The first BCS rankings of the 2013 season were unveiled Sunday night. If first impressions are to be trusted, the Big 12 could be in a tough spot by season's end when it comes to the national title conversation.
Baylor is ranked No. 8 in the BCS while Texas Tech lands at No. 10. (Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are the two other Big 12 teams ranked at No. 15 and No. 19, respectively.) That puts the Bears behind six undefeated teams and a one-loss team (Stanford). Clemson, which is one day removed from getting its doors blown off by Florida State 51-14 at home, sits between the Bears and the Red Raiders at No. 9.
The BCS is designed to select two teams at the end of the year based on what they did during the regular season. So it's not a huge surprise that the Bears are eighth. Baylor is one of the most exciting and ridiculously fast teams in the country, but this team hasn't played anyone noteworthy yet.
That changes in two weeks when Baylor hosts Oklahoma. Baylor then faces Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas to finish out the year. The schedule is backloaded, but the question is whether it would be enough for an undefeated Baylor to make the BCS championship game.
What's more is that, like Baylor, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Texas all have backloaded schedules as well. And those five teams have a combined two conference losses.
That could result in some big conference wins for the Bears or the Red Raiders. It should also result in at least some cannibalism in the Big 12 in the final month of the year.
So if Baylor—or even Texas Tech—is one of more than two undefeated teams at the end of the year, it could be tough to get a shot at a national title.
Some pundits even think an undefeated Ohio State team would get the nod over an undefeated Big 12 team.
And the perception of the Big Ten is just as bad, if not worse, than the Big 12. There's definitely some ground to make up.
Yes, there's a lot of football left to be played. To try to guess which teams will do what is impossible. For all anyone knows, there may not be a Big 12 team that's in the discussion by season's end, making this conversation is moot.
But if Baylor (or Texas Tech) is undefeated at the end of the year, it could still lack the key win or two it needs to make it to the BCS title game. An undefeated Big 12 champion will need just about everyone else from a major conference to lose along the way.