So the 2020 college football season is moving ahead, at least for the Big 12 Conference and the SEC, plus the ACC. Unfortunately for Big Ten and Pac-12 fans, they will be sitting on the sidelines this year.
But do not fear, we are here for Big Ten and Pac-12 fans to tell you which Big 12 teams would be a great fit for you to follow this fall as we gear up for the season. We picked one Big Ten and one Pac-12 school that would be a good fit for each Big 12 program.
Baylor Bears: Michigan State Spartans, Utah Utes
Baylor is a program that despite the horrible off-field issues in recent years has had a ton of on-field success that often gets overlooked by the national media and many even within their own state. Just like Utah, who has finished at least T-1st in the Pac-12 South three of the past five years, no one outside of Utah seems to even know that. Then, Michigan State, despite its string of success always gets overlooked even in its own state by Michigan, no matter how good the Spartans are playing that fall. Baylor fans can relate on many levels!
Iowa State Cyclones: Minnesota Gophers, Stanford Cardinal
Minnesota fans can relate to what it’s like to having a young, up-and-coming head coach who has exceeded expectations. That’s exactly what happened last year for P.J. Fleck and there’s no doubt both fan bases can converse over having to deal with constant rumors from national pundits about when their coach by scoot out the door. Meantime at Stanford, defense and hard-nosed football is the priority and the offense can often go through the tight end position. That’s very similar to what you’ll see in Ames this fall.
Kansas Jahawks: Rutgers Scarlet Knights, Oregon State Beavers
It’s been a rough run for all these fan bases of late. But you know what they can all do together? Reminisce about the good old days. Rutgers looks back to Greg Schiano, Oregon State with Mike Riley and then Kansas with Mark Mangino. There won’t be much good football to watch, but all these fans are used to it and can talk about when times were better.
Kansas State Wildcats: Iowa Hawkeyes, Colorado Buffaloes
Iowa fans will love watching Chris Klieman and the style that Kansas State brings to the table with the defensive effort and smash mouth football that Kirk Ferentz has used at Iowa for two decades. Then there’s Colorado, who might as well latch onto a former Big 12 North foe for nostalgia. Colorado’s move to the Pac-12 just hasn’t worked out for them. Maybe the fan base rooting for a Big 12 team will get the folks in charge in Boulder thinking about the future… just sayin’.
Oklahoma Sooners: Ohio State Buckeyes, Oregon Ducks
Ohio State and Oregon fans want to win, win and win. They’re the class of their respective conference and they are not going to go root for a team that isn’t going to light up the scoreboard and do it in style. That’s what Lincoln Riley has done at OU and the offenses have done in Columbus in Eugene for several years. They like to be the hunted and are used to going into Saturday’s with that kind of pressure. These are natural fits.
Oklahoma State Cowboys: Nebraska Cornhuskers, Arizona Wildcats
Nebraska fans are never going to root for a former Big 12 North team and they won’t root for the blue bloods from the Big 12 South, but I think they could get on board with the Oklahoma State Cowboys. They’ll enjoy watching Mike Gundy’s explosive offense as it’s what they hope Scott Frost will be able to accomplish in Lincoln moving forward. That was the plan when he came over from UCF. As for Arizona, the offensive-styles are a natural fit and I could definitely see these party-boy fans getting along in Tuscon and Stillwater.
Texas Longhorns: Michigan Wolverines, USC Trojans
Blue bloods root for blue bloods. And considering these three have all recruited at high levels, but underachieved for the better part of a decade, it seems like they would all be natural fits for each other. Texas, Michigan and USC fans all go into the season expecting a College Football Playoff run. However it never happens. These programs and fan bases would get along just fine.
TCU Horned Frogs: Washington Huskies, Penn State Nittany Lions
TCU, Washington and Penn State like their defenses and even in the best seasons feel underappreciated and disrespected. No matter how much success TCU, Washington or Penn State have, their fans know it won’t be viewed the same as Texas, USC or Ohio State. For that reason, these fans will get along and they’ll appreciate the style from Gary Patterson and his permanent chip on the shoulder.
Texas Tech Red Raiders: Indiana Hoosiers, Arizona State Sun Devils
Parties, parties, parties and some mediocre football. That”s something you can typically county on from these three programs and universities. There’s always some reason for optimism and there will be the occasional high draft pick who most college fans won’t know (Texas Tech fans are clearly screaming “Patrick Mahomes!” right now), but when it comes to style and expectations, there seems to be a good fit with these three.
West Virginia Mountaineers: Maryland Terrapins, Washington State Cougars
The Mountaineers will gladly welcome a geographical friend in Maryland who is much closer than any Big 12 school is to Morgantown. Also both fan bases are relatively newcomers to their respective conferences so the can certainly chat about those growing pains. Meantime, Washington State and West Virginia fans would totally get along as they discuss recruiting challenges for their respective programs, along with the new coaches and rebuilds each is facing. This one makes sense.
So which pairing did we get wrong and why? Let us know in the comments!
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