The Big 12 as strong as it’s ever been?


Head coach Bob Stoops joined Mike and Mike In the Morning on ESPN Radio today, and with the recent Penn State sanctions, Stoops got his first of many Penn State-related questions. He’ll be in Bristol all day, so there’s no doubt everyone will want his opinion on the matter, but Greene and Golic did get to some conference talk.

Stoops thinks the conference is just as strong, if not stronger. Is Stoops sincerely hyping up the conference, or is he trying to avoid admitting the lower standard of football in the Big 12 compared to the SEC. Honestly, I think Stoops was being sincere.

The conference is strong, becuase it’s top tier teams are really strong. Oklahoma is going to compete for a National Championship this season, but no one is holding their breath, because OU football has been a letdown before. However, the Sooners have stayed relevant for some time now, but what about the rest of the league?

No one really thinks Kansas, Iowa State, or Texas Tech can truly contend for the Big 12 title, right? Baylor is a huge question mark, but Briles is a good coach. After those four, though, it gets tricky.

Not a lot of people are high on Kansas State, but who says they can’t duplicate their success from last year? Same goes for Oklahoma State. They are coming off their first Big 12 title ever, but Gundy will have a rough time repeating as conference champs.

Moving up the latter, Texas is getting all the preseason love, but there isn’t really any proof the Horns are back until we see what they do in the Big 12. Playing Oklahoma State in Stillwater, West Virginia in Austin, and the Sooners in Dallas is not the most ideal way to start conference play, but Texas can silence the doubters by starting their Big 12 slate strong.

As for West Virginia and Texas Christian, I think the Horned Frogs can be good, but not conference title good. Pachall is a solid quarterback, but so is Geno Smith, who has plenty more weapons. The Mountaineers are going to outscore a lot of teams, or at least try to, but their first year in the conference, it will be extremely tough to adapt that quickly.

You’re looking at possibly six teams that could contend, but probably three who actuallly can. The conference looks good, but is it as strong as it’s ever been? I would say yes, because the bottom isn’t as bad, but let’s stop asking these questions more than a month before the season even starts. The Big 12 will speak for itself in 2012, whether that be good or bad.