It's getting closer, that is if you call nearly three more months until the opening weekend of the college football seasono as being closer.
We may still have a few more baseball games to watch before the season officially arrives, but nothing will break up the monotony of the summer months quite like the way releasing a few college football lines will do, which the Golden Nugget took care of for us this morning. There were 111 games released in all, and 23 of them involved teams in the Big 12. (Here is the full list of games from Covers.com).
It's goes without saying, there's a lot that will change with these lines between now and when these games actually kick off. As Beyond the Bets already indicated earlier this afternoon, 34 of these games had already moved at least a point since their release. And that's not even taking into consideration what will happen when the season starts and we know more about each team, injuries, suspensions, and all the rest.
But let's not spoil the fun before we even get started. What exactly can we garner from these early season lines, if anything, as it relates to what's in store for the Big 12 in 2012? Here are a few off-the-top-of-my-head thoughts.
The oddsmakers apparently aren't big fans of Kansas State despite the Wildcats winning 10 games last season and returning 16 starters on offense and defense in 2012.
The Wildcats are listed seven times in the Golden Nuggets' lines and are favored in just three of those contests. One of those games is against Kansas (-20) which should be fairly obvious. The other two are at home against Miami (-7) and Oklahoma State (-1). And given the fact that home field advantage is often worth three points, the oddsmakers actually might like Oklahoma State here.
What might be the most telling, however, are the four games where the Wildcats are underdogs: at Oklahoma +14.5, at West Virginia +7.5, at TCU +3.5, at home against Texas +3.
If you are one to believe Kansas State could challenge for the Big 12 title again this year, you have to like some of those odds. They certainly aren't going to be in the hunt for conference championship by losing the four games they are currently listed in as underdogs.
On the flip side, Oklahoma is favored in all six games in which they are listed which would seem to support the consensus the OU is the team to beat, once again, in the Big 12.
No Brandon Weeden or Justin Blackmon, No Problem
Oklahoma State is also getting some love in the early lines. The Cowboys are favored over Arizona, Texas, TCU, and West Virginia. The only two games where OSU finds themselves as the underdogs are at K-State (+1) and at OU (+8).
Long Year Ahead for TCU?
TCU is listed five times and are underdogs in four of those games (Oklahoma St., West Virginia, Texas, and Oklahoma). The only game of the five where the Horned Frogs are the favorite is at home against Kansas State.
What games stand out above the rest?
September 29th, Texas @ Oklahoma State; OSU -3.
Even in Stillwater, a true freshman quarterback (assuming Wes Lunt is still the starter - or Mike Lunt as Andre Ware likes to refer to him) going against Manny Diaz's defense should be interesting.
October 6th, West Virginia @ Texas; Texas -4.
Dana Holgorsen vs. Manny Diaz. Enough said.
October 13th, Texas vs. Oklahoma (in Dallas)
One week after having to deal with Geno Smith and West Virginia, Texas gets Landry Jones and company in the Cotton Bowl.
October 20th, Kansas State @ West Virginia; West Virginia -7.5
Something tells me Bill Snyder and KSU won't go down easy in their first trip to Morgantown.
November 3rd, TCU @ West Virginia; West Virginia -6.
Newcomer vs. newcomer.
November 17th, Oklahoma @ West Virginia; West Virginia +4.
This has the potential to be the game of the year in the Big 12.
November 24th, Oklahoma State vs. Oklahoma; OU -8.
The Cowboys got over on the Sooners in a big way in 2011. Two years in a row? Probably not but Bedlam will be must watch TV again.
December 1st, Texas @ Kansas State; KSU +3.
Can Texas break the hex Kansas State currently has over the Longhorns?
Here's the full list of all the early lines that involved teams in the Big 12.
|Sept. 1||Marshall @ West Virginia||WV -20|
|Sept. 8||Oklahoma St. @ Arizona||AZ +9.5|
|Sept. 8||Miami @ Kansas St.||KSU-7|
|Sept. 8||Iowa State @ Iowa||Iowa - 5|
|Sept. 22||Kansas St. @ Oklahoma||OU -14.5|
|Sept. 29||Texas @ Oklahoma St.||OSU -3|
|Sept. 29||Baylor @ West Virginia||WVU - 11|
|Oct. 6||Kansas @ Kansas State||KSU -20|
|Oct. 6||West Virginia @ Texas||Tex -4|
|Oct. 13||Texas vs. Oklahoma||OU -5.5|
|Oct. 20||Baylor @ Texas||Tex -11|
|Oct. 20||Kansas St. @ West Virginia||WVU -7.5|
|Oct. 27||TCU @ Oklahoma St.||OSU -9|
|Nov. 3||Oklahoma St. @ Kansas St.||KSU -1|
|Nov. 3||TCU @ West Virginia||WVU -6|
|Nov. 10||Baylor @ Oklahoma||OU -17|
|Nov. 10||West Virginia @ Oklahoma St.||OSU - 6.5|
|Nov. 10||Kansas St. @ TCU||TCU -3.5|
|Nov. 17||Oklahoma @ West Virginia||WVU +4|
|Nov. 24||Oklahoma St. @ Oklahoma||OU -8|
|Nov. 24||TCU @ Texas||Tex -7|
|Dec. 1||Texas @ Kansas St.||KSU +3|
|Dec. 1||Oklahoma @ TCU||TCU + 9.5|