As it stands right now, Texas is the undeniable favorite to win the Big 12. In fact, most would be surprised if Texas didn’t run the table when looking at their remaining schedule:
@ Oklahoma State
@ Texas A&M
Add it all up, and according to the current rankings, Texas will have only played four teams ranked in the Top 25. Of course, that is assuming that the teams in Oklahoma, Kansas, Oklahoma State, and Missouri don’t encounter a bevy of losses during the remainder of the regular season.
What is very likely is that only one of these teams will end up ranked in the Top 25 come the 1st week of December.
Kansas has yet to crack the Top 15 and remaining on their schedule are the following games: Oklahoma, @ Texas Tech, Nebraska, @ Texas, and Missouri. Very easy to see Kansas losing at least three of those contests, and it isn’t all that unassuming that they would lose all five.
Missouri is barely in the Top 25 and have a tough game against Nebraska on Thursday night. Also included on their schedule are the following: @ Oklahoma State, Texas, Baylor, and Kansas. Very easy to see at least two losses coming out of that slate of games, and with the youth on the Tiger team, don’t think for a minute that ‘cake walks’ against Colorado, Kansas State, and Iowa State are for sure W’s for the Zou.
Oklahoma State was handily beaten at home by Houston. You know, the team that just gave up 58 in a losing effort to UTEP. Not only that, but stud wide receiver Dez Bryant has just been ruled ineligible by the NCAA. All of four weeks ago this was a team with serious National Title game aspirations. Now it is a team in complete chaos sitting on the brink of a season filled with disaster. Not even the most ardent Cowboy supporter is considering a single game as a for sure win for the rest of the season.
And then we have Oklahoma. Already beset with two tough one point losses to BYU and Miami, the Sooners not only have to face big-time rival Texas but also @ Kansas, @ Nebraska, @ Texas Tech, and Bedlam rival Oklahoma State. Even Sooner fans are currently fearing an unimaginable season of six losses. And gasp, the possibility of not even making it to a bowl game?
What this all means is that yet again, Texas could be facing a voting public saying “Hey, what about your schedule?” for the second straight year.
Taking a look around the country, it isn’t all that unimaginative to see a Cincinnati, Boise State, or even a one loss USC team leap-frogging the Longhorns. Especially if they struggle in a conference that may be the second weakest of all the BCS conferences right now.
Think about it.
Once again, if it comes down to a question of who has earned a trip to the BCS championship game, the non-conference schedule of Texas may well be their achille’s heel yet again.
Louisiana-Monroe, Wyoming, UTEP, and UCF. There aren’t too many BCS schools that couldn’t run through that slate of games undefeated. Throw in a very down Big 12 and questions will start to be asked.
All the while Cincinnati took on Oregon State, Fresno State, and Illinois in their non-conference schedule, and Boise State at least had Oregon on their non-conference slate.
Now let us throw another log onto the fire.
Not only is the Big 12 suffering an immense amount of non-conference losses to other BCS schools, but they are also losing a lot of the star players that were to lead this league in seriously challenging the mighty SEC for conference supremacy this year.
Since fall camp has opened, the following Big 12 ‘stars’ have gone down with injuries or have been kicked off of the team:
All of these guys were expected to seriously contend for All Big-12 recognition this year, and all of them have missed, or will miss, at least a single game. Most will miss multiple games, and some are out for the year.
Not only is Texas playing in a conference that is being belittled by poor non-conference play, but when the Longhorns actually do play these teams, they will be playing them without their best players on the field.
Now for the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Many voters are simply tired of the Big 12 getting beat in the BCS title game. Like it or not, the Big 12 has received the most bids to the BCS Championship game (six) and are a paltry 2-4 in those contests.
As much as the entire Big 10 is paying the price for BCS and big game mishaps, one should full well expect some ill will to start being cast in the direction of the Big 12 as well.
The people want to see a new face, not the same old same old whipping boy of season's past.
They are tired of BCS Championship game blowouts. They have also seen non-BCS schools put together an impressive 3-1 record in BCS games and have also watched the pedestrian Big East garner a winning record in their 11 BCS bowl game attempts. We also can’t forget the impeccable 6-1 record of USC in BCS games as well as being a team with a reputation of showing up big in big games.
So, I’ll ask the question.
Is Texas the biggest loser in all the Big 12?
When you really sit down and look at it, they could be the first Big 12 team to run the table undefeated and not get a bid to play in the BCS Championship game.
Kind of ironic really, being that 13-0 was the beginnings of the very name of their beloved mascot, Bevo.