It's been quite the offseason — for better or worse — for the Big 12 in 2016. A terrible story in Baylor and possible (actually probable) conference expansion have dominated the headlines. As a result, the football that has yet to be played in the conference has been largely overlooked. The Big 12, from a pure football standpoint, has become somewhat of a forgotten conference this summer.
The outrageousness that's going to take place in the conference this season is sure to change that.
Outrageous College Football Predictions for the Big 12 in 2016
Texas will win at least eight games
The Longhorns have posted losing campaigns in each of Charlie Strong's seasons. As a result, the head coach enters this season squarely on the hot seat and the Longhorns seem to have lost their stranglehold on the top spot in the state as far as college football goes.
That begins to change in 2016. A more up-tempo offense, similar to what the top teams in the conference are running, will allow Texas more scoring opportunities than in years past. This team has a mix of receivers that can take the top off the secondary and a stable of huge running backs that can wear down defenses quickly. On defense, the Longhorns finally have the guys on the edges who can get after opposing quarterbacks and a secondary full of corners and safeties that'll be tough to throw on. The Longhorns are finally going to be a factor again, and all of college football will be better for it.
Kansas will only win one game
The Jayhawks didn't win any last year, so this will be an improvement. They should come out on top in their opener against a bad Rhode Island squad from the FCS level. After that, they play one of the better teams from the MAC, travel to play a formidable Memphis team and then take on their conference slate — full of teams that overmatch them at almost every position. As long as we're shaking things up in the Big 12, would it be too much to ask for the Jayhawks drop to a lower level for football?
Four Big 12 teams will win 10 or more games
The top half of the Big 12 is loaded. These teams are going to beat up on one another in round-robin fashion all year long. The end result of will be an anxiety-filled season where the conference is unsure whether or not they'll send a team to the College Football Playoff. Rest assured, the Big 12 will, but it won't get sorted out until the final week of the regular season.
The State of Oklahoma will have two Heisman hopefuls representing them in New York City
It's going to be a lot of fun watching these offenses put up video game-like numbers all season. The Oklahoma Sooners and Oklahoma State Cowboys will be leading that fun, and their quarterbacks will be grabbing the headlines as it happens. Baker Mayfield is already on the Heisman radar nationally, but watch as Mason Rudolph puts up monster numbers all season — thanks in large part to the talented skill players around him — and earns himself an invite to the big ceremony as well.
Oklahoma State wins the Big 12
Nearly all of the expert predictions have the Sooners winning the conference and returning to the College Football Playoff. As I mentioned, this conference is top-heavy, which makes an Oklahoma repeat tough. Look for The Sooners and Cowboys to navigate their tough schedules to the tune of one loss apiece heading into Bedlam. It will be there where the Cowboys' experience and veteran leadership on both sides of the ball makes the difference playing in a crazy atmosphere in Norman. An Oklahoma State win gives Mike Gundy's team the Big 12 crown and subsequently sends the Pokes to the Playoff.
— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.