NCAA Preview 2016
NCAA fantasy football is getting closer. Are you excited as i am? Get ready to play CFB at FanPicks (click to play). With the impending kickoff in Sydney, Australia August 26th, FanPicks will cover every NCAA conferences and their teams for the 2016 season. If you’ve missed the ACC Coastal NCAA preview, click here. The NCAA BIG 12 is composed of ten programs which have won 18 national titles including three since it’s inception.
Oklahoma leads in BIG 12 championship title with nine. Not only are the Sooners the greatest school within the conference, but they also have the third-most national championship title since the poll era (1936-present) with seven. The 2005 Rose Bowl BCS Championship was the last BIG 12 conquest. The Texas Longhorns were crowned champions. Labelled “The game of the century”, the Longhorns defeated USC 41-38.
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Baylor shocked many with the decision to fire head football coach Art Briles. He helped turn an underwhelming program into a national power. Shortly after the decision, Baylor released the full findings of an investigation into the football program and athletic department’s handling of various sexual assault accusations against members of the BU football program. Baylor has lost a bunch of promising recruits in the wake of that sexual assault scandal, but the Bears suffered their biggest roster hit when talented sophomore QB Jarrett Stidham announced he was transferring.
Iowa State’s Mike Warren emerged as one of the top running backs in the league last season, finishing fourth in the Big 12 with 1,339 rushing yards despite getting just nine carries in the first two games. The new coaching regime is very familiar with Warren, and not just because he gained 126 yards when the Cyclones faced Toledo last September. Warren originally committed to new coach Matt Campbell and Toledo out of high school before later flipping to Iowa State.
LaQuvionte Gonzalez, the 5-10 junior receiver transferred from Texas A&M with a 4.4 speed and a 41-inch vertical, could provide a big-play threat for the Jayhawk. Kansas coach David Beaty was his position coach at A&M and promises to get creative with Gonzalez to get him the ball in as many ways as possible. In 16 games with the Aggies, he had 26 catches for 317 yards and two touchdowns.
KSU has been at its best when coach Bill Snyder has been able to have a quarterback that is a dual threat and is the catalyst for all things successful in the offense. So when the team was down to Joe Hubener to run the offense last year after injuries to Alex Dalton and Jesse Ertz, the offense sputtered badly as Hubener completed below 50 percent of his passes but did show dual threat ability. If the spring game is any indication, things are totally up in the air. With Ertz and Dalton back, the battle is on, but it was the forgotten Hubener who showed the best in the spring game, throwing for over 300 yards and having significantly more accuracy. No matter who gets the mantle of the starting gig, he’ll have to be big, big, big for KSU to achieve whatever goals they have in sight.
Oklahoma is the overwhelming preseason pick to win another Big 12 title. With quarterback Baker Mayfield among seven returning starters on offense, the Sooners got 24 of 26 first-place votes in the preseason media poll released last Thursday. Mayfield’s fearless attitude and fiery approach instantly rubbed off on the Sooners, who averaged 47.6 ppg after an Oct. 10 2015 loss to Texas. After finishing fourth in the Heisman voting, Mayfield should start this season on the short list of MVP front-runners.
Oklahoma State’s hopes of returning to Big 12 title contention rest on quarterback Mason Rudolph’s shoulders. After a solid season splitting time with J.W. Walsh, Rudolph is finally the unquestioned leader of the offense. The 6-foot-5, 235-pound junior passed for 3,770 yards, 21 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. He had six 300-yard games (three with more than 400 yards), but his 71.5 adjusted QBR leaves plenty of room for improvement.
The TCU Horned Frogs look like a team that could be one of the best in the Big 12 and possibly in the country this year. However, it looks like they will go forward without possible starting running back Shaun Nixon. TCU head coach Gary Patterson announced today that Nixon suffered an undisclosed injury and would miss the entire 2016 season because of it. Despite that, TCU’s offense has been among the nation’s best since co-coordinators Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie arrived two seasons ago. Quarterback Kenny Hill is expected to thrive again this season.
Texas benefited from Baylor University’s scandal. With recruits leaving the program here and there, the Longhorns were able to land five-star Devin Duvernay. A blazing-fast wideout who has been timed at 10.27 in the 100-meter. Duvernay’s big-play potential should help a very young UT passing game as it adapts to the new scheme of offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert.
In his first season as the full-time starter, quarterback Patrick Mahomes finished fourth in the country with 357.9 passing yards per game last year. He also tossed 36 touchdowns (tied for the Big 12 lead with Baker Mayfield) while rushing for 456 yards and 10 scores. The Red Raiders graduated key players at every other position offensively from last year’s dynamic scoring attack. But with Mahomes, Texas Tech could still feature its best offense yet under coach Kliff Kingsbury.
Mountaineers Quarterback Skyler Howard had an inconsistent 2015 season. He passed for 3,145 yards and 26 touchdowns, but despite a QB-friendly system, he also threw 14 interceptions and surpassed 300 yards just twice. Accuracy was an issue, as he completed less than 50 percent of his passes in four of his 13 starts, and his 55.3 adjusted QBR was seventh in the Big 12. But there is reason for optimism. Howard ended the season by setting Cactus Bowl records with 532 passing yards and five passing touchdowns in a 43-42 win over Arizona State.