Yesterday a friend in one of my fantasy leagues said something trying to get a response out of those of us (most in this league) that are from the Midwest and are fans of the Big 12: “I’m pissed off that no one will acknowledge that the Little 12 is far inferior to the SEC” he so sweetly exclaimed. After a brief cooling off period and some reflection on what it really meant to be the ‘best conference’ in the nation an internal conclusion was reached. The answer: a complete season.
Yes the Big 12 was and deserved to be the unanimous choice for best conference during the regular season, but a 4-3 mark by the conference in the most important games of the year, with the unstoppable South division of the group going 1-3 just won’t cut the mustard. And yes, for all you mathematicians out there the little brother of the division went 3-0 with wins by Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas. To be fair the Northwestern’s, Minnesota’s and even the Clemson’s (this year) aren’t even in the same ballpark, and a win in OT by Mizzou and 5 point win by Nebraska means the conference I hold so dear was very close to a 2-5 turnout. Heck, even Texas, one of the biggest brothers barely pulled out a win over a team many thought they would demolish in hopes of claiming a split national championship.
Alas, (my eyes nearly not trusting what they see appearing on the screen before them) the Big 12 doesn’t deserve the title of the best conference. Not yet. Until you can beat a middle of the pack SEC team in a near home game when you were supposed to be the team that was one game shy of the national championship? Thank goodness they didn’t make it. If you want to see the definition of no defense look no further than Lubbock, had they prevailed in the mid-November game in Norman they’d have embarrassed the conference against the Gators down in the title game. The SEC remains strong as the best damn conference in the land, love it or hate it, you have to respect it, at least until somebody proves different for an entire season.
My apologies to Les Miles.