Big 12 teams were noticeably absent from the College Football Playoff a year ago, and to date only one conference member, Oklahoma, has qualified for the semifinal.
And now with OU and Texas set to leave the league for the SEC in the near future, it's possible these are the last few years the Big 12 has a real shot at the playoff.
Baylor comes into the season as reigning conference champions after turning around a 2-win team into a top 10 roster that went on to win the Sugar Bowl.
Oklahoma State, last season's runner-up in Arlington, has some work to do patching up a defense that ranked behind only Wisconsin and Georgia among the nation's best.
Where do things stand in the Big 12 for the 2022 football season? Here's how the experts from BetOnline. ag see the conference in the coming months.
Big 12 football championship odds for the 2022 season
Odds to win Big 12: 300/1
Kansas' 2021 record: 2-10 (1-8 Big 12)
What to expect: Alright, the Jayhawks aren't exactly going to make a push for the playoff this season, but there are some tangible gains to work with here. Second-year coach Lance Leipold led KU to a road win over Texas and very close games against OU, West Virginia, and TCU, the latter two being losses by nine combined points.
That late season momentum, combined with some key pieces coming back — quarterback Jalon Daniels, running back Devin Neal, and most of its defense — could find the Jayhawks making a bowl game. Especially if they get off on the right foot in non-conference tilts against Tennessee Tech and Duke in September.
9. Kansas State
Odds to win Big 12: 50/1
Kansas State's 2021 record: 8-5 (4-5 Big 12)
What to expect: Granted, we didn't learn much about the Wildcats this spring thanks to a pile of injuries, but what we know looks promising. New quarterback Adrian Martinez, in from Nebraska, figures to have a pair of solid targets in Chabastin Taylor and Phillip Brooks, in addition to Deuce Vaughn, a 1,400-yard rusher with 18 TDs last year.
K-State played some close games in losses to Oklahoma, Texas, and Baylor in coach Chris Klieman's third season. But this roster is facing some structural concerns, having to replace three offensive line starters and a secondary in need of fresh blood.
8. West Virginia
Odds to win Big 12: 40/1
West Virginia's 2021 record: 6-7 (4-5 Big 12)
What to expect: The Mountaineers took a punch in the jaw depth-wise this offseason after a tidal wave of high-profile transfers, especially on defense, which isn't returning a ton of experience on the back end.
One plus: the addition of JT Daniels, the once extremely promising quarterback who went undefeated in two stints as Georgia's starter, but whose career was derailed by injury and then Stetson Bennett. The former 5-star recruit steps into an offense with a few excellent speed options on the perimeter and Graham Harrell, who worked with Daniels at USC, calling plays.
T-8. Texas Tech
Odds to win Big 12: 40/1
Texas Tech's 2021 record: 7-6 (3-6 Big 12)
What to expect: First-year coach Joey McGuire came into the job with a reputation for having strong recruiting connections in Texas, and so far he has really delivered on them, signing upwards of 20 players and ranking near the top of the 2023 cycle.
Expect to see the Red Raiders move the ball very aggressively after hiring coordinator Zach Kittley, who helped orchestrate some of college football's most manic offenses, at Houston Baptist and Western Kentucky. Even defensively, this team showed some fight during the spring, and has the potential to change the (often unfair) narrative around supposedly subpar Big 12 defenses.
Odds to win Big 12: 14/1
TCU's 2021 record: 5-7 (3-6 Big 12)
What to expect: For the first time in a generation, Gary Patterson won't be on the sideline in Fort Worth. First-year head coach Sonny Dykes steps in already down two vital players to the transfer portal: defensive end Ochaun Mathis (who left for Nebraska) and running back Zach Evans (Ole Miss). Expect an aggressive, downfield offense from Dykes, who coached the No. 13 unit in college football at SMU last fall, but he still has to decide who plays quarterback before the fall.
5. Iowa State
Odds to win Big 12: 12/1
Iowa State's 2021 record: 7-6 (5-4 Big 12)
What to expect: It looks like Hunter Dekkers will finally get his shot at quarterback after Brock Purdy left for the NFL. He brings a potentially huge arm to this offense and gets Xavier Hutchinson back at receiver (987 yards, 5 TDs) to create what could be one of the more entertaining pairings in the Big 12 this year. But the Cyclones need to come up with other options, too, after losing back Breece Hall and tight end Charlie Kolar.
Will McDonald should anchor this defensive front seven again, while linebackers O'Rien Vance and Gerry Vaughn provide some needed experience. But there are holes to fill at defensive back to help out Anthony Johnson, a solid corner who moves to safety this fall.
Odds to win Big 12: 15/2
Baylor's 2021 record: 12-2 (7-2 Big 12)
What to expect: Blake Shapen took and held the starting quarterback gig this spring after a stellar showing in the Big 12 title game last year. He completed his first 17 passes against OSU's third-ranked defense and finished with three TDs in the win.
Baylor has to find new inputs at receiver and running back, although the return of Craig Williams from injury bodes well for the position. Gavin Holmes has promise at receiver, but has played limited snaps due to injury and a redshirt last season. This defense was one of two in the Big 12 to surrender fewer than 20 points per game, and brings back most of that production.
3. Oklahoma State
Odds to win Big 12: 5/1
Oklahoma State's 2021 record: 12-2 (8-1 Big 12)
What to expect: A lot of the defense that ranked No. 3 in college football will have to be replaced, including a slew of vital inputs in the back seven alignment. It's the main job awaiting new coordinator Derek Mason, who replaces Jim Knowles, who took the same job at Ohio State.
Malcolm Rodriguez and Devin Harper are gone at linebacker, as are safeties Kolby Harvell-Peel and Tanner McCallister, and cornerbacks Christian Holmes and Jarrick Bernard-Converse have departed. OSU brings back the bulk of an outstanding defensive line, though, including Collin Oliver, Tyler Lacy, and Brock Martin, a trio of quality tacklers who can create negative plays on the regular.
Odds to win Big 12: 2/1
Texas' 2021 record: 5-7 (3-6 Big 12)
What to expect: Winning five games isn't going to cut it at Texas, and neither will losing at home to Kansas. Steve Sarkisian enters Year 2 already under some considerable pressure, but armed with a few pieces to turn the page offensively.
Not least Quinn Ewers, the 5-star quarterback prospect who came home after flirting with Ohio State last season. He'll get Xavier Worthy going downfield a year after scoring 12 times with a shade under 1,000 yards receiving, and Bijan Robinson returns following an 1,120 yard rushing effort with 11 TDs as one of college football's top backs.
But it'll only work if Texas figures out the offensive line and repairs a defense that was third-worst in the Big 12 in total yardage a year ago and fourth-worst in allowing 31.1 points per game, a number that rose to 35 points per game in conference matchups.
Odds to win Big 12: 7/4
Oklahoma's 2021 record: 11-2 (7-2 Big 12)
What to expect: Brent Venables has been arguably the single most respected defensive mind in college football this century, and now he steps in as head coach with an eye to repairing a D that ranked 76th overall and 109th against the pass.
Jeff Lebby will handle the offense after orchestrating a top 10 unit at Ole Miss last fall, and he brings on transfer quarterback Dillon Gabriel, an 8,000-yard career passer who was with the coach in a top 10 offense at UCF a few years ago. And there is still plenty of speed to throw out on the perimeter despite a slew of high profile transfers.