Big 12 Recruiting

Oklahoma State, Iowa State Look to Become the New Powers of the Big 12

Oct 6, 2018; Stillwater, OK, USA; Iowa State Cyclones head coach Matt Campbell and Oklahoma State Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy (right) meet before a game at Boone Pickens Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

What will happen to the Big 12 once Texas and Oklahoma leaves? How will the Big 12 look in a couple of years when they bolt for the SEC? Which teams will take their spot at the top? It looks like we got our answer during the first signing period.

While the Longhorns and Sooners were able to get top ten classes, where did some of the other Big 12 schools fall?

When you take out the two blue bloods, the new look Big 12 had seven teams crack the top 45. Oklahoma State, Iowa State, West Virginia, Baylor, Cincinnati, Texas Tech, and UCF all were in the top 45. That may not seem like a lot, but it is when you compare it to the Pac-12 who had just a total of four schools in the top 45.


Now I could go on to bash the Pac-12 or Stewart Mandel, who defends their every move, but I wanted to shift the focus at the top of the new Big 12. Most notably Oklahoma State and Iowa State.

Pokes and Cyclones Here to Stay

People have been critical of the way Mike Gundy handles recruiting but he just secured back-to-back top 30 classes for the first time in over ten years. Keep in mind that the Cowboys are fresh off a Big 12 title game appearance and now have the best recruiting class in the Big 12 not named Oklahoma or Texas.

I said it after the Big 12 championship game that while the result isn’t what Oklahoma State wanted, their future still remains very bright. Mike Gundy has shown he is capable of changing and adapting to keep up with college football. This past season, the Cowboys relied on their defense which isn’t something that is normal in Stillwater. If they can get some more help on offense, then they could really be on to something special. Of course, finding a good quarterback is a good place to start and after seeing signee Garret Rangel in person, I do believe that Oklahoma State will be in good hands.


As for Iowa State, they were able to get not only the best recruiting class in the Matt Campbell era but in the entire history of Iowa State. The Cyclones capped off a big Wednesday signing a top 30 class. After the regular season ended, a ton of people connected Matt Campbell to about every college football job imaginable. Little did we know that Matt Campbell wasn’t interviewing for other jobs because he was busy putting together this historic class.

Since the Big 12 title game came back in 2017, six Big 12 teams have made at least one appearance in the game which includes Oklahoma State and Iowa State. Both programs have not only made strides off the field but on the field as well. Just this past season, Oklahoma State knocked off Oklahoma for the first time in seven years and made a Big 12 title game appearance. Meanwhile, Iowa State just won a Fiesta Bowl last season and had a trip to Jerry World as well. Not only that but they are beating schools like Oklahoma and Texas on the field which only helps them off it.


It shouldn’t be all that shocking considering Oklahoma State and Iowa State have great head coaches. Mike Gundy has turned Oklahoma State into a top 15 program over the last decade or so by winning a bunch of football games.

As for Iowa State, they don’t have a ton of history when it comes to winning, but ever since Matt Campbell took over, things have been different in Ames, Iowa. While we may have to wait for these classes to pan out, one thing is for sure: the new look Big 12 will look a little different. As of now, Oklahoma State and Iowa State are putting themselves in position to become the new powers of the Big 12 for years to come.


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