It is that time of year again and Big 12 football is back, let the masses rejoice! With CFB returning to national attention and the season beginning, the diehard fan bases of each university are ready to anoint themselves the National Champion. Clearly there is a schedule like no other that will require navigation, a little luck and some dominating play over the long haul. Remember, eve with the new system; a loss will ruin your season and could remove a shot to play for the national title. The ritual that is TV and tailgating has returned to rescue the masses once again. Let’s see what the Big 12 has in store for everyone in 2014.
Sports bars, job sites and cubical mazes are filled with conversations centered on college football. Who will win the Big 12? Is this the year for Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Baylor, Texas, West Virginia, Kansas, Kansas State, TCU, or Texas Tech? Will a Big 12 team win the National Title? This time of year there are always more questions than answers. That is where the Sports Unbiased writing staff comes in.
The crack staff at Sports Unbiased is once again up to the challenge of answering those very questions. The following writers weighed in- Jared Cortes, JR Williams, Adam Solowiei, and Zach Bigalke. Each member of the staff that participated did so without contact from others. The results were tallied and the consensus was determined.
This time around the staff was asked to pick who will win Big 12 Conference. Below you will see which team each writer picked and the Sports Unbiased consensus pick. Our lead college football writer, Zach Bigalke, will also be offering a portion of his 2014 Big 12 preview. We will also give you the ability to weigh in through the use of polls. Each category will have a poll and a national consensus when that poll closes. Check the results, voice your opinion, and make your picks. Let’s see who got it right and who got it wrong over the coming months. Don’t forget to cast your vote in all the polls to help determine the national consensus.
|SU Consensus||Tie (Baylor, Oklahoma)|
Preview and Rankings
It is hard to believe that we’re already entering the fourth season of the Big 12 in its 10-team configuration. Bucking the trend of expansion, the league seems content to continue playing on with fewer than a dozen schools. (The better the payday distribution for each team still standing, after all.) What will that mean in the new College Football Playoff era, though.
On one hand, the fact that each Big 12 squad plays a full round-robin schedule against every other team within the conference. Except for the Pac-12, every other Power Five league plays only eight conference opponents. Considering further that the SEC, ACC, and Big Ten have all expanded to 14 teams yet still play only eight other conference rivals each year, the fact that the Big 12 produces a definitive league champion annually could work in its favor in the CFP selection committee’s eyes.
On the other hand, though, the Big 12 has not played a conference championship game since Oklahoma beat Nebraska in 2010. With every other Power Five conference hosting a 13th game for its division champions, there is also the argument that the Big 12 contenders will have fewer opportunities to impress the selectors. Nine conference games, further, only bolster a team’s credibility when those other schools field strong units. An extra game against a team like Kansas or Iowa State doesn’t exactly do wonders for the strength of schedule, and the round robin could come back to bite the league in a close push for a playoff spot.
But the rising tide that has seen Kansas State and Baylor break up the Oklahoma/Texas hegemony over the conference ultimately means that these potential black marks are less pronounced than they might have been five years earlier. A deeper pool of contenders combined with a round robin means that there are more true tests of the talent on the field, and that we are far less likely to see a controversial situation like the three-way tie for the Big 12 South in 2008 now that every team plays everyone else.(READ MORE)