The betting favorite to win the Big 12 in the preseason, unsurprisingly, typically goes on to win the league more often than not. (And, unsurprisingly, in most cases both of those are OU.)
That’s not always the case, though.
A year ago, Baylor, tied for the second-worst preseason odds to win the conference championship yet did indeed pull off the improbable, upsetting OSU in the title game as part of a magical dream season. OU was the preseason favorite.
That’s a theme over the last 11 years I found in researching what past preseason odds may tell us about who will win this year: OU being the preseason favorite. Only once has OU not been the favorite in that span — that was in 2015, where TCU was the betting favorite. Five times in that span, however, another team went on to win the league. Here’s a look back at that history.
|Year||Big 12 title winner||Preseason odds|
So, yeah, OU when opening as the favorite in the preseason more often than not finishes on top of the Big 12 standings. But history over the last decade suggests that even with it opening as the +190 favorite, there’s still a decent chance the league will go to another winner. (Four winners of the league since 2011 opened the season at 10-1 odds or worse — including OSU in 2011.)
OU is of course the preseason favorite to win the league once again this year despite a new head coach, a new quarterback and a remade roster. That shouldn’t be a huge surprise given how well the Sooners have recruited the last few years, how set their key positions are and how much momentum they seem to have under new coach Brent Venables. But preseason betting odds aren’t always the perfect indicator of future success is the takeaway I came away with, even if OU should be respected as a legitimate threat in the league this season.