It’s easy to wonder where it started. This downfall of what was once one of the best conferences in the country, is now one of the most desperate conferences in America and has fallen back further and further in the ever changing world of College Football.
Now the Big 12, whether it wants to admit it or not, is at a pivotal point in its existence. It’s not near the levels of 2010 where we thought the Big 12 would become a long forgotten memory like the Zune and HD DVD. However, the Big 12 is a long way away from being the powerhouse that it once was.
When it comes to the “Power 5” conferences in the college football world, the Big 12 is the least stable. That’s right, even more unstable than the ACC which has seen improvement with Florida State’s national title in 2014 and overall conference success. The Big 12 also lags behind the Pac-12, which has seen tremendous growth in recent years with their very lucrative TV deal.
The simple thing to do is sit around for the next four to five seasons and wait for the Big 12 to get gobbled up by the Big Ten, SEC or Pac-12, but we can avoid all of that by doing a few simple but effective things.
Take Back Texas
In college football these days, especially in the Big 12, in order to be successful you need to recruit in the football-rich state of Texas. Five years ago, Big 12 schools could set up camp and block off the state from other competing conferences. Schools like Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech were thriving off of the state’s deep and immense talent pool. Things have changed since then.
Baylor, TCU and Texas A&M have dominated Texas recruiting and now schools like Oklahoma and Texas are now fighting an uphill battle. The more quality recruits from the state of Texas enter Big 12 schools, the more competitive play will be within the conference.
No more FCS opponents
I know Baylor, Kansas and the beloved Wildcats love their Football Championship Subdivision opponents and love to schedule “Directional Illinois Tech,” but when it comes to everybody’s ultimate goal of the College Football Playoff, the Big 12 falls short.
Many experts argue that it was the lack of a quality schedule that hurt both Baylor and TCU’s chances to reach the CFP a year ago. The Big 12 can adopt the Big Ten’s policy starting in 2016 by putting a ban on FCS opponents. It gives the conference an opportunity for schedule improvement and high profile games.
Stick with 10
Sure, 10 teams in a conference called the “Big 12” makes no sense, but does anything in college football make sense in 2015? That’s what I thought.
Throughout the last few months, rumblings have been made that the Big 12 needs to get 12 schools to have access to a conference championship. However, adding in schools like South Florida, Central Florida and Cincinnati really don’t raise the talent level or conference profile.
A 10-team conference doesn’t need a championship game and with the addition of a non-FCS schedule, it means the schedules will be better. Now, an undefeated or one loss Baylor won’t get shafted based on the fact they faced Northwestern Washington Tech in early September.
Once the Big 12 figures this out, I’m sure I’ll be hired as the newest commissioner of the Big 12.