The 2022 college football season is so close we can almost taste it. The Oklahoma Sooners held their first practice of fall camp on Friday, meaning the home opener against UTEP will be here before we know it.
Brent Venables and the Oklahoma Sooners are looking to open the season strong in a year where expectations remain high after missing the Big 12 championship game in 2021.
The Big 12 is looking tough this season. While Oklahoma will be among the favorites in the league, defending champion Baylor will once again be good on defense and if they can keep their running game going it will be hard to beat in 2022. Oklahoma State has the most experienced quarterback in Spencer Sanders and, despite losses on defense, should be one of the teams in the contest.
Quinn Ewers, one of the Big 12’s least experienced quarterbacks, is leaving the Longhorns as a wild card. They should be good offensively again, but that wasn’t really the problem last year. It was the defence.
Add in teams like Kansas State and West Virginia that could be dark horse contenders, and there’s a solid six teams that could be in contention through November.
Much of what is happening in the 2022 season could simply be down to planning. The Oklahoma Sooners play Baylor, Oklahoma State and Kansas State at home. They have the neutral site game against Texas and road games against Nebraska, West Virginia and Iowa State that could prove difficult.
As we gear up for the 2022 season, Pro Football Focus released their Season Preview (Premium) and that’s how they ranked the Big 12 by schedule strength.
1 Texas Longhorns
Oct 2, 2021; Fort Worth, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns wide receiver Xavier Worthy (8) goes for a catch as TCU Horned Frogs safety Nook Bradford (28) defends in the second quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
In total: 12
non-conference schedule: Louisiana-Monroe, Alabama, UTSA
2 climbers from West Virginia
Ben Queen USA TODAY Sports
In total: 21
non-conference schedule: in Pittsburgh, Towson, at Virginia Tech
3 Kansas Jayhawks
10/16/2021; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Kansas Jayhawks quarterback Jason Bean (17) returns Devin Neal (4) in the first half at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium against the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
In total: 23
non-conference schedule: Tennessee Tech, in Houston, Duke
4 Texas Tech Red Raiders
Dec 28, 2021; Memphis, TN, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders quarterback Donovan Smith (7) reacts after a second-half touchdown against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Liberty Bowl Stadium. Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
In total: 25
non-conference schedule: Murray State, Houston, in the State of NC
5 Wildcats of the State of Kansas
January 4, 2022; Houston, TX, USA; Kansas State Wildcats running back Deuce Vaughn (22) runs with the ball in the fourth quarter against the LSU Tigers during the 2022 Texas Bowl at NRG Stadium. Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
In total: 35
non-conference schedule: South Dakota, Missouri, Tulane
6 TCU Horned Frogs
November 6, 2021; Fort Worth, TX, USA; TCU Horned Frogs wide receiver Quentin Johnston (1) runs with the ball past Baylor Bears cornerback Kalon Barnes (12) in the second half at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
In total: 37
non-conference schedule: in Colorado, Tarleton State, at SMU
7 Oklahoma State Cowboys
11/27/2021; Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys quarterback Spencer Sanders (3) throws a pass against the Oklahoma Sooners in the first quarter at Boone Pickens Stadium. Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports
In total: 40
non-conference schedule: Central Michigan, State of Arizona, Arkansas – Pine Bluff
8 Oklahoma Formerly
Oklahoma’s Key Lawrence (12) forces a fumble as he tackles Iowa State’s Brock Purdy (15) during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Iowa State Cyclones at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman , ok, hits. , Saturday, November 20, 2021. Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
In total: 43
non-conference schedule: UTEP, State of Kent, in Nebraska
9 Baylor Bears
Dec 4, 2021; Arlington, TX, USA; Baylor Bears quarterback Blake Shapen (12) plays against the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the second quarter of the Big 12 Conference championship game at AT&T Stadium. Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
In total: 45
non-conference schedule: Albany, at BYU, State of Texas
10 hurricanes in the state of Iowa
11/21/2020; Ames, Iowa, USA; Iowa State Cyclones quarterback Hunter Dekkers (12) reacts after rushing for a touchdown against the Kansas State Wildcats at Jack Trice Stadium. Brian Powers-USA TODAY Sports
In total: 48
non-conference schedule: Southeast Missouri, in Iowa, Ohio