Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Big 12 post-spring power rankings: Utah edges Kansas State for No. 1, West Virginia leads dark horse group

The Big 12 is poised to be one of the most balanced leagues in college football in the 2024 season

NCAA Football: Utah at Southern California

The Big 12’s identity has shifted dramatically over the past two years as the league’s expanded from Orlando to Salt Lake City and from Houston to Cincinnati. But heading into its first season with the 16-team alignment, one factor stands above the rest: parity. 

Perhaps more than any other power league in America, the Big 12 stands alone as a wide-open race. Incoming contenders Utah and Arizona will have their say. Old reliables Kansas State and Oklahoma State will defend their territory. The battle for Texas between TCU, Houston, Baylor and Texas Tech is only just beginning. As many as 10 teams have a legitimate shot to make the conference title game. 

Between the Big 12 Championship Game’s return in 2017 and 2022, there was a new participant every year. Texas and Oklahoma State both previously made the game prior to 2023, but neither had won it heading into AT&T Stadium. In fact, five of the eight legacy members have reached the title game in its seven years of existence. Adding four legacy Pac-12 teams to the “Freshman Four” additions of 2023 and the number of potentially new matchups explodes. 

But with parity comes complication, especially when your job is to rank the tightest grouping in the country. Here’s how the Big 12 stacks up as spring comes to a close and rosters start getting finalized.  

Big 12 post-spring power rankings

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