West By Pod is most of the way through our Big 12 deep dive series. Let’s sift through what we’ve learned and see if we can establish some sort of positional hierarchy in the conference.
Tier 1 - They Look Great ***On Paper
The Sooners lost a ton of production in the transfer portal, but in true Oklahoma fashion they get a former 5-star back from injury and restocked their coffers with a couple of highly rated transfers and freshmen. It also helps that they return Marvin Mims, who didn't see a ton of volume (just 44 targets) but returns as the premier big play threat in the conference (22+ ypc).
Tier 2 - They Have At Least One Dude
Iowa State, TCU, Texas
Xavier Worthy, Quentin Johnson, and Xavier Hutchinson. Three dudes. The two Xaviers will likely see north of 100 targets this year while Johnson is everything we hope Kaden Prather can be. I'd almost look at TCU as fringe Tier 1 here - they have a nice mix of skill sets in the room. Texas also might've been ranked higher, but Isaiah Neyor's injury and Agiye Hall's suspension are making it look more and more like it's just going to be Worthy and friends again in 2022.
Tier 3 - There Are Some Nice Pieces
West Virginia, Kansas State, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State
These squads are kind of the inverse of the three above in that they all return some productive pieces but don't have that one dude who can go out there and take over a game. It'll be interesting to see if any can make that leap over the course of the season.
Tier 4 - I'm Sure They're Fine, But I Need To See It
Kansas at least returns some productive players here, but Baylor got absolutely decimated. Their current 2-deep features 5 combined targets from 2021, and even the most optimistic Bear fan would have to admit that that's concerning.