Who will win the Big 12 Championship in 2015?

Today is our final Big 12 college football roundtable as TSS Associate Editors Bart Doan and Terry Johnson join staff writer Kevin Causey and a special rotating guest in our weekly roundtable discussing all things college football.

Earlier this week we discussed players to watch and the most improved teams in the Big 12. Today, our Big 12 All-Star each makes their pick for Big 12 Champion as we are joined by Allen Kenney of Blatant Homerism, Seth Jungman of Staking the Plains and Chris Ross of the Big 12 centric site Land Grant Gauntlet.

Question: Who do you expect to be the Big 12 champion?

Allen Kenney

On Twitter @BlatantHomerism

Don’t be surprised if two (or three) teams tie for first place again this year. If we’re going with the team most likely to be there in the end, however, I’ll take the Bears.

I’m shorting TCU in light of the Horned Frogs’ losses on defense and the assumption that some of their better breaks from last year don’t go their way this time. I love QB Trevone Boykin and what he brings to the team in terms of both leadership and play-making, but I also expect to see him fall back to earth a bit after opponents have had an offseason to study his game.

The Bears, on the other hand, have all their key pieces back, absent one: QB Bryce Petty. I won’t bet against Art Briles schooling Seth Russell well enough to step in and not miss a beat. And of course, Baylor’s September diet of creampuffs should have the squad rested and ready for the conference slate.

Baylor might win a third consecutive Big 12 championship. Brave new world.

Chris Ross

On Twitter @ChrisRossSports

Give me the Horned Frogs. Baylor is the sexy pick, but things very rarely work out as they ‘should’, and I expect the conference could come down to the rivalry again. If that’s the case, I’ll take the veteran quarterback at home. TCU has to feel like they let that game slip away last season, and given that it kept them from a shot at the National Title, I’m sure they’ll be looking to exorcise some demons.

Ironically it could be a reverse of last season. This time it could be TCU with the loss to an inferior opponent and Baylor with the loss to number two. Only now there’s a tie break, so it would most certainly keep them out of the CFB Playoff.

However it happens, I just don’t see a three-peat for the Bears. It’s just too difficult. I didn’t think they could win back-to-back titles after getting there for the first time though either, so what do I know.

Seth Jungman:

On Twitter @SethC_J

I like TCU, but by a hair, with Baylor just slightly behind the Horned Frogs. TCU lost a ton of talent on defense, but they’ve traditionally been able make it work. Meanwhile, Baylor does return a lot defensively, but I’m betting on TCU being better defensively. TCU just has a track record of and although past performance is not indicative of future results, I trust what Gary Patterson will do defensively over Phil Bennett. Offensively, I also want to give a slight edge to TCU. Both teams return a ton offensively as well, but I’ll take the team that returns the quarterback with Treyvone Boykin being what sets the Horned Frogs apart from Baylor. I’m sure that Seth Russell will be just fine, but TCU returns just as much firepower, they just need to find a running back to carry the load, which isn’t a problem. They’ve got plenty of options.

Bart Doan:

On Twitter @TheCoachBart

TCU feels like the villain in a horror movie that you identify halfway through as the killer and you try to talk yourself out of it the remainder of the way because, “this feels to obvious.” TCU ended last season full of piss and vinegar, feeling screwed by a system … whether that of the Big 12 or the CFB Playoff crew … and that if they were to get a shot, they might have run the table.

I suppose the real challenge will be salting away that playoff spot. They’ll be in a nice position when the season starts, but they’ll be up against the perception that other conferences are tougher. Add in there that they have to visit Norman, Manhattan, and Stillwater … and they have probably the toughest schedule in the Big 12. They also have a tricky game against improved Minnesota to open the season up north. This is uncharted territory for the Frogs, expected to play for a championship before a game is even played. Can they live up to those expectations enough to overcome the conference not having that extra game to show itself? Hell with second guessing. TCU over Oklahoma State, who surges to second place.

Kevin Causey:

On Twitter @CFBZ

With the emergence of Baylor and TCU, the Big 12 doesn’t feel as wide-open as it once was. I think the conference will come down to those two teams but if Oklahoma can find a QB, don’t count them out.

I think the sting of what happened to TCU last year will propel them. Misery and agony is a great motivator and I think Gary Patterson will really rally his troops around the fact that they got “screwed” last season. Look for TCU to come out and tear through their schedule. The big tests will come in the back-end of November and whether or not they can keep the momentum going with dates at Oklahoma and against Baylor.

I believe TCU will win the Big 12, the bigger question for me is if they can avoid a slip-up along the way and also represent the Big 12 in the College Football Playoff.

Terry Johnson:
On Twitter @SectionTPJ

Baylor will win the Big 12.

I’m surprised that the media picked the Horned Frogs to win the league when the Bears beat them last season. Sure, TCU has a great team. But, it loses six starters from last year’s D, which ranked 18th nationally in total defense and 8th in scoring defense. While Patterson is one of the best defensive minds in college football, it’s hard to see his team matching last season’s production while breaking in so many new starters.

On the other hand, Baylor doesn’t have this problem. The Bears are the most experienced team in the league, welcoming back 17 starters from last year’s squad, including Shock Linwood (1,252 yards rushing) and Corey Coleman (1,119 yards receiving).

Despite all of this talent returning, many people think that Baylor’s offense will take a step back this year because its breaking in a new quarterback. Of course, that’s what the experts said when Nick Florence replaced Robert Griffin III and when Bryce Petty replaced Florence.

Yet, the Bear offense continued to roll, which is why I think they’ll win their third straight conference championship this fall.