Tyree Wilson Named One Of Big 12’s Best Linebackers

The 2022 college football season is rapidly approaching and for the Texas Tech Red Raiders, it begins a new chapter under the direction of Joey McGuire. Whilst early predictions signify that the Red Raiders are unlikely to win the Big 12 championship in McGuire’s first year, there’s certainly still hope.

Leading the defensive charge for the Red Raiders and determined to turn things around is outside linebacker, Tyree Wilson. Preparing for a potential breakout season, Wilson has just been listed as Heartland College Sports’ second-best linebacker in the Big 12 Conference.

The Big 12 Conference

The Big 12 is a college athletic conference with headquarters in Irving, Texas. It is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division 1 for all sports, with its football teams competing in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), formerly Division I-A.

Founded in 1994, the Big 12 is a not-for-profit organization that amalgamated the then Big 8 Conference members with the four Southwest Conference members, with play beginning in 1996. The 2010−2013 Big 12 Conference realignment resulted in its current ten campus members. 

NCAA Realignment

The realignment saw members switching from one Conference to another within the NCAA division. For marketing purposes, the Big 12 retains its name regardless of the current number of members, as do others involved in the realignment.

The Big 12 is regarded as one of the ‘Power Five’ Conferences, which are the biggest in US collegiate football, producing the highest level of play. Other members of the ‘Power Five’ are the Big Ten Conference, Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), South-Eastern Conference (SEC), and Pac-12 Conference. 

The Big 12 Members

The ‘Power Five’ are considered the primary contenders to produce a champion team in any given year. The Big 12’s current members are from the states of Kansas, Iowa, Texas, Oklahoma, and West Virginia. They include eight public and two private Christian universities. 

In 2021, the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Oklahoma announced plans to move from the Big 12 to the SEC in 2025. With this in mind, the Big 12 has invited four other universities to join in 2023. The current and future members of the Big 12 Conference are as follows:

Current:

  • Baylor University
  • Iowa State University
  • University of Kansas
  • Kansas State University
  • University of Oklahoma
  • Oklahoma State University
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • Texas Christian University
  • Texas Tech University
  • West Virginia University

Future:

  • Brigham Young University
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Houston
  • University of Central Florida

2022 Season Predictions

Oklahoma has dominated the Big 12 Conference for many years but with the departure of coach Lincoln Riley, there are changes on the horizon. The last Big 12 squad in the College Football Playoff was Oklahoma in 2019, so could the 2022 season see up-and-coming schools like Baylor or Texas shake it up?

According to leading Kansas betting apps, the Texas Tech Red Raiders’ odds to win the 2022 Conference title are +4000. The Raiders enter a new era with coach Joey McGuire, notably Baylor’s previous associate head coach, who has drafted in Zach Kittley as offensive coordinator.

Last year, the Texas Tech explosive offense just wasn’t there, ranking 50th in total yards per game. Tyler Shough has been named as starting QB, with Myles Price replacing Erik Ezukanma as lead receiver following Ezukanma’s move to the Miami Dolphins (NFL).

Leading the defense is Tyree Wilson, recently named one of Big 12’s best linebackers, coming off 13.5 tackles for loss and 7 sacks. He’ll be joined by teammate Dadrion Taylor-Demerson and transfers Myles Cole and Dimitri Moore. It’s thought McGuire will not win his first season, as reflected in the +4000 odds.

Tyree Wilson

Riding high from a decent 2021 season, it’s thought that under the new defensive coordinator, Tim DeRuyter, Tyree Wilson will transition to a more standup pass rusher coming off the edge. Heartland College Sports firmly believe that Wilson will be the anchor for the Red Raiders’ defense.

In the Heartland College Sports top five, Tyree is ranked second best linebacker for the Big 12 and is joined by Baylor’s Dillon Doyle⎯who takes the top spot⎯Kansas State’s Daniel Green (third), Texas’ DeMarvion Overshown (fourth), and taking fifth place is TCU’s Dee Winters.

In 2021, Tyree was named Defensive MVP of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl and has recently been linked to the Chuck Bednarik Award watchlist. The Bednarik award is presented annually⎯judged by the Maxwell Football Club⎯to the best defensive player in college football in the United States.

Fans of Texas Tech Red Raiders are looking for Wilson to build off his successful 2021 season and turn 2022 around like no other year. Wilson is poised for a potential breakout season and if he can replicate the success from 2021, the world of college football will consider themselves well and truly ‘on notice’. 

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