Basketball

Postscripts: Big 12 Football Schedule Drops, Plus ESPN Shares Hot Seat Rankings

NCAA Football: Utah at Baylor

What’s going on in the Big 12 and beyond? I expand and explain every Sunday in Postscripts at Heartland College Sports, your home for independent Big 12 coverage.

This week, get caught up on the Big 12 football schedule, I disagree with a hot seat coaches list and what I expected from Brock Purdy happened much faster than I expected.

 

Big 12 Football Schedule Drops

Did you miss the Big 12 football schedule release? Man, where were you?

Well, let’s get you caught up with all of the stories we wrote this week:

Here is the official schedule release. I need this in a list format, though because I’m actually not the biggest fan of the schedule graphic.

We ranked all the schedule release videos. A certain bowl game sponsor is going to be quite happy.

We filed our top takeaways. Everyone gets two byes this year? We explain why.

Then we picked the best conference game for each week. Did your team make it?

I haven’t written anything about the schedule yet. I’m waiting for the league to move some games around because you KNOW we’re going to get some mid-week games and I have a travel schedule to set.

 

Hot Seat Coach Disagreement

Earlier this week we wrote about ESPN’s ranking of hot seat football coaches. Two Big 12 coaches made the list — Baylor’s Dave Aranda and BYU’s Kalani Sitake.

I have no argument with Aranda. I have a hard time figuring out just how Baylor went from winning the Big 12 in 2021 to winning nine games the past two seasons. Dropping like that is actually pretty hard to do. Hearing Aranda tell it, he’s been slow to embrace NIL, admitting in November that he’s the reason the Bears are behind in the space. He’s made that a priority for 2024.

The thing is, if you’re behind the curve now, two years into NIL, how much can you really catch up in one season? Aranda jettisoned his offensive coordinator, Jeff Grimes, and hired Jake Spavital. That’s one of those moves that a head coach makes when he knows his job is on the line.

I agree less with Sitake’s inclusion. ESPN included him as a coach that could face “external pressure” in 2024.

BYU is one of those jobs that will rarely go outside its footprint for a head coach. LaVell Edwards made the program a national power. Sitake played for him. Edwards’ replacement, Gary Crowton, was a Utah native. So was his replacement, Bronco Mendenhall.

When I covered the BYU-Cincinnati game, I got the sense that Sitake knows where the program needs to go, the talent it needs to get and the timeline that it’s going to take to get it done. That’s a big deal when it comes to joining a conference like the Big 12. Remember when TCU and West Virginia joined? It took them time, too.

I wouldn’t have put Sitake on this list, if we’re being honest.

And, boy, what a difference a season makes. Everyone’s favorite hot seat poster boy, West Virginia’s Neal Brown, was nowhere to be found.

 

An Alliance You Can Take Seriously

Remember when the ACC, the Big Ten and the Pac-12 created an ‘Alliance’ to combat what it saw as the SEC’s stranglehold on college sports? We quickly realized it had all the power of a Daisy air rifle.

Well, here’s an ‘alliance’ you can take seriously.

Earlier this week, the Big Ten and the SEC announced that it was creating an advisory committee, which is expected to look at the entire college sports landscape and solutions within in.

The intuitive leap is that the two leagues — who are now the most powerful in college sports — are laying the groundwork for a complete break from the NCAA.

I can’t disagree. Someone I follow closely on social media asked if the NCAA would still be in charge in 2030. I said no. And I believe that. For better or for worse, the two conferences are starting to play for a  life without that governing body.

The only REAL question is whether the two leagues intend to take anyone with them? Both are flush with cash, dueling television contracts and have the gravitational pull of a black hole when it comes to television rating and fan loyalty. To be frank, neither needs the rest of college sports to be successful.

Our Pete Mundo asked a variation of that question after the news broke.

To be clear, that would stink. But I could see it happening. And it’s something everyone should keep an eye on.

 

A Purdy Fun Super Bowl

You’re going to get a lot of this stuff next week as the Super Bowl approaches.

I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that I thought Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy would lead the San Francisco 49ers to a Super Bowl in his second season. I didn’t. But I felt he was under-drafted in 2022 and didn’t deserve to be “Mr. Irrelevant.”

What I thought Purdy could be going into the NFL was a solid starting quarterback who needed to go to a team with an incumbent starter, a quality coaching staff and get time to develop. And, he actually landed in the right place, just as Patrick Mahomes II landed in those same circumstances when he was drafted by Kansas City.

But, Brock Purdy developed much faster than anyone had any right to expect. So here we are. Purdy is a game away from joining Mahomes as a Super Bowl champion. It’s just incredible that he has to go through Patrick Mahomes to do it.

Do You Know What This Is?

This happened during the Texas-TCU game in Fort Worth on Saturday. I wonder how many people channeled that episode of “The Office” in those few moments when the scoreboard at Schollmaier Arena went wonky.

And, sadly, I am our elder statesman.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.

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