Bowl Season is the time of the year when conference bragging rights get sorted out. If the SEC whoops everyone like they’re “supposed to,” ESPN makes a big deal about it. What about when the Big 12 does the whooping?
Over the last two seasons, no one has been better in Bowl Season than the Big 12. Not the SEC. Not the Big 10. Certainly not the ACC or Pac-12. Nope, the Big 12 has a winning percentage of .833 in Bowl Games since 2020.
Take a look at this graphic, courtesy of the Big 12 Conference Twitter Page.
Hey Pac-12, you good? That .000 doesn’t look like much fun. How about you guys over there on the West Coast? .182 is pretty hard to look at, huh? Sure, opt-outs, motivation (or the lack thereof), and COVID all play a role but damn guys, at least put up a fight.
All jokes aside, the Big 12 has, at the very least, put itself in the conversation to be one of the top two conferences in the sport over the past two years. Sure, the SEC has Alabama and Georgia, who are both consistently at the top recently; but Oklahoma has been that as well.
“Well, what about this year?”
Yes, let’s talk about the 2021 season. Oklahoma underachieved, going 11-2 and finishing the season with a 47-32 win over a depleted Oregon team that was the Pac-12’s second-best team.
So the conference had to be down as a whole, right? Wrong. In fact, this may have been the strongest the Big-12 has been for years. Three teams (Baylor, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma) finished the season with 11 or more wins; only the Big 12 and Big Ten can claim that. So how does the conference look going forward?
If you were to look at the “New Big 12” (Add Houston, Cincinnati, UCF, and BYU; Subtract Oklahoma, Texas), the conference still finished first in the “Power Five” conferences, with a .667 winning percentage in the 2021 Bowl Games.
Even though the scheduling would make things a little different, the “New Big 12” had four teams with 12 or more wins (Baylor, Oklahoma State, Cincinnati, and Houston).
I think it’s safe to say the Big 12 will be just fine going into the future.