This year has been a long, strange trip to say the least. There was a while when everything was up in the air, including the college football season. Some conferences threw in the towel on a fall football season.
The Big 12 was not one of those conferences.
Instead, the Big 12 remained devoted to having a season throughout the summer, and they'll play a nine-game, round-robin, conference only slate.
Every game will be against a familiar foe, and every game will matter. As always, the top two teams will qualify for the Big 12 Championship Game.
The crazy offseason and round-robin slate open the door for some outrageous possibilities. With that in mind, let's make some OUTRAGEOUS* predictions for the Big 12 for the 2020 college football season.
Outrageous College Football Predictions for the Big 12 in 2020
Kansas doesn't win a single game
When the original schedule came out, most people only had the Jayhawks winning two games. Neither of those games is on the new, nine-game schedule. Kansas will head into every Big 12 game as a heavy underdog, and the Jayhawks simply don't have the talent to pull off an upset over another Big 12 team. They are only seven point favorites this weekend against Coastal Carolina, and I don't even trust that. With everything up in the air, it might be a good time for the powers that be in Lawrence, Kansas to take a long look at doing what UConn did: go independent in football (although the Huskies aren't playing this fall) and focus on other sports. Kansas is a basketball school that has a football team. It's been that way for a long time and I'm not sure it will ever change.
Kansas State leads the conference in rushing
The Wildcats are one of the only Big 12 teams that remain committed to the run in 2020. They may have lost all five starters on the offensive line but return a dual-threat quarterback and a run-friendly scheme. They also have one of the nation's most underrated offensive line coaches in Conor Riley. The Kansas State staff came to Manhattan with a finely tuned recipe to win football games. Running the football is one of the main ingredients in that recipe.
Oklahoma loses three games
I don't care how talented quarterback Spencer Rattler is supposed to be. Experience matters and a lack of it is going to be magnified in 2020. The Sooners open up against Kansas State, Iowa State, and Texas -- and two of those games are away from Norman. They do get Oklahoma State and Baylor at home, but for a conference-only schedule, I'm not sure it can get more difficult for Oklahoma.
This will be Gary Patterson's last year at TCU
When Patterson was hired as head coach, the Horned Frogs were members of the WAC. Twenty years later, TCU is a winning Power 5 program in the heart of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. I believe we have seen the program plateau under Patterson, and should the job come open, it would be coveted by some current elite coaches as well as the top up-and-comers. Add in the hot water Patterson got into this offseason, and it makes for an easy decision for the TCU brass.
Iowa State wins the Big 12
Let's not overthink this. Iowa State has the best head coach, best quarterback, and best defense in a conference that basically ignores that side of the ball. You better find shelter. This is the year of the Cyclone.
*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.