NCAA: Big 12 title game futures

As much as you have to love Florida and a few others (Ohio State, USC), the Big 12 will be the big player in this year’s NCAA season once again. Yeah, that’s my sound prediction, so it makes sense to break down the futures for which team in this powerhouse conference might walk away the winner of the title game.

Texas, in a bit of a surprise, is the overall favorite at 13:10. Now, the debate can rage from here until the opening kick-off of the season regarding which team should be perched atop the conference, but I happen to think Oklahoma still has the dominant offense, and both teams stand fairly toe-to-toe on the other end of the ball. Oklahoma earns enough respect as a close second at 8:5.

In theory, that’s the way it should stack up, the top 2 teams get the lowest odds, but in reality, both of these teams won’t be playing in the title game because they’re both in the same division within the conference – the South. So if the futures players are banking on Texas being the top team, wouldn’t it stand to reason that the North favorite, currently Kansas, get the second best odds for this type of a wager? Turns out Kansas and Nebraska are both atop the North with a 5:1 return if you bet them to win the conference title game, which is doubtful anyway, but still worth discussion.

But let’s face it, this conference is chalk full of sleepers. Just look at last year, nobody thought Texas Tech was going to rise to the level they did, or that Mizzou and Chase Daniel would far so far down. Both fortunes could be reversed in 2009, especially for Mizzou, where the North is still wide open as far s I’m concerned. At a 20:1 shot, I’d feel comfortable putting $50 down on the long shot chance they surprise people this season. And if you can get like 4:1 odds of them just making the title game, take that for a $100 bet in a heartbeat.

Another surprise is Texas Tech sliding down to Mizzou’s spot on the futures at 20:1. Sure they lost some talent, too, but they have a bigger upside. Perhaps being saddled in the tough South is reason enough to keep them buried in the middle of the conference.