The number crunchers at the Football Outsiders confirm what my more subjective analysis bears out – Texas should be the clear favorite for the 2013 Big 12 title.
The deeper dive is hidden behind a pay wall, but the Football Outsiders ran 1,000 simulated seasons with returning starters, program talent, cumulative game experience, schedule and other objective data mixed up with special statistical sauce and spat out a 39% likelihood that Texas wins the league with a standard W/L range regular season record somewhere between 8-4 and 12-0. A 39% likelihood may sound modest, but in a 10 team league, it’s actually a powerful endorsement. Not to mention the fact that in the new world order of the Big 12, co-champions are possible.
The 2013 Longhorns not only return the most starters in a denuded conference landscape, but they also have over 400+ cumulative game starts – placing them 2nd in all of college football in overall experience. And that experience is inordinately housed in positions where seniority tends to pay big dividends. If Mack mentions our youth in his pre-season conference, please try not to bite your television remote. He’s just on auto-play.