The Big 12 is the best conference top to bottom in America. I have no problem saying that with 100% certainty.
SEC: Each team has 5 star dudes retrieving the kick off tee and handing out water on the sideline but somehow nearly everyone sucks but Alabama (Georgia is overrated, you’ll see).
Big Ten: Has the most clearly separated top rules, bottom drools conference standings outlook.
Pac 12: Nobody wants to stay up til 2am to watch mediocre teams get beat by other mediocre teams.
ACC: One of their golden children is busy being 2-4 and the other is busy losing to Syracuse on Friday nights.
Meanwhile, the Big 12 has a top 4 playoff team in TCU. Then a beautifully disgusting log jam of ranked teams with Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, West Virginia, and Iowa State. Followed by Texas (All 4 losses by less than 10 points, 3 games have gone to OT), Texas Tech (2 of 3 losses by less than 11 points, one of which was a 18 point 4th quarter meltdown at West Virginia), and Kansas State (3 of 4 losses by less than 7 points). All three of these teams will most likely be bowl bound. Then you have the only bad team in the conference in Kansas and the greatest 0-7 team in college football history as the caboose, Baylor.
To West Virginia fans, we might feel a touch of PTSD relating the current state of our conference to our old abusive seasons in the Big East. It seemed like every year there would be a five way tie at the top of the standings and ultimately an 8-4 team with three conference losses would be sent to a BCS bowl. One loss didn’t kill you. Two might not either. However, there is no more BCS trip to covet. And unfortunately, in the current college football landscape, it is more likely that multiple Big Ten teams get in the the playoff over a potentially more talented Big 12 team with a loss. Not right, but that is the sad reality.
I’m afraid the only way this will change is if our friend, Mike Leach gets his wish. Listening to him explain the outlined plan from his genius mind was a little difficult but the fact is, he is absolutely right in that four teams in a playoff is a slap in the face to college football fans wanting a true champion.
You could argue that two of the three playoff champions have not been the best team, just the hottest at the time. This is a spectacular reason to expand to a 16 team bracket. 64 teams would be awesome but that will never happen so let’s not even go there. Just imagine the damage and destruction the Big 12 would cause in a 16 team playoff though. Think back to the Big East’s success in those BCS bowls. 5 wins in 8 years was nothing to laugh at. Especially with all wins mostly as belittled underdogs. The media puts so much emphasis on winning every weekend when in reality, it is really freaking hard to do. So why are losses by Clemson or Ohio State or Alabama overcomeable but losses by a Big 12 team to other quality Big 12 teams is a guaranteed death sentence? I mean just look at Oklahoma. Care to explain why Clemson and Ohio State are ahead of the Sooners in the polls? Oklahoma has a ranked loss. Clemson lost to Syracuse. And Ohio State lost to OKLAHOMA! Yet…
The Big 12’s path to gain the relevancy it deserves might ultimately be too difficult because the conference is simply too good within its own walls, much like the Big East of old.