Blog Entry

Five things about the Big 12

Posted on: July 24, 2011 3:40 pm
Edited on: July 24, 2011 4:35 pm
Heading into the conference's media days in Dallas beginning Monday, here are five key issues.

1. Stability. The Big 12 was a shotgun marriage from the start. We're just seeing the latest manifestation of the cultural and geographical incongruity. Texas A&M and Oklahoma are upset at the way Texas has pushed the Longhorn Network on the conference. There was a vague idea that TLN was going to broadcast high school games, but that quickly became a deal-breaker when TLN head Dave Brown went on Austin radio on early June and went Manifest Destiny on the Big 12. Eighteen high school games? Broadcasting out-of-state high school games of 2012 Texas commits? All parties are working things out. The league should stay together -- this time. The point is, the league needs to calm down when level-minded observers point out the conference's instability. Note to the Big 12: The current lineup may last 50 years (doubt it) but quit getting upset every time someone points out Texas is the big dog and usually gets its way. That alone might be enough someday to break up this league. It won't be over this issue, but the Big 12 will continue to live in a constant state of flux.

2. Oklahoma rules. With Texas down and not looking to rebound anytime soon, Oklahoma looks like it is ready to run away and hide in the new Big 12. No surprise. The Sooners won seven of the 15 old Big 12 titles and are loaded again this year. While Bob Stoops hasn’t been able to follow up on that 2000 title, this would be only the second time in the BCS era the Sooners will have been picked as a preseason No. 1.

3. How the North was lost. The remaining members of the division formerly known as the North in the Big 12 face a distinct competitive disadvantage in the new 10-team league. Notably, there will be no more scheduling holes that allowed Kansas to win 12 games in 2007 without having to play Oklahoma or Texas. That's one example. There are more. Point is, the new round-robin Big 12 schedule is going to make it extremely difficult for Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State or Iowa State to make a serious run at a title in the 10-team league. Those schools will be playing Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma each season. Since 2005, the remaining North schools have lost 75 percent of their games to those three. Add to that the reality that every other year, teams will be playing five of nine conference games on the road. Not only is there a competitive disadvantage -- only Kansas State among the four has won a Big 12 title -- there will be a physical toll as well. With a round-robin schedule, there will be fewer breathers.

4. Mack Brown's future. Texas' coach did what any veteran would do when the program slides off the edge of the cliff. He changed his coordinators. Much of the Horns' ability to turn around immediately from a 5-7 disaster will be on the shoulders of co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin and defensive coordinator Manny Diaz. Harsin is credited for making Boise State a huge offensive force in recent years. Diaz's career has soared since he began as an intern at ESPN. If Texas doesn't rebound quickly and begin competing for the conference title again, will this be Mack's final year?

5. Bring the kids, spread out a blanket and watch the fireworks. For whatever reason, the Big 12 has become the most entertaining league in the country. This is a conference that produced Vince Young, Chase Daniel and Jason White. The conference has made its on-field rep with great offenses and great offensive players. Three of the top six players in total offense came from the Big 12 last year. The top two receivers in the country (Justin Blackmon, Ryan Broyles) were also from the Big 12. Oregon's LaMichael James led the country in scoring. No. 2? Lou Groza Award winner Dan Bailey of Oklahoma State. The Cowboys and Sooners were 2-3 in passing. With Baylor maturing and Oklahoma and Oklahoma State at the top of their offensive games, there are going to be plenty of opportunities to "hang half a hundred on 'em," as Barry Switzer used to say.

Since: Dec 3, 2007
Posted on: July 25, 2011 7:13 pm

Five things about the Big 12

The North was pretty good against the South last year.  Mizzou beat Oklahoma and A&M but stumbled against Tech.  Iowa State and Kansas beat Texas.  Nebraska beat A&M and O-State but lost to Texdas (haha).  I think there was one week where the North even swept the South in 4 games.

Anyway, I think Mizzou will be fine.  They probably lose to Oklahoma but I think they can finally beat Texas.  Mike Gundy always seems to have Pinkel's number, so that game will be tough.  Everyone says that "this is a different A&M team than Mizzou beat", but it's really not.  Until they can live up to the hype, I think they're beatable.  It's going to be a challenge, but I think Mizzou's defense improves over last year.  What the team is really lacking right now is a good starting receiver.  Kemp and Jackson are no Maclin and Alexander and that's one of the reasons why the offense was a little quieter last year.  I'm looking forward to the season!

Since: Jul 25, 2011
Posted on: July 25, 2011 7:12 pm

Five things about the Big 12

How can you lump Missouri in with KU, KSU, and ISU.  I mean yes 10 years ago.  Get it in your head - Missouri is pretty decent.  They beat OU and everyone's preseason darling A&M last year.  And they did it in the trenches not with trick plays and skill guys.  They were better than Tech but played the worst game of the year and still barely lost.  They've won 40 games in 4 years.  Not saying they will win it but they're not afraid of anyone on their schedule.  

Since: Apr 22, 2009
Posted on: July 25, 2011 4:59 pm

Five things about the Big 12

The Big 12 has become th most entertaining league in the country!! DD, you need to go to a residential drug facility.  What ESPEEN sent you the script right or did you read it wrong.

Since: Dec 10, 2008
Posted on: July 25, 2011 4:33 pm

Five things about the Big 12

the north should really be worrying about stability and if the league will last more that 5 years.... yeah the round robin schedule is gonna hurt the northern teams but lets not forget Ksu owns texas, mizzou smacked tamu, baylor is still all offense and no defense. okie st is probably the scariest offense but holgerson is at wvu and their defense let tmart throw for 323 and rush for 100....yeah nuff said. IMO texas could make more money being indy esp with the tv deal and tamu/ou have back door open in the sec to sneak in if they ever need both school arent thrilled by the longhorn new nework

so to my fellow ex big12 north teams recruit speed speed speed esp on the defense side the new texas ten league will look like 2008 when the big12 had 9 teams in the top 25 off offense.

Since: Jan 11, 2007
Posted on: July 25, 2011 3:09 pm

Five things about the Big 12

The idea that the "North" teams can't compete with the "South" teams is ridiculous. Iowa State traveling to play Texas Tech will be no harder than Texas Tech traveling to play Iowa State. Not to mention that it will force Texas to leave the state at least twice a year. Meaning that Texas will come to Columbia this year, and more than likely won't leave with a win unless something dramatically changes in Austin. Moreover, the only "South" teams that have winning records against Missouri since Pinkel was hired are Texas and Oklahoma.

Sorry, but the "South" dominance has really been limited to Texas and Oklahoma. Texas Tech is no higher quality of a team most years than Kansas (That stung a little for me to say), and Baylor isn't any better than Iowa State most years. The reality is that most years Texas or Oklahoma will win the conference with Texas A&M, Mizzou, and Oklahoma State close behind if not occassionally upsetting the two big dogs.

I think a previous poster meant that while Texas and Oklahoma rarely have down years, they seem to have that one year where they float around 9 wins and are beatable. However, Mizzou always seems to play Oklahoma when Texas has one of those years, or we have to play Texas when Oklahoma has one of those years. Regardless, I like the new set-up as there is a strong chance that one team will go undefeated garnishing them with the NCG and the second place team will still get a BCS bid.

My expectations for Mizzou are extremely high. The national hype around Blaine Gabbert was much better than his actual play. I think if James Franklin can take care of the ball, throw the ball half as good as Gabbert, and run the ball half as good as Brad Smith, this team will be really scary by mid season. I think we probably finish the season with three losses: OK, AZ St., and OSU or A&M. Although, depending on how fast Franklin can progress, there is a good chance that we lose to OK and only one of those other teams.  

Since: Jan 13, 2007
Posted on: July 25, 2011 3:08 pm

Five things about the Big 12

Urban Meyer   =   The Ohio State's a done deal,Buckeye bred,born and forever.....,? Mack Brown is a great coach and Texas would be foolish to let him go before his time,Texas will return to the top,mark it down!

Since: Aug 15, 2006
Posted on: July 25, 2011 11:14 am

Five things about the Big 12

You still should have beaten Tech.  You were way better than them last year.  You were also better than Nebrasky and Iowa.  These things happen.

But really, EVERYONE has caught Texas on their "good" years.  Since when have they even had a bad one?  The last time they had a losing record was 1997, and you beat them that year.  The worst year between 97 and this past year was 9-5 in 1999, and two of those losses were in the CCG and then their bowl game.  They've been on a pretty incredible run, unfortunately for you guys and a lot of other XII teams.

How do you see Mizzou shaping up this year?  No Nebraska, no Colorado, and I think you have to play in Norman and Austin...and I believe you also lost a key offensive contributor or two...

Since: Dec 3, 2007
Posted on: July 25, 2011 8:40 am

Five things about the Big 12

The North "disadvantage" works both ways.  Missouri, for instance, always seems to catch Texas on their good years.  If Missouri had played Texas last year instead of Tech, they probably would have won the North.  And do you think Texas is looking forward to playing K-State every year, a team that seems to own them for no discernable reason?

Since: Oct 4, 2010
Posted on: July 24, 2011 10:56 pm

Five things about the Big 12

 will this be Mack's final year?

If another 5 or 6 win season happens, I think so, Urban Meyer won't be out there forever and the folks in Austin know it.


Since: Apr 6, 2007
Posted on: July 24, 2011 10:40 pm

Five things about the Big 12

The competitive disadvantage of having 5 road games every other season only applies to the teams without a neutral site game.  The teams with neutral site games, in particular the North teams of KU and MU, won't have that disadvantage.

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