The polls are rolling out and the odds are being set. The 2019 college football season is upon us.
All of the most prolific talking heads have had their say, and most of them seem to think that the two traditional powers in the Big 12 Conference are going to run the show.
Don't tell that to the people of Ames, Iowa.
Something special is happening in the quaint college town north of Des Moines. Change is taking place around the conference — all of it to the benefit of its 10 teams and college football as a whole.
With that, let's make some OUTRAGEOUS* college football predictions for the Big 12 in 2019.
Outrageous College Football Predictions for the Big 12 in 2019
Charlie Brewer gets an invite to the Heisman ceremony in New York
The gunslinger from Baylor quietly put together a solid 2018 season. He'll take the next step in a high-powered Baylor offense that will have the Bears in the thick of the Big 12 race for most of the season. Look for him to lead the conference in passing yards and touchdown passes en route to becoming a household name in college football this season.
Jalen Hurts won't be Oklahoma's starter by season's end
Hurts is a good football player and a great person. Unfortunately, the Oklahoma offense is predicated on elite and efficient passing from its signal-caller.
Hurts has never been that guy.
It's one thing for him to flaunt his dual-threat skills against the likes of Houston and South Dakota. After that, however, business picks up, and the Sooners will be involved in shootouts the rest of the season. There are quarterbacks on Oklahoma's roster who were recruited to specifically to play that role. Hurts is not one of them, and Lincoln Riley will need to find a diplomatic way to make a change at quarterback before the season gets away from his team.
Kansas goes bowling
Nobody expects anything from the Jayhawks, but Les Miles didn't take over the program in Lawrence because he expected to fail year after year. A culture change is going to take place — and quickly. Look for a roster full of guys who have been through the worst to take advantage of playing big-time football for a big-time coach. There are at least six winnable games on the Kansas schedule. Miles will get them there.
Texas loses five games
No, Texas is NOT back. Don't let a bowl win over a disinterested Georgia team convince you otherwise. The Longhorns are going to field the greenest defense in the nation's most explosive offensive conference.
Math is hard, but that doesn't add up.
Look for Tom Herman's club to struggle against LSU and Oklahoma State at home, Oklahoma in Dallas, and TCU and Iowa State on the road.
Iowa State finishes in first place in the regular season
Matt Campbell is the hottest young head coach in the country. This will be his final audition for that elite, blueblood job that he is destined to land. He'll field the best offensive line in the conference, a future NFL guy under center, and the best defense in the conference. When the dust settles, the Cyclones will be sitting in the No. 1 spot, having punched a ticket to the Big 12 title game.
*Remember, "outrageous" can be defined as “wildly exaggerated or improbable,” and “very bold, unusual, and startling.” These are "outrageous" predictions and should be treated as such.
— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. His work has appeared on SI.com, FoxSports.com, Yahoo!, SBNation, USA Today and Bleacher Report. He is a three-time FWAA writing contest award winner. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.