It was a perfect weekend (at least weather wise) for the Big 12, where the top of the conference won their games and most importantly set up a potential top-15 matchup between the Oklahoma State Cowboys and Oklahoma Sooners in 12 days. Looking at the scores across the country, the conference did not receive any outside help however, as the odds of a playoff berth actually worsened for the front-runner despite a 20-18 win on the road. When the rankings dropped on Sunday afternoon, the Big 12 remained with four teams in the AP top-25 led by the OSU Cowboys sitting at #14 for the second straight week.
Here at Heartland College Sports, we will take you in depth of the AP rankings and let you, the casual fan, see why the ranking is the way it is and possibly call out some strange things we see from the AP registered voters. With that being said, let’s check out who gets free cheese fries at Eskimo Joes the next time they’re in Stillwater and who will be overpaying for parking near Boone Pickens Stadium on gameday.
Last week it was a ‘choose your own adventure’ style of article because of the craziness of the polls, but this week I will settle our collective focus on one man. Pull up a chair and have a seat Rob Long, because of course we have to be talking about your ballot. Rob is a registered AP Top-25 voter from WJFK 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore, Maryland and his ballot couldn’t have been more confusing if you picked names out of a hat as your rankings. Rob’s top 10 seems pretty straight forward; all teams that deserve to be where they are or could be argued as such.
The head scratcher from Rob Long’s ballot comes from the jumbled mess after #11 in his ballot however, where he has 7-1 SMU at #13 despite getting walloped 42-13 in their only game against a currently ranked opponent. Immediately following SMU is 6-0 Marshall who’s only notable win is over a team from the Sun Belt in Appalachian State. It just continues to get weirder though, because Mr. Long ranked Liberty at #16 after beating Virginia Tech, their first win over a team with more than 2 wins on the year. I understand you’re in the area and perhaps you like to root for the local schools, but let’s keep it real and all agree Liberty is not better than any Big 12 school.
Moving on, we look at the jaw-dropping portion where Rob has this order starting with #17 in his ballots: Tulsa, Oklahoma, Texas and Oklahoma State. Iowa State sits back at #24 to round out the ranked conference teams. Just a refresher Rob, because it appears you haven’t done your research, Oklahoma State beat Tulsa (with the third string QB for the Pokes) to open the season. Iowa State defeated Oklahoma earlier in the year as well. While you did rank the Sooners ahead of the Longhorns after they played each other and OU was victorious, I am just confused how you chose to ignore the fact that Oklahoma State defeated Tulsa? Listen, you could make the argument that OU is playing the best in the Big 12 and rank them ahead of the Cowboys, but I strongly disagree when you then choose to rank Tulsa ahead of OSU when they quite literally played on the field In case you need a reference of which team is better.
Put some respect on the Big 12 Mr. Long, that is all we are asking for. At the bare minimum, we would like an explanation of how SMU has deserved to be in the top 15, meanwhile Oklahoma State, also with 1 loss, does not? Oklahoma State has one loss, in overtime, to a team ranked in your top 20! SMU does not hold a single ranked win. OSU has beaten 2 ranked teams. Just seems like the resume doesn’t quite compare if you ask me.
Hopefully over the final month of the college football season where the AP ballots matter and we move onto the CFB Rankings, Rob will re-evaluate the Big 12 and begin to give them more respect; the same respect he gave to #22 Auburn who hasn’t beaten a team above .500 in the record books. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt Rob, but please dive into the teams you have ranked for a minute and look at who they have (or haven’t) played before you just toss them on the board. The Big 12 is a good conference at the top, just like any of the other power 5 conferences. It’s time to treat the Big 12 as such.
Looking ahead, the four ranked teams in the BIG 12 do not have a game this weekend, so we shouldn’t see anyone drop in the next AP Top 25. If you’re a Big 12 fan this weekend, kick your feet up, root for chaos among the ranked teams and enjoy not stressing your team’s game. Because the week after that it’s going to be Bedlam. Both the game and metaphorically speaking.
**Please do not send any ill-will to any AP voters, this is meant to be a fun article highlighting some discrepancies amongst the AP Top 25 voters.
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