We are just a little over one month into the college football season and the new Big 12 is already proving it can hang with the other power five conferences.
Back in the summertime, every national beat writer and blogger gave up on the Big 12 when Texas and Oklahoma announced their decision to move to the SEC. To most, the conference was a complete afterthought when compared to the likes of the ACC, Big Ten and the Pac-12.
Then the conference got up off the ground and back on its feet as they added UCF, Houston, Cincinnati, and BYU. While losing Texas and Oklahoma will hurt, the additions of those four schools played a crucial part in keeping the Big 12 together moving forward. The question is no longer if the Big 12 will survive, the question now is what will it look like compared to other power five conferences?
Throw out Texas and Oklahoma right now because they will be gone soon enough and enter Cincinnati and BYU. The Bearcats are currently ranked #5 in the AP Poll while BYU sits at #10. Oklahoma State is also sitting high in the rankings at #12. Now why am I mentioning all of this? Because we are getting closer and closer to the first College Football Playoff Rankings.
With three Big 12 schools currently ranked in the top twelve, where do some of these other conferences sit? For starters, take a look at the Pac-12. They only have two schools ranked in the top twenty-five with Oregon at #25 and Arizona State at #22.
Will either one of those schools make it? At this point, I seriously doubt it. Oregon is fresh off a loss to an unranked Stanford team (who Kansas State beat handily) and still have UCLA, Utah and Oregon State left on the schedule before a potential Pac-12 title game. Arizona State’s schedule isn’t much easier. The Sun Devils still have Utah, USC, and Oregon State on the schedule and could very easily slip up another time or two. In a few weeks, I would not be shocked to see no Pac-12 schools in the top twelve and if that is the case, that conference can kiss their playoff chances goodbye.
Now let’s take a peek at the almighty ACC… or the league that Clemson usually runs. I say usually runs because the Tigers already have two losses and are currently sitting outside the Top 25. In case you didn’t know, there are only two ACC schools in the top twenty-five. Wake Forest is currently 19th and NC State sits at #23. The Wolfpack already have a loss and still have a plenty of games left including a November 13th matchup with Wake Forest. If NC State loses that game, their playoff hopes are done. Oh, and Wake Forest has a three-game stretch of North Carolina, NC State and Clemson starting in November. Do you really think they will make it out without any setbacks? I seriously doubt it.
Media Narrative is Wrong
Despite the media bashing our heads over and over screaming that the new Big 12 can’t compete with other power five conferences seems ridiculous at this point. I know we are only a few games into the 2021 season, but it certainly is shaping up to be a good one for the new look Big 12 when you compare it to the ACC or Pac-12. Those strong national media voices who mocked the Big 12 should be closing their mouths and opening their eyes because what they are seeing is that the Big 12 will be fine without Texas and Oklahoma on the field.