Does Big 12 Pride Exist With Coaches?

Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy has always said he enjoys when he gets to watch a little college football on television with his sons. It happens in a week like this one, an off weekend that will result in Saturday being like a Monday with his players having the day off.

However, Sunday becomes a Tuesday and a vitally important practice day for the Thursday nationally televised home Big 12 opener with Texas Tech. Gundy, who is also a voter on the coaches poll this season, says he roots for Big 12 teams and understands how those wins can help in developing the positive opinion on the league.

He mentioned on Monday that he feels with all the young players in the league "this conference is going to be strong for several years," Gundy said. "There is a lot of young talent in the conference right now."

His opinion of the need to win games and support the Big 12 is not shared in every corner. Last weekend Iowa State and head coach Paul Rhoads delivered a strong win for the league in going to Iowa City and beating rival and Big Ten foe Iowa 20-17. Meanwhile in Fort Worth, TCU also beat up on one of the Big Ten members with a 30-7 win over Minnesota.

Just in an opinion, I felt those two wins were critical for Big 12 reputation as the Big Ten is taking it on the chin on virtually all fronts. A loss to the Big Ten is a bad loss these days in the world of power conference football.

Rhoads said he agrees with playing for Big 12 pride.

"I think it may effect our players more now with the onset of the playoffs," Rhoads said. "I think there is a more heightened sense of pride in the conference with the players. I think coaches have always had that. I know I always check how our teams are doing with competition outside the league. I check those scores on Saturday night."

Patterson's opinion on the subject put him out on an island.

"No, I don't worry about it all. My only job is TCU," Patterson said. "To me that's for the media and the fans. Hopefully, the committee I'm told is not supposed to look at the media and how the scores are played. I'm just going to worry about TCU.

"I'm a voter (in the coaches poll) and I look at the scores on Saturday night and I like to vote on Saturday night before Sunday morning. That is all I look at, the scores and other than that I just worry about TCU."

Two different ways of looking at it. But both Rhoads and Patterson had their teams ready and had success over Big Ten teams.

The Big 12 has another important SEC showdown on Thursday with Kansas State hosting Auburn. West Virginia played number two Alabama tough in the opener. Oklahoma beat a middle-of-the-pack SEC team in Tennessee on Saturday and Texas Tech lost at home to Arkansas. The Big 12 is 0-2 with the ACC as Oklahoma State lost to the top-ranked and defending national champions Florida State 37-31 and last Saturday Kansas was pasted by Duke.

West Virginia gained revenge from Maryland, which is now in the Big Ten, making the Big 12 3-0 versus the Big Ten. Texas lost to UCLA 20-17 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington last Saturday in the only matchup with the Pac-12.

Against the Power Five conferences the Big 12 is 4-5 with only that Thursday showdown for K-State with Auburn remaining. The Big Ten is 0-9.

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