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ESPN's Tom Luginbill picks Texas to win the Big 12

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"Going way off the grid."

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The media that covers the Big 12 doesn't have much confidence in the Texas Longhorns, but ESPN analyst Tom Luginbill is all in with head coach Charlie Strong's third team in Austin, picking the 'Horns to finish atop the conference.

"Going way off the grid," Luginbill says, stating the obvious. "This team is really talented on defense, they've got weapons on the perimeter, they're going to have talented offensive and defensive fronts, they can run the football, and they are going to be dramatically improved at quarterback, as long as Tyrone Swoopes is not the quarterback under center.

"That has to happen for Sterlin Gilbert the offensive coordinator. Texas has some premier players at some premier spots. This is going to be one of the most improved teams in college football. I love going with the dark-horse teams that nobody is talking about and I'll give you another one here -- I think they are going to beat Notre Dame in the opener."

Oklahoma has the balance and leadership to have a great team, Luginbill believes, but he has questions about the schedule and the ability of the Sooners to live up to expectations after recent flops.

After Oklahoma, TCU, Oklahoma State, and Baylor round out Luginbill's top five, which is in the exact same order as the media's picks, except for Texas, which finished fifth in the media poll.

Luginbill is definitely way off the grid but, hey, it's the offseason, so why not indulge in a little believing?