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August 8, 2023

The best news when the calendar️ flips to August? That there will be live college football games on our screens later this month. After going through win totals and Heisman picks for each Power 5 conference, it’s now time to give out picks for conference futures.

Senior editor Max Meyer shares his best bet for conference winner, while former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf provides a sleeper (+1000 odds or longer) that can make some noise. They take a look at the Big 12 today.

MEYER’S PICK TO WIN: Texas (-105)

For years, we’ve heard countless people incorrectly ❌ proclaim that “Texas is back.” While I don’t think the Longhorns are a top national title contender, they’re clearly the class of the Big 12. I’m a big believer in Quinn Ewers and his incredible arm. It also helps that Ewers has an elite receiving corps and all five starting offensive linemen back.

The key differentiator in this conference is having a defense that can get stops, and Texas has the pieces up front to really disrupt. Yes, there are always questions about whether head coach Steve Sarkisian can elevate his teams, but he doesn’t have any excuses this year with this loaded roster.

LEAF’S SLEEPER: Texas Tech (+1000)

Last year marked the first time that the Red Raiders beat Texas and Oklahoma in the same season. Their recruiting has been bonkers since hiring Joey McGuire. Tyler Shough is going to be this year’s Max Duggan.