

Defensive Player of the Year

Steven Lassan

Mitch Light

Bryan Fischer

Allen Kenney

@AthlonSteven

@AthlonMitch

@BryanDFischer

@BlatantHomerism

Ogbonnia Okoronkwo LB, Oklahoma

Ogbonnia Okoronkwo LB, Oklahoma

Ogbonnia  Okoronkwo LB, Oklahoma

Ogbonnia Okoronkwo LB, Oklahoma

Freshman of the Year (Offense)

Steven Lassan

Mitch Light

Bryan Fischer

Allen Kenney

@AthlonSteven

@AthlonMitch

@BryanDFischer

@BlatantHomerism

Shane Buechele QB, Texas

Shane Buechele QB, Texas

Shane Buechele QB, Texas

Shane Buechele QB, Texas

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Freshman of the Year (Defense)

Steven Lassan

Mitch Light

Bryan Fischer

Allen Kenney

@AthlonSteven

@AthlonMitch

@BryanDFischer

@BlatantHomerism

Reggie Walker DL, K-State

Malcolm Roach LB, Texas

Reggie Walker DL, K-State

Reggie Walker DL, K-State

Coach of the Year

Steven Lassan

Mitch Light

Bryan Fischer

Allen Kenney

@AthlonSteven

@AthlonMitch

@BryanDFischer

@BlatantHomerism

Dana Holgorsen WVU

Dana Holgorsen WVU

Dana Holgorsen WVU

Dana Holgorsen WVU

Coordinator of the Year

Steven Lassan

Mitch Light

Bryan Fischer

Allen Kenney

@AthlonSteven

@AthlonMitch

@BryanDFischer

@BlatantHomerism

Tony Gibson DC, WVU

Tony Gibson DC, WVU

Sterlin Gilbert OC, Texas

Tony Gibson DC, WVU

Best Coordinator Hire for 2016 

Steven Lassan

Mitch Light

Bryan Fischer

Allen Kenney

@AthlonSteven

@AthlonMitch

@BryanDFischer

@BlatantHomerism

Sterlin Gilbert OC, Texas

Sterlin Gilbert OC, Texas

Sterlin Gilbert OC, Texas

Sterlin Gilbert OC, Texas

Newcomer of the Year (JUCO or Transfer)

Steven Lassan

Mitch Light

Bryan Fischer

Allen Kenney

@AthlonSteven

@AthlonMitch

@BryanDFischer

@BlatantHomerism

Kenny Hill QB, TCU

Byron Pringle WR, K-State

Kenny Hill QB, TCU

Justin Crawford RB, WVU

Biggest Surprise Through Seven Weeks

Steven Lassan

Mitch Light

Bryan Fischer

Allen Kenney

@AthlonSteven

@AthlonMitch

@BryanDFischer

@BlatantHomerism

West Virginia

D'Onta Foreman RB, Texas

West Virginia

West Virginia

Must-See Game of Second Half

Steven Lassan

Mitch Light

Bryan Fischer

Allen Kenney

@AthlonSteven

@AthlonMitch

@BryanDFischer

@BlatantHomerism

Oklahoma at West Virginia (Nov. 19)

Baylor at  Oklahoma (Nov. 12)

Oklahoma at West Virginia (Nov. 19)

Oklahoma at West Virginia (Nov. 19)

Projected Order of Finish

 

Steven Lassan

Mitch Light

Bryan Fischer

Allen Kenney

 

@AthlonSteven

@AthlonMitch

@BryanDFischer

@BlatantHomerism

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10