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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Big 12 is the Sick Man of Football:

Every other fbs football conference has its act together.  They will all soon reach an even number of teams and play a conference championship game between two equally divided divisions.

Navy has evened out the American conference to a perfect 12 teams and a championship game will occur later this year.

The MAC is kicking out Umass which will give it an even 12 teams and a championship game.

Conference USA is getting UAB back, which will give it an even 14 teams and a championship game.

Even the Sun Belt conference is getting Coastal Carolina to join them from the FCS ranks, which will give them an even 12 teams, which will surely lead to a championship game by 2018.

The Big 12 is the only conference in football with less than 12 members now.  Ridiculously, this 10 team conference, the smallest conference in the country, is neither Big nor 12.  So why is it even called the Big 12?  This conference seems a little confused about its identity.

In addition, the Big 12 is the only conference without a championship game and no plans of getting a championship game in the future.  This muddied the waters last year when two teams emerged from the conference with just one conference loss, leading to the two being named 'co-champions.'  Since co-champions is a meaningless term, the Playoff Selection Committee just labeled the Big 12 as not having a conference champion last year and voted them out of the playoffs.  If TCU and Baylor had played each other again to determine the '1 true champion' (the slogan of the Big 12, which went ahead and named two teams co-champions, are we seeing a pattern of identity confusion here?), the winner would have definitely made it into the Playoffs.  They didn't, and so they didn't.

The Big 12 learned nothing from this epic failure last year.  They still aren't expanding back to 12 teams, which would match their name.  Nor are they planning to have any championship game which could, you know, determine the '1 true champion.'  So the Big 12 has nothing.  It's just nothing.  It's the worst conference in the entire country.  The Sun Belt makes the Big 12 look stupid.

It's almost inevitable that they will be left out of the playoffs again.  Why should they get in?  Big 12 non-conference scheduling is always extremely weak.  On top of that, there are trashy teams like Iowa State and Kansas that lose even to FCS competition that the rest of the Big 12 plays every year, meaning they always have a weak strength of schedule every year.  Who does the Big 12 play?

TCU's non-conference opponents this year were Minnesota, SMU and Stephen F. Austin.

Oklahoma State's non-conference opponents this year were Central Michigan, Central Arkansas and University of Texas at San Antonio.

Kansas State's non-conference opponents this year were South Dakota, University of Texas at San Antonio, and Louisiana Tech.

Baylor's non-conference opponents this year were Lamar, SMU and Rice.

Give me a break.  Only Oklahoma has a high win rate and a high strength of schedule in the entire conference.  Even if Baylor or TCU wins all of their in conference games, what does that tell us about their quality vis a vis the nation?  Nothing.  Since nobody in the Big 12 beat anyone outside of the Big 12 of any worth, even if you go undefeated in the Big 12 it doesn't mean anything.  It could be that every single team in the Big 12 sucks and we'd never know, since we have absolutely no outside reference we could draw upon.  Arkansas and Tennessee are not ranked teams and haven't been much good for years.  Minnesota is not as strong this year as they were last year, and look to be a doormat in the Big 10.  There's just nothing to hang your hat on.  Maryland lost to Bowling Green, who cares that West Virginia beat them?

With non-conference scheduling like that, it doesn't matter how well you do in conference play.  The Big 12 didn't beat a single ranked team in all 10 of their non-conference schedules.  That's incredible.

While other conferences have made it a standard that you must play another Power 5 conference team in the non-conference games, while other conferences have made it a standard not to play FCS teams at all, the Big 12 skulks around playing cupcakes until it limps into its conference play where it plays yet more cupcakes like perennial losers Kansas, punches in a 10-0 season and then declares they're the gods of football.

Let's just make this simple.  The Big 12 is not eligible for the Playoffs until they are actually a 12 team conference or rename themselves the Little 10, have a championship game, and play another Power 5 conference team in the non-conference every year.  Only then will they be a conference the rest of the nation has to take seriously.

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