Big 12 Conference is a comedy of errors

Poking fun at the Big 12 is not too difficult these days, but in case you were searching for even more fodder, the conference has stumbled out of the bowl season starting gate with a resounding 0-3 thud. On Monday, the program’s two flagship programs (Oklahoma and Texas) were bludgeoned by a combined score of 71-13 in their respective games.

Ahhh it seems like only yesterday that Texas Athletic Director Deloss Dodds uttered the now infamous phrase Our bad years are not that bad. Take a school like Missouri. Our bad years are better than their good years. But we’ve created a standard.” Since the day Dodds made that statement Missouri is a combined 22-4 in football games. Texas, meanwhile has continued to wallow in obscurity, going 14-11 over the same time frame.


We all know the wheels started to come off this conference more than three years ago when Big 12 members without hope for escape like Kansas, Kansas State Iowa State decided to bow down to mighty Texas when the school went forward with the now-fledgling “Longhorn Network.” Colorado and Nebraska were the first to bolt to different conferences, which began the initial monopoly board of conference re-alignment. Texas A&M and Missouri fled to the SEC after the 2011 season and both programs have thrived in their new surroundings; renovating stadiums, building facilities and remaining competitive on the field of play.

In 2014, the Big 12 unveiled a new logo and the simple yet confusing slogan of: One True Champion. Hilarity ensued as the conference found itself in a pinch as the College Football Playoff committee decided to leave both Baylor and TCU out of the playoffs, in large part because….They could not decide on a champion! Despite defeating TCU head-to-head, commissioner Bob Bowlsby decided that a co-championship was the way to go and did not crown Baylor as the definitive Big 12 Champion. Rumors began to swirl immediately that Baylor was unhappy with its current situation and may look to move elseware.

If you’re going to slogan around and say One True Champion, and all of a sudden art-briles-ncaa-football-big-12-media-day-850x560you’re going to go out the back door instead of the front?” Coach Art Briles said after his team beat K-State on December 6th. “Don’t say one thing and do another. That’s my whole deal. If they had said from the get-go we’ve got co-champs, head to head doesn’t matter, I’m OK with it. I’m not obligated to him. I’m obligated to Baylor University and our football team. We just happen to be part of the Big 12 and we happen to be the champion two years in a row, so they need to be obligated to us because we’re helping the Big 12’s image in the nation.

Competitively, we think that having everybody play everybody is the right way to determine a champion, even if you do sometimes have a tie.” Big 12 Commisioner Bob Bowlsby said in rebuttal.

The only power-five league without a conference championship game (and refuses to crown a true champion) gets left out of the College Football Playoff. Surely, it’s time to expand right?

KYNGWCNLEYEUEVG.20120504163144At the present time we have no strategy. We haven’t had any discussions around expansion,”Bowsly said. “We don’t have any list. We don’t have any initiative. I would say that the status quo is by far the most attractive status to most of our members.”

Yes status quo really seems to be getting the job done Mr. Bowlsby! After all, that’s exactly what each conference around the nation is doing at the present time (sarcasm meter high). Meanwhile, the SEC, who already had 12 nationally respected  institutions, had the foresight to add additional schools, which created more revenue for the league and helped launch the ESPN-based “SEC Network.”

There is a clear case of SEC-envy that exists within the paper-thin walls of the once-proud Big 12. Bob Stoops, whose Oklahoma Sooners were all but a shoe-in for the College Football Playoff before the season, just saw his team get manhandled by Clemson in the Russell Athletics Bowl. “Big Game” Bob has never understood the SEC hype:

They said ‘the SEC this, the SEC that. I said, You talk like all 14 teams are this, that and the other thing. I said, ‘You have to give credit to the first one or two that have won the national championship, but don’t act like they’re all doing that.

That is what this conference is reduced to in today’s college football landscape. There is clearly no leadership or direction present in the Big 12 at this time. Standing idly by and attempting to take pot-shots at other leagues as the parade shuffles by waving. Missing out on expansion opportunities (Louisville) and refusing to get behind Baylor as the “One True Champion” in 2014 only furthers the growing reputation that the conference is a rudderless ship, destined to quietly fade into obscurity.

Avatar of Clint Switzer
Full-time sports fan, part-time contributor to society. GASN Sports co-founder, podcast host, filmmaker and writer.

3 thoughts on “Big 12 Conference is a comedy of errors

  1. This is a good and necessary article. But I believe the problem you have discussed dates back to the late 1980s when Texas ran the Southwest Conference and Oklahoma ran the Big Eight Conference. Other schools always gave in to the “big boys”. UT and OU always wanted more than their fair share (and still do). Texas killed the SWC. Give credit to Arkansas for seeing the promise land in the SEC back in 1990. Arkansas put Texas in their proper place. I think everyone would agree with that was the right move for Arkansas. Then we all witnessed the fall of the rest of the SWC and now the Big 8 with the continuing Longhorn ego. Oklahoma couldn’t even stop Texas. Other decent Universities jumped to join other conferences because of UT and OU. (How many people actually care about the Longhorn Network?) The SEC started the conference realignment we see today and the SEC remains at the head of that game. The Pac10 and Big 10 always said they had a true conference champion because each school played each other. Look who’s conference has a championship game today. If you think the Big 8 is the big loser in all of this …I think you would be correct. It is the same cancer that killed the Southwest Conference……….Texas.

  2. HAHA who wrote this garbage? Baylor is looking to move? Where the mountain west or maybe the AAC? This article says KU, KSU and ISU had no escape when in reality the thing that kept Texas from leaving was that Baylor was the least wanted school in the Big12 and would have been left in the cold if UT and Tech went to the Pac12.

  3. Big12 needs to expand. Plain and simple. Add Houston and Cincinnati or Memphis and be done with it. Days for 10 team conferences are behind us. Until this conference decides to change with the times they will fade away when more Big12 schools start to get picked up by other conferences like the Pac12.

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