Big 12: Not Everything is Big or Good in Texas
The Texas-centric Big 12 Conference is doing well, but is nothing like the SEC. Longtime members Missouri and Texas A&M defected to the richer, bigger, and better SEC.
Now it’s just Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Kansas State, Baylor, Iowa State with newcomers West Virginia and TCU. This does not do the Big 12 any favors in basketball, but it is rather even in football.
After a historically rough start, Texas righted the ship and beat archrival Oklahoma in the Red River shootout in convincing fashion.
The Lows: Texas had lost at Ole Miss, a so-so SEC West team, and lost on the road at BYU in embarrassing fashion. In a 40-21 loss at BYU, the Texas Longhorns defense gave up 550 yards rushing, most of it to BYU quarterback Taysom Hill who rushed for 259 yards.
Today, they sit comfortably at 7-2 and first in the conference.
Oklahoma has had a good season, but is no longer the powerhouse in the conference. They lost 41-15 to a Baylor offense that torches any team in their way (on offense at least) and lost to Texas 36-21 in their rivalry game. Their 7-2 record shows some impressive wins, but a loss to an up-and-down Texas team has fans wondering where the program under Bob Stoops is headed. Long gone are the days of Adrian Peterson.
Baylor’s prolific suffered a brief hiccup during the first quarter against Oklahoma, but then ended up going up 24-5 at halftime and never looked back. Their offense hasn’t missed a beat under coach Art Briles, who has tutored Robert Griffin III (Heisman Trophy winner now with the NFL’s Washington Redskins) and prolific passer Nick Florence. With Bryce Petty behind the wheel, the Baylor Bears are now a threat for the Big 12 championship after years of mediocrity. Some said they got into the Big 12 because of the insistence of a past Texas Governor’s who was a Baylor alum.
TCU and Texas Tech have had struggles of their own this season. After such great success, the Texas Christian Horned Frogs have fallen back to earth as the NFL has depleted their roster. QB Casey Pachall returned from rehab and the team hasn’t fully developed as previously hoped. Texas Tech’s former QB Kliff Klingsbury is now their head coach, and after a quick start to the season they’ve also fallen back to earth with losses to Oklahoma 38-30 and sit at 7-3.
Kansas State lost to FCS two-time defending champion North Dakota State Bison at home 24-21, Kansas is floundering under quarterbacks guru Charlie Weis, Iowa State has not found their magic from last season and newcomer West Virginia has been saddled with inconsistent and terrible QB play.
In basketball terms, Kansas runs the table and then comes Baylor and Kansas State. Kansas’ roster is full of talent, especially the one-and-done Andrew Wiggins. Baylor has good talent with returning center Isaiah Austin returning and Kansas State always fields a good team. Texas hasn’t been the same after Kevin Durant’s one-and-done in 2006 and Iowa State, Texas Tech and West Virginia are searching for answers for success.