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Big 12 Preview: Crystal Ball Run goes on the record

Lache Seastrunk looks a lot like an MVP to us. (Photo courtesy: USA Today Sports)

Here are our picks in the Big 12 for this fall. Feel free to share your picks in the comments. Bookmark it and hold us accountable at the end of the season as well.

Allen Kenney's Take: The Big 12 looks to be about as competitive as ever this fall. I can see as many as five teams that could win the league and I wouldn't be shocked to see three or four bunched up at the top of the heap when all is said and done.

Of that group of five – Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Baylor and TCU – the schedules seem to set up best for the Cowboys and Longhorns. Everything about Texas says this is the Burnt Orange's year. The team is talented and experienced.

But I think OSU comes out ahead. The Pokes have a lot of the same things going for them as UT, albeit they're not quite as experienced. The difference is at the top, and in more ways than one. It's impossible to win in the Big 12 without good quarterback play, and Texas has struggled mightily in that regard since Colt McCoy graduated. Meanwhile, OSU just keeps on churning out prolific passers.

Then, there's the matter of the sidelines. The last three season have done very little to show that Mack Brown and his staff are capable of capitalizing on Texas' immense potential. Mike Gundy, on the other hand, keeps squeezing out every last drop from what he's got.

Champ: Oklahoma State
MVP: Lache Seastrunk, Baylor
Coach of the Year: Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State

Dave Singleton's Take: There's a fine line between being a deep league and being a mediocre league. For the Big 12, it's hard to say exactly where the league is right now. While having nine of the ten teams in the league making a bowl was a sign of strength, the level of opponents faced in non-conference play has to give one pause.

Right now, I would say that there are five legit contenders for the Big 12 title, and I am going to pick one that may surprise some people: Baylor. I like what Art Briles is doing with the program, and the fact that they did not collapse after the departure of Robert Griffin III was definitely a step in the right direction. There is talent to spare, and while the defense isn't that great, I think the Bears can score enough to win the conference.

Champ: Baylor
MVP: Lache Seastrunk, Baylor
Coach of the Year: Art Briles, Baylor

Andy Coppens' Take: Well, that was a bold pick, Dave, I'll give you that much. However, I don't know what non-conference schedule you are talking about. Are you talking about the one that features the likes of Notre Dame, Mississippi State, LSU, BYU, Ole Miss and Iowa? I don't consider that weak at all. In fact seven of the 10 teams play teams from the other BCS conferences. Not too shabby if you ask me.

That said, calling this conference is a complete crap shoot, and you'd be better off putting all of your money on a single number on a Roulette wheel in Vegas than getting this one right with any real confidence. Of course, we kind of are in this business of predictions here so ya…..

There are at least four contenders in my book, and they are Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas. Baylor is on the outside looking in because… well, getting into a shootout every week just doesn't work when the rest of the big boys on the list can actually play defense. So, who do I pick? Well, give me TCU in this one because they CAN PLAY DEFENSE – something that's been sorely missing in this league (outside of Oklahoma). In fact, I think it's really a race between the Horned Frogs and the Cowboys of Oklahoma State. Look for their Oct. 19th matchup to be the one that decides the conference for me.

Champion: TCU
MVP: Casey Pachall, TCU
Coach of the Year: Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech

Kevin McGuire's Take: This is a crowded conference this season and you really can pull a name out of a hat and have a legitimate argument. I stuck my hand in to my hat and pulled out the Longhorns.

The Longhorns return a ton of starters from last season's nine-win team and perhaps that unity will lead to some close games going the other way for an extra win or two. This really is a make or break year for Mack Brown in my book and it will not be easy. Texas plays on the road at Baylor, TCU and West Virginia in addition to the always trap-minded Iowa State on a Thursday night, along with the usual neutral field against Oklahoma.

It is certainly not a pick that leaves me feeling very confident as there are a number of teams to choose from, but if Texas can settle on their QB and find a rhythm with their returning starters, I think it could be a good year in Austin.

Champ: Texas
MVP: Lache Seastrunk, Baylor
Coach of the Year: Art Briles, Baylor

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