Best Rivalries in the New Big 12

UCF vs BYU Big 12 Rivalry
A previous UCF and BYU face off

It’s officially official. BYU, UCF, Cincinnati and Houston have accepted their invites to the Big 12. They’re slated to join the conference in 2023, which means they’ll have 2 years of overlap with Texas and Oklahoma unless those schools make a deal to leave early (which is expected). So, in this new college football landscape, what great rivalries will emerge?

Houston vs Texas Tech

Houston vs Texas Tech Big 12 Rivalry
Texas Tech vs Houston

Nothing like college football in Texas, right? Texas Tech and Houston have faced off a number of times before (33 times to be exact – with Houston leading 18-14-1), so this rivalry has precedent even beyond the in state factor. One might even argue this is already a rivalry, but we’re very excited to see the hatred truly blossom now that they’ll be conference rivals. As a bonus, the winner can get a Texas recruiting edge.

Cincinnati vs West Virginia

WVU vs Cincinnati Big 12 Rivalry
A Big East era WVU vs Cincinnati match up

This was a Big East conference game from 2005-2012, as our older readers will remember. WVU has wanted a more local conference member ever since they joined the Big 12, so they’re surely one of the most excited to hear about the addition of Cincinnati. WVU has a commanding lead of the all time series, 16-3-1.Here’s hoping the hatred is still alive between these two teams and we’ll get some exciting Coal Country matchups.

BYU vs UCF

BYU 49, UCF 23: Boca Raton Bowl 10 Things To Know

Forget Catholics vs Convicts – UCF vs BYU is the new party boys vs church goers. These teams have only played 3 times (BYU leads 2-1), but the previous matchup in the 2020 Boca Raton bowl showed how electric it can be when these two schools face off. They’re not even close geographically, but we think what will make this rivalry great is just how different these schools are.

What other rivalries do you think will blossom in the new Big 12? Let us know in the replies or on Twitter @CFBSelect.

Coastal Carolina Football: Why The 2020 Chanticleers Weren’t a Flash In The Pan

Last year’s Coastal Carolina season was electric, and most would call it their best yet. The Chanticleers went 11-1 in D1 FBS Football, with marquee wins over Louisiana Lafayette and BYU. They finished the season ranked 22. However, this wasn’t just one great season – much more is to come out of this growing program. Below, we outline some reasons why:

Grayson McCall

Grayson McCall

In only his first season, freshman QB Grayson McCall emerged into a superstar. His signature swag, a perfect match for Coastal, may have helped, but it was his on field talent that made him must watch TV. He racked up 2,488 and 26 TDs. Though the Sun Belt is an easier conference, Grayson McCall’s stats would have been impressive anywhere. He’s had even more time to develop and, barring complete collapse of the O Line or an out-of-nowhere set back, he’ll be one of the best QBs in the G5 along with Malik Willis and Desmond Ridder.

The Receiving Corps

Jaivon Heiligh

Coastal Carolina isn’t just a QB – after all, what’s a QB without his weapons? The most stand out returner is senior Jaivon Heiligh, who had 998 yards on 65 receptions last season, including 10 TDs. He’s joined by Isaiah Likely who got 5 TDs (second most on team) out of just 30 receptions. Kameron Brown, Sam Denmark and Greg Latushko round out the roster, three WRs who each had over 15 receptions and averaged over 15 yds per reception. That’s a deep room!

Schedule

Coastal Carolina vs UMass

While we hate to pick on programs for factors outside their control (ie what conference they were accepted into when exiting FCS football), let’s just say the Chanticleers strength of schedule isn’t particularly high. The most immediate threats on Coastal Carolina’s schedule are App State and Troy, with UMass and Kansas being their only P5 opponents. App State always brings a strong program, and last year was no different, but if the ‘Cleers get past them they have a very good chance at going undefeated. All we’ll say is, bet the over.

Enjoyed this preview? Reply to let us know which teams you’d like to see an article about next!

College Football Week Zero: Top CFB Stories

We’re finally almost through the long, dark offseason. With football right around the corner, many of us are on the edge of our seats waiting for the first match ups. To get you ready for the return of college football, here are our top stories:

2023 5 Star Brandon Inniss Commits to Oklahoma

Brandon Inniss is the #1 ranked Wide Receiver for the 2023 class, and the #16 ranked overall player. On August 22nd, he committed to the University of Oklahoma. This is a tremendously big deal, as Oklahoma already has the #1 ranked class for 2023 (followed by Georgia and Texas A&M). Inniss went to American Heritage for High School, where his team clashed against legendary IMG Acadamy. 24/7 lists his NFL comparison as Amon Ra St. Brown.

Bryan Harsin’s Lack Of Push for the Vaccination Effort Still Has Many Concerned

Bryan Harsin, courtesy auburntigers.com

With player unavailability due to COVID protocol a major concern going into the 2021 season, many coaches are making a large push for their players to get vaccinated. Bryan Harsin has not, and has been notably quiet about the issue. An AL.com article published this week stirred up more concern for Tigers fans, pointing out that forfeits could be on the table if COVID became an issue for the Auburn football team.

Big 10, Pac 12, ACC Alliance Rumors Intensify

Ohio State vs. Clemson: Why is this time different for the Buckeyes?

This week, The Athletic reported that a Big Ten, Pac 12 and ACC Alliance is expected to be announced soon. This alliance is seen as a counter measure against the SEC’s power increase following the announcement that Texas and Oklahoma will join. UNC Head Coach Mack Brown has also expressed concern that power conferences are coming, stating “I do think we’ll see a group of super conferences in our lifetime and I worry about some of those teams that won’t be included in that group.” (Source: 24/7) Fans of teams in these three conferences can hope that this alliance will prevent the SEC from completely taking the reigns of college football, and use the pact to strengthen their negotiations regarding the College Football Playoff.

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What Does CFB Mean? Explaining The Abbreviation

I’ve seen more and more people asking “What does CFB mean?”, probably because the abbreviation was only popularized more recently.

AAF official Amanda Sauer-Cook is the first out pro football referee -  Outsports
CFB patch seen on referees shoulder

On ESPN tickers and newspaper segments, college football was traditionally represented by “NCAAFB”, standing for NCAA Football. However, in the mid 2000’s, the shorter “CFB” became more popularized.

CFB simply stands for College Football. The shorter abbreviation now adorns referees official patches, and is used far more often than the old NCAAFB counterpart. A large reason this was popularized is likely the reddit forum “r/CFB”, one of the first (and fastest growing) forums to use the new abbreviation.

The Internet's Tailgate
The Reddit CFB logo.

CFB means much more than college football to us, though; it’s a way of life. That’s why we are CFB Select, bringing you the best CFB content on the internet. Check out our CFB home page to see what we’re up to.

What are the stickers on College Football helmets?

In addition to the teams logo or design, you may see lots of small stickers adorning a college football helmet. Known as helmet decals, these stickers are often given as rewards to players for their performance. It could have to do with how they play in games, or sometimes how well they’ve done in practice.

Here are a few examples:

Ohio State Helmet Stickers

Time and Change: Ohio State's Buckeye Leaf Helmet Stickers, The First of  Their Kind | Eleven Warriors

Ohio State players are rewarded with small circular stickers depicting Buckeye leaves. This tradition started in 1968. Players are given the decals for a variety of reasons; one for each victory (two if it’s a big ten game), a sticker for team accomplishments (recent coaches have taken more of a group focus than individual accolades), and sometimes individual performance (like a really pivotal play).

Georgia Football Helmet Stickers

My Take: Helmet Stickers

Georgia football players receive Bone stickers on their helmets as “marks of excellence”. These can even be taken away for especially bad plays. Thus, a Dawg with lots of bones on his helmet is expected to be an outstanding player!

Florida State Helmet Stickers

FSU's Tomahawk helmet stickers aren't going anywhere

Save for maybe Ohio state, Florida State likely has the most famous helmet decals. These tomahawk stickers have been around for decades. They are given to players for on field accomplishments, like big plays, but also for moments of academic excellence.

What are your favorite helmet decals? Do you think more teams should use them, or do you like a cleaner helmet look? Let us know on Twitter @CFBSelect.

How Long is a College Football Game?

College football winners and losers led by Wisconsin, Oregon in Week 8
courtesy USAsports.com

Whether you’re an avid fan or a newbie, sometimes you just need to know how long do college football games last.

According to AthlonSports.Com, the average college football game lasts 3 hours and 24 minutes, or about 3 and a half hours.

However, this can vary greatly depending on which network is showing the game and how much they stuff it with commercials. For example, CBS is notorious for stuffing commercials into games, making them run closer to 4 hours. This may be a bummer if you’re an SEC fan, but at least they’ll be switching their games to ESPN soon.

If you’re a fan of shorter games, you may want to focus on smaller teams. FCS games are less likely to be filled with commercials, and games streamed on services like Facebook or Twitter will generally run shorter.

So, how long does a college football game last? The answer depends mostly on who’s broadcasting it.

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“Did You Know?” Week 7 Recap

By Hunter Martinez-Buehrer (Sidelines_OU)

I know it’s been a while. School, work, and other events have taken into my time that unfortunately I’ve had to put this series on the shelf. But this week I have plenty of time to sit down, watch some college football, and get my history fix for the first time in weeks. To make it up to you, I’ve included more facts than the usual four as an apology for taking so long.  So what did we see from this week of College Football? Well, here are some of my favorite slices of history made this week.

Did You Know? Auburn vs South Carolina

South Carolina’s win over #15 Auburn was the Gamecocks’ first win over the Tigers since 1933

Photo from Getty Images

More than likely you’ve heard this fact said on Twitter, ESPN, or another website, but it’s such a mind boggling piece of knowledge no matter how many times you see it. The key component for the Gamecocks today was the defense, as well as the struggles of Auburn QB Bo Nix. Key players on the defensive side of the ball for South Carolina were Jaycee Horn, who had 3 tackles and 2 INT’s, and Keir Thomas who had 8 tackles and 2 sacks. Looking at only the box score, Auburn outgained South Carolina by over 175 yards and had 7 more first downs, so what happened? Well, turnovers and penalties became the achilles heel for the Tigers. Bo Nix had 3 INT’s on the day which each led to a Gamecock Touchdown. Even a halftime lead wasn’t enough to keep Auburn in the game. The players of the game for Auburn were RB Tank Bigsby, who had 111 yards and 1 touchdown, and WR Eli Stove, who had 60 yards and 1 touchdown. A lot of skepticism was raised about this Tigers team after their win (what should have been a loss) to Arkansas last week, and a beat down loss against the Georgia Bulldogs. The Tigers will go back in action looking to rebound against Ole Miss next week. As for South Carolina, they look to extend their winning streak to three games next week as they travel down to Death Valley to take on a struggling LSU team.

Did You Know? Coastal Carolina vs Louisiana

Coastal Carolina’s win over #21 Louisiana propelled them to a 4-0 record, their best start in history as an FBS team (Since 2017), and was their first win over a ranked school in their history.

Picture taken from GoCCUSports

I’ve been saying this since the first time this Chanticleers team was featured in these Recaps. Something special is brewing in Conway, South Carolina. QB Grayson McCall was as dominant as ever in this matchup vs. the Ragin Cajuns, throwing 202 yards and 2 TD’s, as well as running for another 45 and scoring 1 on the ground. The other TD was scored by RB CJ Marable, who also ran for 73 yards. The defense for Coastal Carolina was also strong, holding Louisiana to no more than 7 points a quarter. As for Louisiana, QB Levi Lewis threw 174 yards and 1 touchdown, as well as 84 yards on the ground and 1 touchdown. RB Elijah Mitchell also helped contribute to the scoring for UL, having 39 yards rushing and 2 TD’s. This was an interesting game at halftime, with both teams going in tied at 13, with both kickers missing a PAT each late in the 2nd quarter. Going into the 4th, it was once again tied at 20, but a Massimo Biscardi 40 yard FG with 0:04 seconds left in the game clinched the game for the Chanticleers. Coastal Carolina is definitely having their best year since joining the FBS, being undefeated, having a win over a P5 opponent, and having a win over a Top 25 ranked team. They look to continue their great run against Georgia Southern next week, while Louisiana looks to rebound next week against UAB.

Did You Know? Kentucky vs Tennessee

Kentucky’s 34-7 win over Tennessee was their first win on the road against the Vols since 1984, snapping a 17 game road-losing streak. 

Picture taken from UK Athletics

Well, I guess the question of “Was Tennessee overhyped?” was answered this week. The Wildcats went into Knoxville today and curb stomped this Vols team. It all had to do with turnovers. Tennessee had 4 turnovers in the first half alone. All on consecutive drives. The first was a fumble, which Kentucky could not capitalize on. The following two drives were both Pick 6’s thrown by Tennessee QB Jarret Guarantano, which gave Kentucky a 14-0 lead. Afterwards, Guarantano was benched for backup QB J.T. Shrout, who proceeded to throw an interception of his own on his first pass attempt. Guarantano was put back into the game in the second half but by then it was too late. Kentucky’s offense finally got going after it was held to just 3 points in the first half, and went on to rout the Vols 34-7 in Knoxville for their first win since 1984. Jamin Davis and Kelvin Joseph were the Wildcats who returned the first two interceptions for touchdowns, while Tyrell Ajian was the Wildcat who picked off the next one. Kentucky’s offense as a whole today was pretty slow, but the MVP of the offense was the running game, where not 1…not 2…but 6 players rushed for over 15 yards, with Christopher Rodriguez Jr. leading the rushers with 73 yards and a touchdown. The lone score for the Vols came from RB Ty Chandler in the 4th quarter. Tennessee has quite the challenge next week when they host Alabama, while Kentucky will be hoping to continue their two game winning streak when they travel to play Mizzou.

Did You Know? Memphis vs UCF

Memphis QB Brady White set the Memphis Tigers Single Game passing yard record, throwing 486 yards and 6 TDs in the Memphis Tigers’ 50-49 victory over UCF, which is their first win against the Knights since 1990. UCF QB Dillion Gabriel also set a single game record for his school, throwing the most ever yards in a single game with 601.

Photo taken from Twitter

The history behind these two teams is a very interesting one. Memphis won the very first meeting back in 1990, and since then UCF was 13-0 against the Tigers. In the 2018 AAC championship, the last time these two teams played, the Knights and Tigers gave us a shootout with UCF winning the game 56-41. This year, for the 1st time since 1990, the Memphis Tigers came out on top. The MVP of the game was Memphis QB Brady White, who had an absolutely outstanding game. He completed 34 passes for 486 yards and 6 TDs, which is the most passing yards ever by a Memphis quarterback for a single game, and tied 3rd for the most passing touchdowns in a single game by a Memphis quarterback. On top of that, he also had 30 rushing yards and a touchdown. White accounted for every single touchdown scored today by the Tigers, which most definitely helped in their win today. UCF QB Dillion Gabriel cannot be overlooked though, as he too also had an amazing day. He threw 5 touchdowns and 601 yards, which is the most yards thrown in a single game by a UCF quarterback. He also rushed for 49 yards and a touchdown on the ground. On to the actual game, UCF took a 27-14 lead going into halftime, but a strong 2nd half performance by Memphis put them back ahead late in the 4th. UCF tried to take the lead with less than a minute to go, however UCF kicker Daniel Obarski missed a 40 yard FG. Memphis took over, lined up in victory formation and sealed the game for the Tigers. Seriously, if you have time, try and find the full game or an extended highlight reel of this matchup, it is definitely a game worth rewatching. UCF looks to regroup next week against Tulane, while Memphis looks to carry their momentum next week vs. Temple.

Did You Know? SMU vs Tulane

College football: No. 17 SMU outlasts Tulane; No. 14 BYU wins - Los Angeles  Times

#17 SMU’s win over Tulane improved the Mustangs’ record to 5-0, which marks the first time they started the season 5-0 in back to back years since 1982-1983

So the NCAA cancelled SMU way back in the 80s, and I think it’s not a controversial statement to say that in these past two years, they have come back into the spotlight. SMU’s key to victory was through the air, as Shane Buechele threw for 384 yards in the air and 2 TDs. This game was very close, with the game being tied at both halftime and the end of regulation. A lone field goal in OT was the deciding factor. Tulane was able to keep close to SMU through both the air and the ground, with QB Micheal Pratt throwing 192 yards and 1 TD, with an INT. Pratt also had 26 yards on the ground and 2 TDs. Stephon Huderson rushed for 132 yards and 1 TD on the ground. This is an historic moment for SMU, as this is their 2nd year in a row where they started the season 5-0. The last time they did this was a few years before the Death Penalty given by the NCAA to SMU for violating the rules by paying its players. This scandal, and the punishment to follow, essentially left the Mustang Football program barely alive, and wasn’t able to fully recover until just last year, where they went 10-3. They are starting the year out perfect again, and look to carry that moment next week in a massive game against the Top 10 ranked Cincinnati Bearcats. Tulane looks to recover after this close loss next week against another tough opponent at UCF. 

So, what do you think of this week’s facts? Learn anything new this week, or have even more facts? Talk about it in our forums or share the article with your friends! The more people know about college football history, the better. Until next week!

ACC Preseason Rankings 2020

The ACC has often been ridiculed as a “basketball conference”, yet they have 3 national champions in the last decade as well as a pretty impressive bowl record in the last few years. Regardless, the ACC plans to take the field this season, and thus we’ll be watching as always. Will Clemson steamroll the conference again? Will a Coastal underdog make the championship game? Check out our preseason rankings here for our predictions (Note, we’re including Notre Dame given this season’s unusual circumstances):

15. Boston College

David Bailey - Football - Boston College Athletics

Oh, Boston College. We so badly want you to succeed to make the ACC look better, but you just haven’t figured it out. Maybe new Coach Jeff Hafley will be the secret ingredient that brings the Eagles out of the basement. One good thing is this roster is very experienced, with 17 starters returning and many being Juniors or Seniors. The Eagles have Oregon-transfer AB Phil Jurkovec who recently had his waiver approved to lead the team, and RB David Bailey has shown a lot of potential. We expect a pretty dismal season, but at least the coaching change marks a new era – and possibly a turning point.

14. Georgia Tech

James Graham developing as Georgia Tech's quarterback | Sports |  gwinnettdailypost.com

The Yellow Jackets had a horrible 3-9 campaign last season, but it was entirely expected as they were transitioning from their long used Triple Option offense. Will it all come together in Year 2? Extremely unlikely. Changing an offense like that takes a lot longer, but at least Geoff Collins now has “his guys”. Plus, there’s consistency at QB with James Graham returning. Georgia Tech will not be competing for the championship, but they could pull off a surprise upset as there’s very little on the scouting report of what this offense will look like. Being unexpected may be their best advantage.

13. Syracuse

Tommy DeVito - Football - Syracuse University Athletics

QB Tommy DeVito was the most sacked QB among Power 5 teams last season. His offensive line will have 2 new starters, for better or for worse. On the defensive side of the ball, only 4 players are returning. WR Taj Harris could be one of the best in the ACC, but will DeVito even be able to throw to him with defenses running him over? Dino Baber’s coaching is the only thing keeping this roster from the bottom of the ACC, but it could be enough to get them to a bowl.

12. Wake Forest

5 takeaways from Wake Forest's thrilling season-opening win over Utah State  | Wfu | journalnow.com

Wake Forest’s defense is experienced; they return all but 2 starters on that side of the ball and those players did fairly well last season (76th in scoring). The question is the offense; Wake had a top-20 offense last season but lost almost everybody, including QB Jamie Newman who transferred to Georgia. One of the few bright spots, WR Sage Surrat, who led all P5 players in receiving yards through 9 games last season, has opted out of the season.

11. NC State

NC State names Devin Leary as its starting QB vs. Wake Forest -  ACCSports.com

NC State had trouble finding an identity last season, starting 3 different QBs. However, once they find their guy this season (it looks to be Devin Leary), they have enough experience on both sides of the ball to form a cohesive, competitive team. The Wolfpack is returning all but 7 starters on both sides of the ball, but most are only Sophomores and Juniors. Most people are underrating this Wolfpack team, but if they don’t get a solid connection between a QB and their experienced receivers, experience won’t matter and they’ll fall to the bottom of the ACC.

Big 12 Preseason Rankings 2020

Article by: Andrew Sheridan (@SidelinesKState), Hunter Martinez-Buehrer (@Sidelines_OU)

We are only two weeks out from the first game of the Big 12 season! It’s been a long and confusing ride the past several months as the status of College Football in the Fall of 2020 has been in constant question. Alas though, we have arrived, so here it is:

The 2020 Preseason Big 12 Rankings

#10) Kansas Jayhawks

The Kansas Jayhawks have finished in the bottom two of the Big 12 every year since 2009. Several people have high hopes for the Jayhawks this season, but quite simply, we don’t see it happening. KU returns only 11 players on offense and defense combined, good for 9th in the Big 12. If you know simple math, you will realize this only accounts for 50% of total returning production. The Jayhawks also lose QB Carter Stanley leaving a big question mark at quarterback for 2020. On the bright side, the Jayhawks do return star running-back Pooka Williams, who is looking to have a break-out year in 2020. Can Les Miles find a way to improve the Jayhawks in year 2?

#9) West Virginia Mountaineers

Neal Brown enters year 2 as the head coach of the Mountaineers. The West Virginia offense seemed to find more of their groove as the 2019 season came to a close, but it was much too late to be effective on the season. If the offense can find more of a groove early on, this ranking might be too low, but until proven otherwise, the Mountaineers find themselves at the bottom of the pack. West Virginia returns lots of talent, including a highly experienced D-Line, but as mentioned before, the offense must find their groove early on in order to have a successful season.

#8) Texas Tech Red Raiders

Texas Tech returns just over 59% of their 2019 starting production. If Alan Bowman can stay healthy, the Red Raider offense could have a very successful offensive outing in 2020. Alan Bowman will be joined by a highly skilled receiving corp including veteran receivers T.J. Vasher and Seth Collins. However, the pass defense MUST improve vastly if the defense expects to have the same success the offense does. Last season, the Red Raider secondary finished ranked 128th in the country. In a conference like the Big 12, the 128th ranked secondary simply won’t cut it. Can Matt Wells find the answer in his 2nd season as the Texas Tech head coach, and can Alan Bowman stay healthy? Their season might depend upon it.

#7) TCU Horned Frogs

The Horned Frogs of TCU took a bit of a hit in 2019, going 5-7 after going 7-6 in 2018. Although the Horned Frogs don’t return many starters from 2019, the TCU defense should be stronger this year, especially in its backfield with Ar’Darius Washington, also known as the 2019 Big 12 Freshman Defensive Player of the year, leading it. However, the offense is where the real question lies and is the determining factor on how well Gary Patterson’s crew does this year. Max Duggan was supposed to lead the offense this season as a true sophomore after last year’s transfer party left him to take the starting job but has since been ruled out indefinitely due to a heart condition. This leaves even more question marks for the TCU offense. Many eyes will be on freshman Zachery Evans as well, as his production in the backfield with an offensive line that was very troubling last year. If the offense can click, watch out for TCU to turn some eyes this season.

#6) Kansas State Wildcats

Kansas State went a surprising 8-5 in Chris Klieman’s first season as head coach. Klieman and company will look to build upon the success the Wildcats had in 2019 for the 2020 season. The biggest question-mark for the Wildcats coming into 2020 is the offensive line. The Wildcats lost all five offensive-line starters after last season which leaves a whole lot of inexperience up front. Josh Rivas will have to lead the Wildcat O-Line if they expect to have any sort of success. Collectively, the Wildcats only return 8 total starters from 2019, ranking 10/10 in the Big 12. K-State will need to rely heavily on Skylar Thompson’s experience as well as their Special Teams, which returns Preseason All-American Joshua Youngblood as well as kicker Blake Lynch. Can Chris Klieman lead the Wildcats to another successful outing in 2020?

#5) Baylor Bears

Ranking Baylor for the 2020 season was really difficult. In 2019, the Bears went a surprising 11-3 on the season. However, Baylor lost A LOT during the offseason. The Bears return a solid eight starters on offense including quarterback Charlie Brewer but are only returning three on defense. A lack of experience as well as a brand new coaching staff could bring a multitude of issues. Baylor is such an unknown team going into the season. The Bears could finish with 1 loss in conference play or they could only win 1 game in conference play. Honestly, who knows? Our prediction has Baylor finishing right at the middle of the pack because while the Bears do lose a lot on defense, their new coach was the defensive coordinator for the National Championship winning LSU Tigers. Surely, that means only good things for the Bears defense then, right?

#4) Iowa State Cyclones

Brock Purdy. That’s the name you continue to hear for the next 3 months. Iowa State’s success depends solely on Brock Purdy. If Brock Purdy has success, Iowa State will have success. If Brock Purdy has a bad day, well Cyclone fans, you better hope another player such as Breece Hall can have himself a day. Iowa State returns 12/22 starters from 2019, including 7 of those 12 on defense. Iowa State needs to find that ability to close out games in 2020, unlike in 2019 when the Cyclones lost four different games by seven or fewer points. If Matt Campbell and Brock Purdy can find success as well as the rest of the Cyclones can finish games out, Iowa State could potentially have a very successful season in 2020.

#3) Texas Longhorns

“HEY LONGHORN NATION”……okay, can we all agree that this has been played out a little too much? No? Okay. “WE’RE BAAAAAAAAAACK!” In all seriousness though, an 8-5 record and Alamo Bowl victory may not have been what Texas fans were hoping for, and so as you would expect, changes were made to Coach Tom Herman’s staff during the offseason. Chris Ash and Mike Yurcich take over the mantle of Defensive and Offensive coordinator respectfully. Sam Ehlinger, Keaontay Ingram, and Brennan Eagles will be the big names on offense with Tirak Black looking to make his name as a transfer from Michigan. 73% of the 2019 defense returns for the Longhorns this year and while not performing as well as expected last year, they look to improve under new leadership from Chris Ash. Ultimately, How the Longhorns do this season comes down to their performances against Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. If they can win both or even one of those games, the Longhorns should stand a very good chance at making the Big 12 Championship Game.

#2) Oklahoma Sooners

Another year, another new quarterback for Lincoln Riley. This time, it’s Spencer Rattler who steps up to lead the offense along with seven returning starters. On the defensive side of the ball, the Sooners are ready to shake away the stigma of “Big 12 has no defense”. The defense returns eight starters from 2019 including Tre Brown, Ronnie Perkins, and Tre Norwood who will lead Alex Grinch’s group. As the Big 12 seems to have a normal league schedule with 1 non-conference game, this may seem like another Conference Championship appearance in-line for the Sooners, as they look to add a sixth championship win in a row. However, mid season roadtrips seem to be the achilles heel for this team. Our eyes this year are on the Iowa State game to see if Oklahoma can overcome the test of Brock Purdy in Ames. If they are able to do so, another Big 12 championship appearance and likely CFP appearance could be imminent. However, while the Big 12 typically runs through Norman, a different team looks to take the championship trophy on a detour route through a town about 90 minutes away.

#1) Oklahoma State Cowboys

What more can we say about the Oklahoma State Cowboys that the rest of the college football world hasn’t been thinking since Spring? They are returning 18 starters on offense and defense combined, as well as 6 specialists. Among them include Heisman Candidate Chubba Hubbard, Quarterback Spencer Sanders, Wide Receiver Tylan Wallace, and that’s just the offense! Although the defense is looking to grow from last year, they are bringing back a bunch of talent for Jim Knowles. Looking at the top 3 teams in our rankings, they have the best non conference test in the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes (compared to Missouri State and UTEP), and will be the team that is tested the most, with away games at Oklahoma and Baylor while also having tough home games with Iowa State and Texas. This Cowboy team has a lot to look forward to, and if they play their cards right, should have a strong chance at not only appearing in their first ever Big 12 Championship Game (2011 did not have a championship game), but a chance at the College Football Playoff. To have this happen, the team needs to utilize the running potential of their Heisman Hopeful RB, their 2019 Freshman Offensive Player of the Year QB, their potential Biletnikoff Award winning WR, and a defense that is looking to make a tough stand this year. Bedlam should be the Game of the Year in the Big 12 this season, and if Oklahoma State can go to the Palace on the Prairie and stun the Sooners, the sky’s the limit.

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SidelinesSports.Net Preseason Top 25

This is far from a traditional college football season. Four FBS conferences are confirmed not playing, with potentially more on the way. But, at the very least, we should hopefully get some football. With that being said, the moment you’ve all been waiting for has arrived; our Preseason Top 25! Note: We have ranked all teams for the preseason poll because of the uncertainty regarding who will play. Starting Week One, only teams playing games will be ranked.

preseason top 25

1 Clemson 540
2 Alabama 509
3 Ohio State 454
4 Georgia 445
5 Florida 426
6 Oklahoma 397
7 LSU 392
8 Notre Dame 343
9 Oregon 324
10 Penn State 323
11 Auburn 316
12 Texas 257
13 Wisconsin 251
14 Oklahoma State 248
15 Texas A&M 198
16 UCF 192
17 Minnesota 179
18 Michigan 174
19 North Carolina 157
20 Cincinnati 120
21 Memphis 109
22 USC 96
23 Appalachian State 90
24 Virginia Tech 68
25 Utah 60

Others Receiving Votes:

Iowa 57
Arizona State 47
Iowa State 46
Kentucky 45
Tennessee 43
Miami (FL) 35
Louisville 32
Boise State 31
Baylor 27
Kansas State 19
SMU 16
Washington 13
TCU 11
Texas Tech 8
Navy 7
West Virginia 7
Mississippi State 6
Pittsburgh 5
Maryland 4
Indiana 4
Duke 3
Florida State 3
Michigan State 3
BYU 2
Virginia 2
Air Force 2
Army 2
Tulane 1
UAB 1

What do you think? Who’s too high? Who got snubbed? Follow us on Twitter at @Sidelines_SN!