Excitement is building as the 2022 College football season is less than a month away.
The new season features a much different Big 12 Conference. Oklahoma, Texas Tech and TCU all have new head coaches taking over the helm. Year one is crucial for each of the new hires to set the tone for the future at their respective programs.
Steve Sarkisian enters his second year at Texas with soaring high expectations. The Longhorns used a big offseason to inspire confidence entering the fall.
West Virginia’s Neal Brown and Kansas State’s Chris Klieman are a few years into their jobs and have yet to compete for the league title. Both coaches are coming off bowl appearances in 2021 and have taken advantage of the transfer portal to upgrade the quarterback position.
Last season Dave Aranda established himself as one of college football’s best minds. He lead Baylor to an 11-2 record with a Big 12 championship and Sugar Bowl victory.
Here are the five Big 12 coaches with the most to prove in the 2022 season.
Neal Brown, West Virginia
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Neal Brown enters his fourth season at West Virginia with a 17-18 record. JT Daniels transfers in from Georgia looking take the offense to the next level. Patience is running out and 2022 may serve as a make or break season for Brown and the Mountaineers.
Chris Klieman, Kansas State
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Klieman has one of his most talented roster’s as the Wildcats head coach. Kansas State leads all Big 12 teams with six preseason All-Big 12 selections led by superstar running back Deuce Vaughn. 2022 is Klieman’s best chance to compete for the Big 12 title.
Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State
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Oklahoma State was one yard away from the College Football Playoff last season, instead the Cowboys watched Baylor celebrate the Big 12 championship after a fourth and goal stop. Gundy is now forced to replace a majority of his excellent defense and play caller Jim Knowles entering 2022.
Brent Venables, Oklahoma
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Oklahoma fan were treated to the surprise of the offseason when Lincoln Riley bolted to USC. Brent Venables takes over an Oklahoma program facing tons of turnover. His first year as head coach of the Sooners is vital towards establishing the culture and building towards the move to the SEC.
Steve Sarkisian, Texas
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Steve Sarkisian and Texas needs a bounce-back season to prove the program is heading in the right direction. A good year puts Texas in position to string together back-to-back elite recruiting classes and start competing at the highest level again.