What-If Wednesday: Big 12 Football Rivalry Week, National Signing Day Bust, Officiating Issues

Syndication: The Des Moines Register

Welcome into our newest feature, we’re calling, “What-If Wednesday”. In this column, I’ll propose a handful of questions that, at this point, have not come to fruition. But IF they do, what will come out of it? What’s the end game?

Join us for this one and let’s have some fun.


What If the Big 12 Conference Puts Together ‘Rivalry Week’ Separate From Week 14?

The Big 12’s football schedule is fun, but it needs some pop. The last week of the season does have some rivalries, like Arizona vs. Arizona State and Kansas State vs. Iowa State (although this game isn’t even a protected game, which is a rant for another day). But that’s it.

I understand why the Big 12 doesn’t want to have its rivalry games going up against Alabama vs. Auburn and Michigan vs. Ohio State, but then the Big 12 should try to build its own Rivalry Weekend on another weekend. My two suggestions: Week 12 or 13, the two weekends before Thanksgiving, since the SEC is playing all its soft games against the FCS during those weekends.

Or go for a “cool” weekend like Halloween. And just try to own it with your own Rivalry Weekend. Now, the other problem is that the Big 12 is going to take some time to grow its Rivalry Weekend, since there are new teams and rivalries take time to develop.


But I’d do something like what our own Bryan Clinton proposed on our free Heartland message boards (go sign up here):

BYU vs. Utah (Protected)

Arizona vs. Arizona State (Protected)

TCU vs. Baylor (Protected)

Colorado vs. Kansas/Iowa State (Alternating Years)

Kansas State vs. Iowa State/Kansas (Alternating Years)

Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma State

Cincinnati vs. West Virginia

UCF vs. Houston (Space Game?)

It’s not perfect, but it’s the best we can think of right now.


What if Kelvin Sampson unloaded on the officials on Tuesday night just to make a point?

Well, then I would say his point was made loud and clear.

Kelvin Sampson becomes the latest Big 12 coach to express his frustrations with the officiating in this league.

After the game, Sampson was asked about the outburst that led to his ejection, and he was candid with the reporter who asked the question.

“I have no thoughts. If I say something to answer your question and they fine me $25,000, what part of that $25,000 are you willing to pay,” Sampson asked the reporter, who clearly declined to cover the fine. “So, don’t ask me silly questions. Because it’s a $25,000 fine if I tell the truth.”

That reference is to Baylor athletic director Mack Rhoades, who was fined $25,000 for ripping the officials after Baylor beat Iowa State, which included head coach Scott Drew getting ejected.

Meantime, Oklahoma head coach Porter Moser was asked about the officiating in the Big 12 earlier this week, and he had the one-word answer of, “Next.”

These coaches are not happy, at all, with the league’s officials, and for the conference that wants to call itself, and is, the best in the country, Brett Yormark and the leaders need to try to improve things ASAP.


What If National Signing Days were as exciting as they used to be?

Man, I would be on Cloud 9.

National Signing Day is today. Yes, today. And it seems like no one cares, or is really talking about it. Most guys sign during the Early Signing Window, which is understandable, but it sure does take a lot of the excitement away.

February was special because we were usually a few weeks removed from any games, and the last few weeks would be littered with rumors as to which big player is going where and who is going to flip.

Now? It’s just, whatever.

And the Early Signing Day is understood, but it’s right after the season, before, or during, bowl season, and is right before the holidays when people are scattered. February is the time when we are desperate to think of fall Saturdays, warmer weather, cold beer and football. And we’ve lost that.

The entire college football schedule is a disaster, and today is another reminder of just that.

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