Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma quarterback Blake Bell, previoiusly lauded for his short-yardage runs, now needs to show off his passing skills.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — With spring football practice having wound to a close across the Big 12, Allan Taylor opens up a six-pack of predictions for the coming season:

1. Sooners fans won’t miss Landry Jones.
Goal-line sensation Blake Bell looks like a tight end but apparently throws a great deep ball, according to Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops. Of course, fans haven’t seen the Belldozer stretch the field, considering his meager 16 pass attempts the past two years.

Stoops has confidence in Bell’s passing ability — “When we recruit them, it’s all about how they throw and not how they run,” — but the junior’s biggest advantage is a stable of talented running backs and an offensive line that returns four starters.

Too bad the 6-foot-6 Bell can’t play defensive tackle, where the Sooners are ultra thin.

2. Dana Holgorsen will beat his old roommate Kliff Kingsbury in Morgantown on Oct. 19.
Big 12 wins could be scarce this season for WVU, but the Mountaineers will get one when Texas Tech comes east in Week 7.

Holgorsen was the receivers coach at Tech during the final three seasons Kingsbury was slinging up record passing numbers, and more recently, the two lived together as members of the Houston staff. The now-33-year-old Kingsbury credited his meteoric ascension to Holgorsen’s influence.

“Just how I game plan and install the offense is something I take from (Holgorsen),” he said. “I have a lot of respect for him as a man and as a coach, and it will be a surreal moment when we’re out there before the game.”

3. Kansas, currently in a 21-game Big 12 losing streak, will win two league games.
On Nov. 6, 2010, KU rallied from 28 points down to beat Colorado 52-45, which marked the last time Kansas won a Big 12 football game. (If not for that monumental comeback, the drought would stand at 33 games.)

Thanks to an infusion of junior college talent, the Jayhawks not only will be more competitive in 2013, but they’ll actually win a couple of their five league home games.

The Jayhawks didn’t get much production in 2012 from Notre Dame transfer Dane Crist, but expectations are high for the next transfer experiment, ex-BYU quarterback Jake Heap, who sat out last season under NCAA rules.

“He’s gonna be a guy who gives us a chance to win some ballgames,” said Kansas defensive coordinator Dave Campo. “He is very, very accurate, and that’s the thing that hurt Dane last year— getting it to people when it really mattered.

“In Jake, I think you’re going to see this guy is a winner and a leader, and that’s what we need back there.”

4. The Big 12 will post zero nonconference wins against BCS Top 25 teams.
A casualty of the realignment rush, the league suffered last season from a lack of marquee intersectional games. It went 0-1 during the regular season against the top 25, before splitting four bowl games to finish 2-3.

This season’s nonconference highlights feature TCU-LSU in Arlington and Oklahoma-Notre Dame in South Bend, matchups in which the Big 12 teams figure to be sizable underdogs.

5. Baylor and WVU won’t produce half the 134 points they combined for last year.
Both offenses lost their quarterbacks and top receivers, and both defenses should be more sound. That means the Oct. 5 matchup in Waco — starring Bryce Petty vs. Paul Millard — could produce a 33-30 defensive struggle.

6. Texas will win the Big 12 championship.
Since earning a trip to 2009 BCS title game, the Longhorns are 22-17 overall and only 11-15 in conference play. During that three-year stint, Mack Brown has tried to reconfigure Texas into a power-running offense, an experiment that likely met its end when Major Applewhite took over as coordinator in January.

Of course, the play-calling could be rendered all but irrelevant if the defense doesn’t stiffen up, and with nine starters back, it likely will do so. After taking care of a rebuilding Oklahoma squad in the Red River Rivalry, Texas draws Oklahoma State at home.

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Comments

  • mntnman

    Nice guessing -- and that's all ti is at this point -- guessing. Not even educated guessing -- since we know so little about what the teams will be come fall. I prefer to watch the games and then discover who they are and who wins -- predictions are for those who have nothing better to do.

  • Jethro

    Btw 6-6 rip bill Stewart

  • Jethro

    Is trickett coming or not?

  • Rick

    If Millard beats out Childress, then we are in for an even longer yr than expected.

  • DWM

    I was just reading a piece on SI.com about how the top prospects in this draft were ranked by the recruiting services when they were coming out of high school.

    It would appear that Bill Stewart and company recruited both of these fine gentlemen, not to mention Steadman Bailey, to WVU. Now didn't the Ken Kendricks of the world trash Stewart because he wouldn't be able to bring top recruits to WVU?

    Time gives great perspective, my guess is time will treat Bill Stewart's legacy very kindly.

  • Chef Camille

    WVU will be a joke this year! Like the news broadcaster. "AN EAST COAST GUY"

  • JimJim

    Don't you get any points for the new look uniforms, I guess not.

  • rtXC1

    You must not have any faith in the Big 12 this season..

    ND and LSU will not be as good as last season, and while OU won't either, TCU will be much improved. Also, watch out for Ole Miss to be ranked.

    I doubt WVU will be able to hang with Baylor; it actually appears that the offense will improve, despite the losses.

    Honestly, KU won't be as bad as their record shows. This team could realistically go 6-6 -- beating KSU, ISU & WVU -- but I'll go with 5-7 for now.

    The Top 6 teams in the league will be stout (Texas, TCU, OSU, Baylor, Tech, OU), while the bottom 4 won't be pushovers.

    • Patrick

      You're insane if you think Kansas will win 5. Seems like everyone here has forgotten about Bill Snyder and Kansas State too.

  • Boothe Davis

    A TCU win over LSU would not be all that much of a shock, esp. if LSU underachieves offensively as they often do...
    If WVU's defense improves as much as it looks like it will, and the new/juco receivers do anything, WVU should at least get bowl eligible.

  • Matt

    Big John is spot on, 9-4 is where we will be with a strong bowl win

  • WVWho

    8-4 at best, with an expected bowl appearance at 7-5. The D won't be good enough to push them into the 9-10 win hump next year.

  • Big John

    Expect a total record of 9-4 in 2013.

    • Patrick

      Soon, WV loses all the talent they had on offense and actually improve their record? Not seeing that. This conference is too deep, it will be a major success to reach a bowl next season for WV.

    • JoeJoe

      Big John you are having delusions of granduer. You have the numbers backwards. It will be 4-8 in 2013, no bowls, no nothing.
      5-7 at the very best. And that is with two, count them two, Div. I-AA caliber teams on the schedule. WVU will be 2-7 in Big 12 play and the game with Kansas will be the battle for the Big 12 cellar.

      • J Winemiller

        joejoe you must be from SEC country with a that name and outlook!

      • JimJim

        So, JoeJoe, you think that the new coaches and the Juco transfers aren't going to help that much. Isn't that how Texas and Oklahoma built their programs? You're right 5-7 at best.

        • JoeJoe

          Not when you have Gilligan Holgorsen at the helm of the SS Minnow aka the WVU football program. Bloop bloop bloop they sink into the abyss.

          • Greg

            Oh No! WILLIAM has come up with another name.

        • Wemakerain

          When Texas was in their heyday they replaced 2-3 coaches a year. Additionally, Oklahoma has one of the highest numbers of JUCO guys perennially, so your argument is invalid

      • Wemakerain

        You are counting Georgia Southern as an FBS team right? And you don't think we beat Maryland?

        • JoeJoe

          No and Not really. Ga. So. may technically be Div 1, but has been for what 1 year?? 50-50 on Maryland game. Being a home game may bring it in the W column.

          • Peev8313

            Maryland is not a home game. It's at M&T Bank Stadium (Ravens) in Baltimore.

  • Phil M.

    It always seems when we're not suppose to do much that we have some of our best seasons and vice versa.

    Don't be surprised if Holgorsen takes the air out of Air Raid and has a ball control offense and with an improved defense and that's the key we could surprise and finish in the top half of the league.

    I'm just saying I've seen this before !!

    • JimJim

      That's Big East football, and you loose in the Big 12, 45 - 12 if you try that. Didn't you see the bowl game, The Dude can't coach a ball control offense.

  • Rugger

    I see UT struggling again..all the talent in the world........Seems as though the game has passed Mack by......I hope it takes Deloss another few years before he realizes it.

  • rekterx

    I suppose that 33-30 is a defensive struggle in the Big 12.