With several teams on the way out and talks of disbandment taking place, The Big 12 appeared to be on the brink of extinction. That was two years ago . With TV deals, and load and loads of money at stake, universities were jumping off the bandwagon harder than eagle fans from last year. Nebraska, Texas A&M, Colorado, and Missouri are the teams that bailed. The conference should say just two words to all those teams: GOOD RIDDANCE. Of those four teams, A&M is the only ranked squad, and even that is questionable. One win over a Top-25 team, a two point win over a perennially mediocre Louisiana Tech team. Let’s see how they do when they have to face not only Alabama, but also the stone cold stare of Nick Saban. Has he ever smiled once in his life?
As for the Big 12, the conference has taken great steps to improve since the departure of those schools. Top-25 schools such as TCU and West Virginia have joined in the action, and the action has been incredible so far. Who expected seven Top-25 teams from the Big 12 after six weeks? Texas, TCU, Texas Tech, Iowa State, West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Kansas State are all included in the BCS rankings.
What is most astounding is the fact that K-State is ranked numero cuatro. Bill Snyder has the boys back to the dominance they experienced in the 90’s, and they are not simply getting lucky. They have outscored opponents by 146 points, and given up merely 99 points through six games. If they survive the next two weeks (#13 West Virginia this week and #17 Texas Tech following), they will be deemed legitimate.
I predict the Wildcats will not pounce on the Mountaineers quite like the Texas Tech did, but a victory is still in sight. Gino Smith is an absolute beast. Twenty-five TD’s, zero picks. His numbers may be gaudy and better than RG3’s from last year, but his defense is terrible. That defense gives up an average of over 37 points per game, and Gino’s explosive offense was exposed against the Red Raiders last week. I expect it to be close, but look for the Wildcat backs to run wild this weekend.
My Prediction: K-State 34, WV 28.
There are obviously other relevant teams in this conference, but it is doubtful that one of them will do something extraordinary. Oklahoma is ranked this high every year, but Bob Stoops always manages to choke and lose a game that costs them a good shot at the championship. In fact, that already happened; K-State ruined their chances in week four.
As a whole, the Big 12 is a solid conference. It is definitely one of the top three conferences in the nation, yet it is missing one thing- that one standout team that will represent the conference in the last game of the year. No team has filled that role yet. Will Kansas State prove that they have what it takes? Check back in two weeks.
Up Next: The SEC
Written by Max Bricker