Just how wild has the start to the Big 12 football season been? Even crazier than you might have imagined.
As I was reminiscing about the first month of the football season, I kept thinking about how the underdogs have dominated this conference. Heck, Kansas and Kansas State are the stories of the early Big 12 season. Texas vs. Oklahoma is the only Big 12 game in Week 6 that doesn’t feature at least one ranked team. Who was predicting that back in August?!
So I went back and looked at the schedule and results to find out exactly how unpredictable the Big 12 season has been thus far, and even I was surprised.
There have been nine conference games in the early season and in nine of those games, the underdog has won the game outright. Only twice, Kansas State beating Texas Tech and Texas rolling West Virginia, have the favorites actually won the game.
That’s a 7-2 record straight up for the underdog in nine Big 12 games.
Let’s look at the other seven games.
Kansas vs. West Virginia
The Jayhawks went on the road and trailed WVU 14-0 early before coming back to win the game in Morgantown 55-42 in overtime, which moved KU to 2-0 and was just the beginning of their magical first-half of the season.
Kansas State vs. Oklahoma
The Sooners were a double-digit favorite at home against Kansas State, but the Wildcats did what has become an all too familiar scene for the OU faithful: pull off an upset in Norman with a 41-34 victory.
Baylor vs. Iowa State
The Bears were also underdogs going to Ames where there was plenty of Big 12 referees controversy (what else is new?), but they walked out of Jack Trice Stadium with a 31-24 win.
Texas vs. Texas Tech
The Red Raiders trailed the game by two touchdowns late in the third quarter before a comeback that resulted in a 37-34 overtime win against the Longhorns in Texas Tech’s first home win over UT since 2008.
Oklahoma State vs. Baylor
The Cowboys were slight underdogs going into Waco in a rematch of the Big 12 Championship Game from last season. And it was the Pokes who jumped out to an early lead and other than a rough third quarter, held BU to a total of three points in the first, second and fourth quarters and won 36-25.
Oklahoma vs. TCU
55-24. What else needs to be said? OU gave up nearly 700 yards of offense as Max Duggan looked like Trevone Boykin in his heyday with TCU football as the Horned Frogs rolled to a huge victory against the Oklahoma Sooners.
Iowa State vs. Kansas
The Jayhawks came into the game as a field-goal underdog and thanks to three missed field goals by the Cyclones, KU was able to hang on for a 14-11 victory and improve to 5-0 on the early season as the magical season continues.
This just goes to show you how unpredictable these first few weeks have been for the Big 12 Conference so far this season. There’s no doubt that the Big 12, which advanced metrics show is neck-and-neck with the SEC, is the deepest conference in college football.
However, it’s also likely the Big 12 will miss the College Football Playoff, since the league is so deep and there doesn’t appear to be that clear-cut favorite. In fact, I would expect the Big 12 to feature a pair of 7-2 teams in the conference title game. Heck, if it’s a 6-3 team with multiple tiebreakers, would anyone be surprised?
But for a Big 12 fan, this is as wild a year as we have had, possibly ever, based on unpredictability. Enjoy the ride. I know I will.