new additions improve visibility –

We could talk all day, all year, and whole century about how the expansion of the Big 12 changes conference college football playoff opportunities, income distribution, and place within the national pecking order. But let’s try something else for a few minutes.

Let’s talk about how the impending additions of the Big 12 from BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF could turn things around for you, the sports fan.

In almost every way, the Oklahoma Big 12 has been the most lopsided power conference, though the Ohio State Big Ten joins the mix. Since 2000, Oklahoma has won 13 major 12 football titles, plus a share of those in 2012. The Sooners have won six in a row and are favorites to make seven. Every year, the Big 12 race is everything people think the SEC race is: schools like Auburn, Florida, Georgia and LSU can approach Alabama’s level of talent, if not its consistent excellence.

In that sense, the Sooners and Horns will fit into the SEC. For the past 10 years, they have been two of the top 10 recruiters in the country, according to the 247Sports Composite. The next Big 12 team is TCU, way down at No. 32.

Compare that to the SEC, where Alabama has the number one class in the country almost every year, but with half a dozen SEC rivals pretty close. Even SEC lightweights like Kentucky tend to outperform top 12 contenders like Oklahoma State.

The SEC will become even more visible. Will the big 12 become less visible? I do not believe it. There is no replacement for Oklahoma and Texas, unless you convince Ohio State and Michigan to move to San Antonio or something. But instead of replacing, let’s think about recalibrating.

Big 12 fans are generally happy to see Oklahoma go, now that it looks like the conference will hobble through the aftermath. Makes sense! The Sooners captured the limelight and nearly all of the victories. (Texas did an even better stunt, grabbing the spotlight despite just a few wins.)

However, the financial stakeholders of the conference cannot rejoice that the bully Sooners and his wealthy friend are leaving town. Texas is the largest college sports brand annually, with OU also near the top. The Longhorns have complained for half a century of sharing revenue with small schools like Baylor. And suddenly, for the remaining members of the Big 12, those wells are running dry.

Well, I’m a college sports fan, not a person with stocks in the big 12, so I don’t care about that. Oh no, without the Sooner-Longhorn bailout fund, how could Kansas afford to hire another head coach every three years forever? Not my problem.

I also have no investments in attending the Big 12 postseason. The conference adding a ton of scrappers like TCU doesn’t increase your odds of winning a playoff, but given that even the Sooners didn’t finish better than No. 3 in the last 20 final AP polls, those odds weren’t great to start with. with.

What the Big 12 gains by adding four of the best soccer programs available is this: one of the most competitive power conference races each year. (This also improves the status of the Big 12 in a sport known as basketball, I am told.)

For most of the last decade, he’s changed the channel to Big 12 football for two reasons: Someone is scoring too many points, and / or Oklahoma is suddenly fighting a lesser team. Now imagine tuning into Big 12 football ahead of time! By the way! Because, to quote the conference’s own half-hearted brand, every game matters!

Here are some numbers that show how much more competitive, and therefore interesting from week to week, the Big 12 will become. I have used Sports-Reference’s SRS rating, a team quality metric that attempts to predict how many points each team would defeat an average FBS opponent. My sample is the last 15 seasons, including multiple coaching changes for almost every school, providing a decent baseline without over-weighing the newer schools’ powerless stories.


SRS Median Score, 2006-2020

Oklahoma 15,87 Texas 11,15 Estado de Oklahoma 10,46 TCU 9,27 Virginia Occidental 7,59
State of Kansas 4.11 Texas Technology 3.06 Baylor 3.01
State of Iowa -0.96 Kansas -6.7

Not only does this show that new people can be competitive from day one (something Texas has already learned four times against BYU and Oklahoma against Houston in 2016), it does not factor in the recruiting gains that each could enjoy. membership in a somewhat prominent conference. , similar to TCU and Utah creeping up the rankings after joining the powers. (Let’s emphasize that it could. History shows that this is not automatic).

Before, the two Big 12 games to watch each week were likely to be Whoever vs. Oklahoma (-13) and some combination of those middleweight teams. Looking ahead, at least one of the four rookies should be pretty good every year, but probably not knocking everyone off the field. The Big 12 is trading championship potential for a nice regular season. The Big 12 didn’t ask to start this trade, but you might be coming up with a better product for you, the home viewer who probably has no interest in the Big 12’s financial success.

Also, compare who won Big 12 titles in real life to who might have won the 12-team remake, strictly based on each season’s SRS rating (and assuming a team-won conference title game with the highest rating).

IRL Champion

Realigned champion, based on SRS

2020 Oklahoma

BYU / Cincinnati (basically tied)

2019 Oklahoma Baylor 2018 Oklahoma UCF 2017 Oklahoma UCF 2016 Oklahoma Estado de Oklahoma 2015 Oklahoma Baylor 2014 Baylor / TCU TCU 2013 Baylor

Baylor / Oklahoma State (basically tied)

2012 Kansas State / Oklahoma Kansas State 2011 Oklahoma State Oklahoma State 2010 Oklahoma TCU 2009 Texas TCU 2008 Oklahoma Texas Tech 2007 Oklahoma West Virginia 2006 Oklahoma West Virginia

See how many more fans can invest in the 12 great races! Hurrah! And this doesn’t show everything, like Houston making a run in 2015 or Kansas-West Virginia becoming arguably the biggest game of 2007.

But the playoff, you might say. Obsessed with the playoffs. Nothing matters more than the playoffs! Well, if that’s the case, keep in mind that many of these Realigned Big 12 champions could have competed for four-team spots, even without wins over Oklahoma or Texas. 2007 West Virginia, 2010 TCU, 2011 Oklahoma State, 2014 TCU and 2017 UCF could have been a real threat to the titles.

Moving forward, the Big 12 will only sometimes be able to play in the main event. It’s okay. Just as the SEC gets more entertaining by welcoming a team that has shown it can hang (while also adding Texas), the Big 12 gets more entertaining by accepting its spot on the card, not that it had another option. Better to be on the mezzanine card than not on the card at all!

Barring really wild stuff, a national title is a semi-realistic goal for the SEC’s top half (which now includes Oklahoma and Oklahoma associate), three Big Ten teams, a couple ACC teams, and maybe a couple more. .

Basically, the goal of all Pac-12 and Big 12 teams is this: to be thought about, preferably in a decent way. Be present, part of the national conversation. Make yourself as happy as possible and share that happiness with as many people as possible.

The new Big 12 brand may be something like the Pac-12 that most people are awake during. And is that really that bad?

Steve Spurrier took an epic shot in Texas saying ‘they can’t win the Big 12 anyway’ and fans loved it

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