Why Texas will win the Big 12

Heading into league play, the signs are pointing toward a Longhorns title

Updated: September 27, 2012, 11:41 AM ET
By Brock Huard | ESPN Insider
David AshScott Halleran/Getty ImagesDavid Ash has shown good improvement so far this season.

A season ago, the Oklahoma State Cowboys were the most complete team in the Big 12, with an opportunistic defense and an explosive offense that was much better at the line of scrimmage than it got credit for. There isn't a Big 12 team that solid across the board this fall, which is why at the quarter pole of the 2012 season, the Big 12 title race appears to be wide open.

The conference is littered with some really good teams. From Morgantown to Manhattan, several are equipped with one unit that is championship-caliber. However, a 12-game college football season often will expose one-dimensional teams, which is why the Texas Longhorns were my preseason pick to win the Big 12. With Texas heading to Stillwater this weekend, I like the Longhorns' chances even more.

If you're looking for a reason to trust me on this one, I could point to the fact that my preseason Big 12 pick of the Cowboys last year ended up working out pretty well. But there are far more compelling reasons than that to like Texas as the Big 12 champ this season, and I've highlighted the three most important ones to make my case.

1. Texas is the best team at the line of scrimmage in the Big 12
Two years ago, Texas coach Mack Brown knew that his program was losing its sustainability as a year-in, year-out national power with a system built largely around a quarterback. While Vince Young and Colt McCoy were worthy of such a commitment, QBs of their ability level are rare (just ask Gene Chizik what life after Cam Newton has been like at Auburn).


To read Brock Huard's complete argument for why Texas will win the Big 12 this season, you must be an ESPN Insider.

• College football analyst for ESPN
• Six-year NFL QB and three-year starter at University of Washington
• Co-host of the Brock and Danny Show on ESPN 710 AM in Seattle