Blog Entry

Picking the Big 12

Posted on: June 29, 2009 3:01 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2009 12:09 pm
 


The Big 12 South Division race, the Big 12 title game, the Heisman race and the national championship hinged on the conference's three-way tiebreaker. We found out about the 11-year-old rule when Texas, Oklahoma and Texas Tech each tied at 7-1 in the South Division.

Oklahoma "won" the tiebreaker because it finished the regular season as the highest-ranked team in the division  -- by .0128 of a point in the BCS standings. Instead of reliving the Austin angst, let's just say that one Longhorn suggested that if the tiebreaker rule wasn't changed in the offseason his school ought to pull out of the Big 12.

What's changed? Not much. The rule wasn't changed and Texas is still in the league. At the spring meetings, the Big 12 ADs accepted the coaches' vote that the tiebreaker remain the same. Why?

 One theory is that Texas probably doesn't get much sympathy from the other coaches because ... it's Texas. The school is perceived to have the best of everything so it didn't get much sympathy from schools that don't. Yeah, jealousy sucks.

 There is nothing to be gained for schools like Missouri, Iowa State, Colorado, Baylor, etc., so why change? Hey, the league got two teams in the BCS. To the other schools it doesn't matter who plays in those games as long as the money keeps rolling in.

 The tiebreaker makes sense. Why wouldn't you want your highest rated BCS team to win the tiebreaker? There was some feeling that the SEC tiebreaker is fairer.

In a three-way tie, the SEC drops the lowest-ranked team and decides things head-to-head. But since you're chasing a BCS title, the SEC tiebreaker potentially keeps the highest-ranked team out of a title shot.

The tiebreaker would have been a footnote on the national scene had not Texas and Oklahoma been involved. The rivalry was bitter enough without having to explain why the Horns lost out when they beat the Sooners on the field. Yeah, Oklahoma's fortune might cause a bit of consternation in Austin.

"They got a huge break," Texas' Colt McCoy said.

Like I said, nothing has changed. Texas and OU still hate each other. There is a good chance we could have another tiebreaker train wreck at the end of this season. Only the teams will change.


Texas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State could all start the season in the top 10. The Red River Shootout on Oct. 17 shapes up as one of the most intense in the history of the rivalry. Just for controversy's sake let's assume the Horns win in Dallas, they still have to play in Stillwater on Halloween. If the Cowboys win they could win out until a Nov. 28 date in Norman. If the Sooners win that one, we're looking at another three-way 7-1 finish.

Who wins it in the BCS tiebreaker? In that scenario, you'd have to like Oklahoma again. The Texas loss would be six weeks old by then and beating Oklahoma State impressively would be the emphatic final statement for the computers the pollsters. That same thing happened last year when OU blew out Texas Tech.

Closer to the field, for the second consecutive year the Large Dozen remains the conference of quarterbacks. It sports a Heisman winner (Sam Bradford), a runner-up (Colt McCoy) and well as 2009 Heisman candidate Todd Reesing of Kansas. You can add Oklahoma State's Zac Robinson, Baylor's Robert Griffin and Texas Tech quarterback du jour Taylor Potts as difference makers.

Just giving you a fair warning, Texas fans. Grow your hair out now. You might be pulling it out in December.

Picking the Big 12 ...


North Division

1. Kansas -- If this were Miami, Dezmon Briscoe, Kerry Meier and Reesing would be on the cover of every preseason mag in the country. Meier is the leading returning receiver in catches per game (10.8). Briscoe is second in receiving yards per game (108.2). Reesing already has led the Jayhawks to an Orange Bowl and is in line to become the school's best quarterback ever. Mark Mangino already has proven he can coach. If a new set of starting linebackers can tackle and if KU can beat either Oklahoma, Texas or Texas Tech (he is a combined 0-9 against the three) this could be a special season. The Jayhawks get the slight edge in the North because the Nebraska game is at home.

2. Nebraska -- Bo Pelini is slowly building Huskerville back to its usual standards. Slowly is the key word because defense is Pelini's thing and the D showed astounding lapses last year. Slowly, because Nebraska has not had a first-team All-American on the defensive line in 12 years. Tackle Ndamukong Suh could break the streak. Some draft boards already have him in the top five. There is little room for error where Pelini is a turned ankle away from having real problems at quarterback. Zac Lee is the guy after Patrick Witt, who was being counted on, left before the spring. A lot of folks think Nebraska has the advantage in the North because of its schedule. I see road trips to Missouri, Baylor, Kansas and Colorado, plus a home game against Oklahoma. Please tell me how that is favorable?

3. Missouri -- The Tigers will take a dip after back-to-back Big 12 North titles. Missouri knows it. The fans know it. The league knows it. The key is trying to make an 8-4 season seem like a success. Six-foot-five Blaine Gabbert takes over for Chase Daniel, only the greatest qb in Missouri history. He would be wise to spread the ball out to 1,000-yard rusher Derrick Washington and receivers Danario Alexander and Jared Perry. The Tigers will score, just not as often. If the defense is shored up at all this team could be on the fringes of contending in the North. At times, the secondary looked like a fire drill. Linebacker All-American linebacker candidate Sean Weatherspoon passed up the draft and will chase the school's career tackles record as a senior.

4. Colorado -- Has Hawk Love turned into Hawk Doubt? Entering his fourth season in Boulder, Dan Hawkins has won only 13 games. The pressure is on to produce (hint: Big 12 North contention and a bowl game). Hawkins isn't backing down, saying this at the senior banquet: "Ten wins, no excuses." The quarterback situation is unsettled with son Cody Hawkins and Tyler Hansen maybe sharing the job again. Freshman tailback sensation Darrell Scott was upstaged by fellow freshman Rodney Stewart who led the team in rushing. Here's the scary thing: In a league with unrelenting offenses, CU has lost six of its top 10 tacklers.

5. Kansas State -- This isn't the old Big Eight for Bill Snyder. Back in 1989, he was taking over Kansas State from a zero position. This time he is chasing his own legacy. Not to diminish what Snyder accomplished, but back in the early 1990s, Missouri and Kansas were jokes and Oklahoma was sliding. There was no Texas to play two out of every four years. The Big 12 has more depth and strength than the Big Eight as Snyder tries for Miracle In Manhattan II. Snyder got K-State from dregs to the brink of a national championship game in nine years. Will the 69-year-old have that much time this time around?

6. Iowa State -- Iowa State swapped coaches with Auburn. Gene Chizik went. Paul Rhoads came. Rhoads, from nearby Ankeny, seems like he wants to stay awhile. He'll be looking up at the rest of the Big 12 North for a while. Ripping Wally Burham from South Florida to be his defensive coordinator was a huge get for Rhoads. The offense will have a chance with dual-threat Austen Arnaud at quarterback


South Division

1. Texas -- Mack Brown smiled when I told I had his pregame speech ready for the OU game. "We beat the Sooners last year, boys. Now let's go out and get some revenge!" Yeah, it's about that and a lot of things for Brown and the Horns. Except for perhaps some suspect running backs, Texas is loaded. Brown has his best team since the 2005 national championship crew. Hybrid defensive end/linebacker Sergio Kindle should be this season's Brian Orakpo. McCoy is driven not only by the tiebreaker but also his second-place finish in the Heisman. Still, it all boils down to Oct. 17 in Dallas.

2. Oklahoma -- Sam Bradford won the Heisman, became the first quarterback to win back-to-back Big 12 titles and got the Sooners to the national championship game. What is there left to accomplish? Plenty for Bradford who listened to family and advisors and put off the NFL. His body can fill out a bit and it doesn't look like there will be a Matthew Stafford to compete with in the draft this year. Oklahoma's questions are at offensive line and receiver. If this were anywhere else but the Big 12 South, the Sooners would be prohibitive favorites to repeat. With a break here or there, they still might end back up in the national championship game.

3. Oklahoma State -- With apologies to Texas and Oklahoma, this could be the best offense in the Big 12, if not the country. Returning are a 1,500-yard rusher (Kendall Hunter), an All-American receiver (Dez Bryant), and a 65 percent passer with 25 touchdowns (Robinson). The problem remains defense. New defensive coordinator Bill Young is the Cadillac of his profession. Okie State will be better just because of his presence. Perrish Cox is developing into an NFL talent at corner and is one of the nation's best returners.

4. Texas Tech -- The Red Raiders slip back to the 8-4 level this season. You know the drill: Potts will throw for eight million yards. There will be a 1,000-yard receiver or two. Mike Leach will be his usual quote-machine self. However, last season was a once-in-10-year event. There is payback waiting at Texas, at Oklahoma State and at Nebraska.

5. Baylor -- Does any Big 12 school have more upside? Joe Pawelek is an All-Big 12 linebacker. Center J.D. Walton anchors the offensive line now that Jason Smith is gone. But let's be honest, the moment quarterback Robert Griffin followed coach Art Briles to Baylor (from his commitment to Houston), things took off. A sprinter with Olympic aspirations, Griffin gave up the Big 12 track season to concentrate on what should be his breakout season in Waco. If there is a one-man team in the league, this is it. Griffin also was the team's No. 2 rusher. With more weight and more knowledge, Griffin should become the most elusive dual-threat in the Big 12 since Vince Young. At stake is a 14-year bowl drought. That ties for the longest active streak among BCS schools.

6. Texas A&M -- One former Big Eight coach said it during the offseason: This is A&M. It should be able to go over to the Houston high schools and scrounge up a couple of defensive linemen. In Mike Sherman's second season, d-line is a good place to start. The one-time Wrecking Crew was Charmin soft as one of the worst defensive units in the country. After the non-conference games, the Aggies gave up less than 35 once. Once! Nineteen players had surgery in the offseason. The Aggies better get fat early. The season ends with Oklahoma, Baylor and Texas.
 

Comments

Since: Nov 25, 2008
Posted on: July 7, 2009 1:21 pm
 

Picking the Big 12

Some interesting debate surrounding the Big 12. That's nothing new. With such great golliath teams in one division of the conference, there is bound to be some talk. I truly believe that the Big 12 is the toughest conference in college football. Hell, the Big 12 South Division is better than any other conference! Now, just because those are my views doesn't mean that anyone would believe and share these views. I thought that whoever came out of the Big 12 South last year would crush whichever SEC team that would be faced. Turned out to be Oklahoma and Florida. I was wrong. But, would Florida have been able to beat Texas or Oklahoma State or Texas Tech (or even Kansas)? I am not saying Florida got lucky. They deserve that National Champtionship trophey. They worked hard to earn it and nobody can ever take that away from them. However, the win does not make the SEC the hands-down greatest conference ever known to mankind, like some people think. The SEC is great and has mountains of raw football talent, but I sense a decline in its dominance. As the Big 12 becomes a more credible conference over the next couple of years and as certain football teams from relative obscuirty continue to win huge bowl games against the tough "major" conferences, we will see a more level playing field for all conferences until all of this bickering and argument generally becomes obselete and invalid. How would one be able to argue one conference is better than another when over the span of five years we will see national chamption teams come out of five different conferences. That day is nearer than we all think. The SEC one year, the Big 12 the next, then maybe Pac 10, the WAC, and how about Conference USA. Some of you might think that I am crazy. Well, a prophet is always mocked in his own lifetime. Watch for the changes and you will see. In twenty years we will be watching a completely different game.
I started this post to share my thoughts on how the Big 12 final standings will look, so here it is:

North
1. Nebraska 9-3 (6-2) 
    Key Losses: VaTech, Oklahoma, Kansas
2. Kansas 9-3 (5-3)
    Key Losses: Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado
3. Missouri 8-4 (4-4)
    Key Losses: Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Texas, Kansas
4. Colorado 8-4 (4-4)
    Key Losses: Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Nebraska
5. Kansas St. 6-6 (3-5)
    Key Losses: UCLA, Colorado, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska
6. Iowa St. 10-2 (0-8)
    Key Losses: Iowa, Army, All eight Big 12 foes

South
1. Texas 12-0 (8-0)
    Key Losses: None
2. Oklahoma State 11-1 (7-1)
    Key Losses: Texas
3. Oklahoma 10-2 (6-2)
    Key Losses: Texas, Oklahoma State
4. Baylor 7-5 (3-5)
    Key Losses: Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Nebraska, Missouri, Texas
5. Texas Tech 5-7 (1-7)
    Key Losses: Texas, Kansas State, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Baylor
6. Texas A&M 5-7 (1-7)
    Key Losses: All Big 12 foes except Iowa State

Big 12 Champtionship
Texas over Nebraska (28-20)

Bowl Predictions
1. Texas (BCS National Champtionship)
2. Nebraska (Fiesta Bowl)
3. Oklahoma State (BCS At Large or Cotton Bowl)
4. Oklahoma (Cotton or Holiday Bowl)
5. Kansas (Holiday or Sun Bowl)
6. Missouri (Sun or Alamo Bowl)
7. Colorado (Alamo or Insight Bowl)
8. Baylor (Insight or Independence Bowl)
9. Kansas State (Independence or Texas Bowl)

How does this look?



Since: Nov 25, 2006
Posted on: July 7, 2009 11:00 am
 

Picking the Big 12

  I'm sorry, but that point is ignorant.  The SEC, ACC, and Big East don't do it this way, so why should the Big 12?  The teams in the south all play each other anyway, and it isn't the championship game that is broken, it is the tiebreaker that is flawed, so why punish the north division for that.  When the Big 12 was first started the north teams like Nebraska and K-State were dominant, but no one was saying eliminate the south division from playing in the championship because we would rather see K-State play Nebraska again. 

  I like OU and Texas and have a lot of respect for their programs, even though I am a KU alum, but this is an elitist mentality that has no place in the conference.  Plus KU and Nebraska will have the ability to beat any of the teams in the south, so I wouldn't get too carried away.

  The real fact is that what happened last year has never happened before, and I do believe that it needs to be changed, but I highly doubt that it will happen again this year.



Since: Nov 23, 2008
Posted on: July 7, 2009 10:57 am
 

Picking the Big 12

Well actually here comes another texas dope.  Actually texas has 2 conference titles since the big 12 formed so now who looks like a idiot.  Also the college football NC claims is a joke also people think the BCS is a unfair system look at the old one.  Many of the best teams throughout the years never played each other and it was all decided by media and im sure money.  So in my opinion there hasnt ever been a real champion.  So head to head and total wins seems like a pretty good way to determine the better all time program.  Not who the media thought had the best team on a given year when there where probably 5 other teams as good or better.  I mean honestly if sooner fans wanna say who has been better the last 10 years than fine oklahoma has a 6-4 record I can buy that.  Or throughout history any given decade or 10 year period where they beat us more than we beat them I will give them that, but all time im sorry but UT wins it im sorry.



Since: May 6, 2009
Posted on: July 7, 2009 10:52 am
 

Picking the Big 12

Again, it is not THE tie braker... it was like the 6th or 7th tie braker.  My bet is you will not see that for another 25 years...



Since: Sep 8, 2007
Posted on: July 7, 2009 2:16 am
 

Picking the Big 12

charlie, you are a complete idiot. There, I insulted you. Again, 11 pages of football talk and you claim you have no clue we're talking about football... even with you talking about Texas' head-to-head margin against OU in football. Please change your avatar to an ostrich because you love sticking your head in the sand to try to avoid the question I've asked you 3 different times. You started the OU-Texas debate. I simply finished it. Hopefully some other UT fan will show up and tell you to pipe down because you are making Texas fans look like a bunch of dopes.



Since: Mar 7, 2007
Posted on: July 6, 2009 11:10 pm
 

Picking the Big 12

skibum, your question was actually imprecise.  If you had added "in football" to your question, I might have answered.  ... and if I did it would have only been about football. I stopped reading when you then wanted me to do some sort of comparison.
I hope you now realize your mistake. This is my last attempt to help you understand your own question. 
I'm figuring you would make a lousy manager.  Always getting 'red' when someone doesn't understand your requests :-)




Since: Nov 3, 2008
Posted on: July 6, 2009 1:06 pm
 

Picking the Big 12

Dear Charlie, playing football for enjoyment ends around pop warner level.  When they took off the flags from your sides and made you start actually getting hit, football begins and you witness the fun lovers quit. Football is played for championships, that's where the fun begins.  Until that time it's hard work, training and fighting through injuries.
As for OU losing to Texas, Oklahoma's Big 3 have winning records against texas, Stoops, Switzer and Wilikinson. Texas created a winning record against the Sooners long before you and your father were born.  If you are that proud of the football Texas played from 1890-1930, then I suppose you are one of the few. Oklahoma plays and wins championships and Texas doesn't. So, of course Texas fans would like to bring up the recent losses OU has suffered in it's last 3 championships. Texas can't get there so Texas has nothing to say. Like I said many times before, Mack Brown is more than likely going to be Texas' best coach ever and he has 1 single conference title to his credit in 13 years. Now, in my estimation, that is one Championship that Texas most assuredly can claim, the team that has choked the most, have fun with that one Charlie. 




Since: Sep 8, 2007
Posted on: July 6, 2009 1:01 pm
 

Picking the Big 12

The only thing I'm used to is even when Texas manages to beat OU, Texas STILL finds a way to lose the conference. I guess it doesn't matter to you, though. Championships don't really matter that much. It's the "enjoyment" of the game. Tell that to Colt McCoy. Tell that to Mack Brown. Tell that to the Texas boosters who hired the prop plane to fly over Norman last season.

By the way, I have never insulted you. Obviously your skin is pretty darn thin. Since you get your feelings hurt so easily, I'll be sure not to really insult you. I don't want to put you on suicide watch.

Oh, and I've had this account for close to 2 years. I used to post a lot, but not in about a year. After awhile, the old posts are deleted by CBS. Go look at other profiles and see if you see ANY posts from 2007 on anyone's account.

I guess the only history that matters to you is the last 4 years. Did you really type "Most important fact you (I) fail to remember about Texas and OU .... Texas won the BCS more recently"???? Huh??? So all that matters to you is the last 4 years? How long have you been watching football? Since 2005? Are championships important or not? Only if they're recent? What about the enjoyment of the game you speak of?

And finally, I didn't know asking about a comparison of conference and national championships between OU and Texas was a "stupid question." It appears to be a question you simply don't want to answer. Understandable, given that you're a Texas fan.




Since: Mar 7, 2007
Posted on: July 5, 2009 11:00 pm
 

Picking the Big 12

Skibum2007:
You've insulted me while I've refrained from doing so.
You've ignored the stupidity of your own question, twice.
And the humor of my response. My initial baseball response was to the LSU fan.
I responded about other  sport because you asked the really STUPID question(the one you're ignoring) and then wanted me to do a comparison.  Get real.  Most important fact you fail to remember about Texas and OU... Texas won the BCS most recently. OU has choked their last three times in the BCS game and lost 3 of the last four to Texas.

You're also a '98' with only 6 posts. This indicates to me that you're a sham.  You're got friends or more likely eVersions of yourself giving you 'awesomes'.

Another thing you don't understand is that sports,especially football, is more than about Championships.  It's about playing a sport for enjoyment. Your posts don't indicate to me that you have ever played a sport.  I've won Championships in three different sports and none of them was basketweaving :-)

Gonna suck for OU to lose to Texas this year, but aren't you used to it by now?




Since: Sep 8, 2007
Posted on: July 5, 2009 11:50 am
 

Picking the Big 12

Well done, charlie42s. You are on page 11 of a football discussion thread and only now aware we're talking about football here. Typical Texas fan, I might add. Talk about UT's record against OU and omit the big picture: Championships. Whether it be conference or national championships, Texas gets beaten like an burnt-orange stepchild in both departments compared to OU. You know this, so you try to change the subject. However, you were the one babbling about head-to-head football statistics until you got called out on it.

I do submit my best of luck for your basketweaving team. If they win it all, I'm sure you'll let us know about it.


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