Utah was the chic choice to win the Pac-12 South in 2019, and sometimes the fashionable pick actually comes through. Their first division championship in the conference came despite a 30-23 loss at USC in September, but this time the game will be in the Mountain Time Zone, and what the Utes lost in talent from a memorable campaign last year might be made up for in being on home turf.
Baylor Bears vs. Oklahoma Sooners
When and where
Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Norman, OK
Why the line is what it is
Because Baylor lost some talent from their outstanding 11-3 season last year, as well as head coach Matt Rhule to the NFL. Charlie Brewer has 30 career starts and returns at quarterback, with John Lovett, Tyquan Thornton, and lots of other impact weapons returning on offense. But the offensive line struggled at times in 2019, and will need to improve in 2020.
New head coach Dave Aranda was the defensive coordinator for the national champion LSU Tigers last season, and he’s going to have to reformat what Matt Rhule built most likely. How long that process takes, and whether he has the athletes to do it, are the question marks.
On the other side Lincoln Riley has three seasons as a head coach, three Big 12 championships, three NYE6 games, two of them semifinals — and zero victories. The Sooners will replace quarterback Jalen Hurts with five-star redshirt freshman Spencer Rattler, return back-to-back 1000-yard rusher Kennedy Brooks, and have plenty of other skill talent. But can they return enough talent to finally get over the hump?
Why it might change
It probably won’t too much, but Oklahoma did already add in the portal with Theo Howard from UCLA as a grad transfer. If they could continue to do so, or if Aranda could bring some under-utilized SEC talent with him, we could see it move.
Where the value is now
Baylor still returns enough talent where they’re able to compete here. OU did beat Baylor twice last year, but by seven and three points only. If you think Dave Aranda can keep the train rolling that Matt Rhule built, especially considering the new quarterback in Norman, 13.5 is a lot of points here.
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