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5 Bold Big XII Predictions For 2016

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Predicting what we'll see from the whole conference, with a lot of boldness.

Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

1. TCU makes it into the College Football Playoff.

Yes, I know Trevone Boykin and Josh Doctson are gone, but that's not why i'm high on TCU heading into next year. The experience they gained on defense from playing so many young players/backups will pay off in a big way next year. Josh Doctson will likely be replaced by a plethora of young talent, all of which has gotten much needed game time experience. TCU was so banged up this year that it's kind of terrifying to think about what they could have done if they were healthy. In 2016, we might find out.

2. Oklahoma makes a strong run at the Big XII Championship, but falls short due to scheduling.

Yes, Oklahoma is returning top talent, but they're also running into some serious competition down the road. They play at Texas Tech, at TCU, and at West Virginia, likely their three toughest games. This isn't a slight on Oklahoma, I don't know many teams that could come out of that schedule unscathed. I expect Oklahoma to take at least one if not two losses from those three games alone, not even mentioning the rest of the Big XII's traps.

3. The Big XII Conference proves its mettle in bowl season.

Let's be honest with ourselves here, the Big XII did not have a good bowl season. I'd go so far as to say we had the weakest bowl season of all the P5 conferences. Some of this was due to strange bowl matchups, some of this was due to fluke happenstance, some to injury, and so on and so on. The Big XII will have a mix of veteran players and fresh faces, with barely any superstars to speak of. Baker Mayfield and Patrick Mahomes will be household names again, but names like Trevone Boykin and Corey Coleman are gone. Without a lot of those bigger names, the Big XII will be a lot more balanced coming into bowl season, which will make them harder to prepare for.

4. Texas Tech will challenge for the Big XII title.

We have the right weapons coming back to do it. Patrick Mahomes returns for his third campaign, second at the helm, we will get Dylan Cantrell back from injury, Ian Sadler returns, and explosive Justin Stockton is back at RB. We have enough firepower to almost score at will, but that's not exactly a bold prediction. My prediction here is that Texas Tech finally begins winning games on defense. Young talent like DeVonta Hinton, Jah'Shawn Johnson, Dakota Allen, and Breiden Fehoko will lead the Tech defense to a ranking within the 80-70 area, which might be all we need to win 10+ games next year.

5. Kansas will win a Big XII game.

David Beaty is a good coach, and I expect Kansas to peel a win off of someone. They're beyond due for this infamous win, and they might get it at the hands of some of the teams who are going through coaching changes (Iowa State) or have little returning (Kansas State). I'm not sure who, but I really believe Kansas gets one W in 2016.