By Ben Brake
Strength In The Big 12
The Big 12 should prove to be one of the strongest conferences in the country once again. Last year the Big 12 didnít get the respect it deserved until they took care of business in the bowl games.
They were saying that the Big 12 wasnít that strong and would pay the price when they matched up with other conferences in the bowl games. They were looking at Oklahoma who had gone 7-5 two years ago and came out the 2000 season on fire. They took Nebraska by storm, K-State by surprise, and left the Nation in shock.
They just knew that the Big 12 had to have a big drop off if OU was winning all of these games and a team like Iowa State was knocking off opponents while finishing 9-3 for the first time since the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock.
Iím sure the NCAA was all ready to realign the conference once again and maybe call it the Outback Conference. Cause outback is where the outhouse is kept. They couldnít believe that these teams in the conference could actually be that good.
Well, then along came the bowl selections and they just knew that the Big Dozen would crumble to the powers from above. This was the time to find out if OU could actually be good enough to stand up to a powerhouse like Florida State and the other teams in the conference could stand up to the rest of the country.
The Big 12 did fantastic with the exception of the State of Texas. They found out that "Gods Country" is very mortal. They didnít do to well "down yonder".
They eyes of Texas were out ducked by Oregon, Texas Tech couldnít keep up with East Carolina, and Texas A&M just missed with Miss. St.
But thanks to the old Big 8 teams the Big 12 looked mighty powerful. Iowa State came through against Pittsburgh, Nebraska embarrassed Northwestern, Kansas State made sure that Tennessee wasnít going to volunteer any time soon, and OU made sure they scored all of the points in the game against Florida State with a 13-2 victory and the national championship.
The Big 12 is looking as strong as ever again this year. From top to bottom, any team can emerge as the next Big 12 powerhouse with maybe a few exceptions. The teams that have a long way to go until they establish anything substantial can still jump up and bite you if your not careful.
You have Oklahoma and Texas in the south, Nebraska and K-State in the north that stand at the top. Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Iowa State, and Colorado are in the middle, but could emerge quickly. Oklahoma State, Baylor, Kansas, and Missouri are at the bottom, but they are the deadly ones. They are good teams but donít have all the elements yet, but they can bite you when you least expect it. If one of those teams get you the BCS will shun you like yesterdayís news.
This season will be a lot of fun to watch because the Big 12 will once again show their dominance. I expect the major networks to be a little easier on the conference after last year, but Iím sure they will have to get in a few digs when they can.
Have a Great Wildcat Day!