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2024 marks a new era of Big 12 football with a turnover of teams within the conference. It could be one of the most hotly contested conferences in the Power Five, with extremely difficult-to-separate teams.

Some programs have had excellent recruiting classes and transfer portal acquisitions in the offseason, which have set them up well for the 2024 season. Who leads the pack in our 2024 Big 12 power rankings?

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2024 Big 12 Power Rankings

Following expansion, 16 teams will compete in the Big 12 for the upcoming campaign, with Texas and Oklahoma departing for the SEC and Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, and Utah joining the conference.

Our 2024 Big 12 Power Rankings are based on projections ahead of the new season, with coaching, players, and schedule influencing the list.

16) Houston Cougars

After finishing 4-8 in 2023, Houston moved on from Dana Holgorsen and made a great hire, turning to Willie Fritz from Tulane. Fritz did a tremendous job making Tulane the best program in the Group of Five, and he will need to work his magic with the Cougars in 2024.

With plenty of transfer portal departures and an underwhelming recruiting class, Houston is playing catch-up in the Big 12. Fritz can be trusted to get the Cougars on the right track. However, it may just take some time.

15) Cincinnati Bearcats

The Bearcats finished bottom of the Big 12 in 2023, and while there are hints of optimism, the 2024 season doesn’t look to be a huge change.

Cincinnati has acquired a promising recruiting class, and star defensive lineman Dontay Corleone is returning. However, the Bearcats have been decimated by transfer portal departures, leaving the second year for HC Scott Satterfield as another difficult one.

14) Baylor Bears

Baylor has been in decline since going 12-2 and winning the Big 12 Championship in 2021. It has led to HC Dave Aranda overhauling the team in an attempt to rescue the ship.

Jake Spavital enters as the new offensive coordinator, but QB Blake Shapen departs for Mississippi State. However, what the transfer portal takes, it also gives, with the Bears transferring in dynamic and experienced QB Dequan Finn from Toledo, who has the talent to turn the Baylor offense around.

13) BYU Cougars

In their first year in the Big 12, the 2023 season didn’t take off the way BYU had wanted to. The Cougars went 5-7, missing bowl eligibility by just one game, but they can take satisfaction in the fact they lost some extremely close games down the stretch.

Unfortunately, the Cougars’ roster doesn’t appear to have taken the step forward it required in 2024 –summed up by their uncertainty at quarterback — resulting in a low spot in our preseason 2024 Big 12 Power Rankings.

12) Arizona State Sun Devils

The ASU program has a chance to turn things around under HC Kenny Dillingham and showed they can be competitive despite only winning three games in 2023.

The Sun Devils return QB Jaden Rashada and add RB Raleek Brown, and both will have to perform if the offense is to take a step forward ahead of the 2024 season. Arizona State can turn things around with transfer portal additions and good recruiting classes, but how quickly that can happen is questionable.

11) West Virginia Mountaineers

The West Virginia Mountaineers had a great season in 2023, finishing 9-4, but they need to back the season up and prove they weren’t a one-season wonder in 2024.

The 2024 schedule is much tougher, with the game against Penn State a standout. However, their rushing mentality – which starts with QB Garrett Greene – is enough to grind any team down.

10) TCU Horned Frogs

Undoubtedly, 2023 was a difficult campaign for the Horned Frogs, a year removed from reaching the National Championship Game. But with a stellar recruiting class, TCU has a chance to build the program up again going forward.

They have an abundance of exciting talent, including QB Hosh Hoover, however, with a young core of players, the Horned Frogs will have to prove it on the field before moving any higher in our 2024 Big 12 Power Rankings.

9) UCF Knights

With an impressive recruiting class and eye-opening transfer portal additions, UCF has settled nicely into the Big 12.

The biggest addition for the Knights is QB transfer KJ Jefferson, who can be dynamic in this UCF offense. If their defense can improve on their 2023 performance, the Knights could continue building in 2024. However, they aren’t helped by a difficult schedule.

8) Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State is as steady and consistent a program as you can get. They know how to win games against Big 12 opposition and can’t be counted out.

QB Rocco Becht is fresh off a Big 12 Freshman of the Year season in 2023, but the Cyclones must improve on their 7-6 record to climb the Big 12 Power Rankings.

7) Texas Tech Red Raiders

There is a sense that something is building in Lubbock. With a great transfer portal and recruiting class, it has been an extremely positive offseason for the Red Raiders.

Add in the return of their star RB Tahj Brooks, and it is easy to see Texas Tech putting a run together. However, the QB position isn’t completely cemented, with an open competition between Behran Morton and Will Hammond on the cards heading into the 2024 season.

6) Kansas State Wildcats

Before their transfer portal losses, things were looking up for Kansas State, who came close to some upset wins in 2023. However, the Wildcats have been decimated in the transfer portal.

Will Howard’s departure means Avery Johnson is likely the new man under center, and while he showed his rushing ability in the Pop-Tarts Bowl, he still has a way to go as a passer.

5) Colorado Buffaloes

Colorado is a team on the rise under HC Deion Sanders and is considered one of the most talented teams in the Big 12. At the start of the 2023 season, they proved they have talent, but they now need to sustain results.

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QB Shedeur Sanders’ return gives the Buffaloes a shot, while their revamped offensive line is a big help for their star signal-caller. The addition of Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Robert Livingston aims to ensure a repeat performance of defensive calamity in 2023 doesn’t occur again this season.

4) Kansas Jayhawks

Lance Leipold staying with Kansas despite being linked with several high-profile job openings is huge for the Jayhawks and their ability to remain competitive in the Big 12.

Retaining their head coach while returning dynamic running back Devin Neal and quarterback Jalon Daniels makes Kansas a sneaky good team in 2024.

3) Oklahoma State Cowboys

Somehow, Oklahoma State made the Big 12 championship game in 2023 but was completely outclassed by the quality of the Texas Longhorns. However, a repeat of their success in 2024 isn’t completely out of the picture.

In RB Ollie Gordon II, the Cowboys have one of the best college rushers and the current Doak Award winner. Gordon’s talent and a winning philosophy embedded under Mike Gundy could prove deadly again in 2024.

2) Utah Utes

Under Kyle Whittingham, Utah has an identity, and they won’t stray from it. It has served them well in recent seasons, winning back-to-back Pac-12 championships from 2021-2022. However, with QB Cam Rising missing the entire season, the Utes couldn’t repeat that consistency in 2023.

All signs point to a return to Utah’s best in 2024, where they should be considered among the favorites to win the Big 12 championship.

1) Arizona Wildcats

Arizona is a program trending upward, and they landed at No. 11 on CFN’s Way-To-Early 2024 Top 25 College Football Power Rankings. The Wildcats are primed to repeat their success in 2024, with a college football playoff birth on the cards.

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QB Noah Fifita headlines a dynamic offense while the defense remains solid. The only question for Arizona to answer is how different they look under new HC Brent Brennan, who left San Jose State to replace Jedd Fisch, who headed to Washington.

Miss any action from the top college QB Rankings during the 2023 football season? Want to track all the movement with the college football transfer portal? College Football Network has you covered with that and more!

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