Is the Big 12 About to Become a Running League?

By Jamie Plunkett
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

For years, the Big 12 has been the home of explosive, pass happy teams that rack up a ton of points and yards in a short amount of time. The conference has seen quarterbacks like Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy and Graham Harrell, or if you look a little further back guys like Josh Heupel, Michael Bishop and Scott Frost.

However, times are changing.

Major prediction: running backs will dominate the league in 2013.

With guys like Lache Seastrunk at Baylor, Waymon James and Aaron Green at TCU, the host of backs vying for playing time at Texas and  John Hubert from Kansas State,  Big 12 teams are going to rely heavily on their ground games to move the ball this upcoming season.

Add to that the fact that five schools, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Texas Tech, Baylor and Kansas State lost senior quarterbacks, it’s safe to assume that the running game will be more prevalent moving forward.

As wild as it seems that Big 12 teams could be relying heavily on the running game, it’s not something that has come out of the blue. The Big 12 has been pushing out running backs pretty consistently over the years, from Adrian Peterson to DeMarco Murray, as well as guys like Cedric Benson, Darren Sproles and Ricky Williams.

This group of running backs certainly isn’t lacking in confidence either. Seastrunk came out a while back and stated that he was going to win the Heisman in 2013. After the way he finished the 2012 season (he ran for 1,012 yards and seven touchdowns, despite only seeing significant playing time from week 10 on), that might not be too overzealous.

James and  Green have to uphold a TCU legacy of having a strong running game, and both look poised to be big contributors. For Hubert at Kansas State, he’s losing running mate Collin Klein, and it’s highly likely that he’ll be the featured player on an offense that is very run-heavy.

Meanwhile, at Texas it’s going to be interesting to see who gets the snaps in the backfield, but one thing is for sure. With David Ash and Case McCoy at quarterback, the Longhorns will need to be very good on the ground to score points.

 You can follow Jamie on Twitter at @thedsportsrant.

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