Big 12 Pivot Points: Can Baylor win it?

If one sleeper team rises to the top of the Big 12, it's likely to be Lache Seastrunk and Baylor. Jackson Laizure/Getty Images

On Monday, we debuted our 2013 college football Pivot Points series, which looks at swing factors -- if X happens, then Y could result -- in each of the five major conferences as they pertain to this season's title races and future events.

After examining the SEC, we look at the Big 12. Among the topics: Who’s the surprise team in the conference? What’s Texas’ deal, really? And what will be the key to Oklahoma’s success?

1. If its pass rush comes through, Baylor could surprise everyone and win the conference title.

Big 12 coaches I polled agree with what the media are saying: This is as open as the conference has ever been.

“I could make a case for five or six teams, easy,” one assistant in the league told me.

It’s already been a recent trend, with Oklahoma State and Kansas State representing the conference in the Fiesta Bowl the past two seasons. But it’s at a whole new level this year; the door is ajar for even more upstarts. TCU is getting some of that attention, given Gary Patterson’s track record and the fact that the program should be more settled by its second season in the league.

But what about Baylor?