Are The Cowboys Ready For Big 12 Play?

The Big 12 Conference took a major blow as far as College Football Playoff hopes Saturday with both Oklahoma and Texas losing. But it appears the Big 12 race is wide open at this point.

Big 12 fans can forget the CFP this season. There won't be any excuses needed in December when the CFP announces its Final Four to battle for the college football national championship. No debating whether a championship game would have helped with that 13th data point, how 10 members doesn't size up well, or over the scheduling in nonconference.

In fact, it is the scheduling in nonconference that has eliminated the Big 12 from contention this year for the playoff spot. I worried about Oklahoma losing to Houston, and in doing so the Big 12's reputation took a hit. But give the Texas Longhorns credit as their Sunday night win over a highly regarded Notre Dame helped buoy the Big 12 in the national rankings and spotlight. 

Oklahoma State did not help things in week two, and neither did the MAC officiating crew and the Big 12 replay crew as they misapplied a rule to allow for an extra down, as Central Michigan took advantage and beat the Cowboys in a game OSU should have won 30-27. Oklahoma State did not play well and that factored in.

Now, after you likely were long asleep Saturday night/Sunday morning, so were the Big 12 dreams of having a CFP playoff team in 2016. Texas lost to California in a game that went final around 1:30 a.m. Central time. The Cal Bears beat the Horns 50-43 in a shootout. Earlier in the evening Oklahoma lost a high stakes game 45-24 to Ohio State, especially for the Sooners' playoff hopes.

The Big 12 is now 2-5 in the games I call measuring sticks between the conferences. The two wins: Texas over Notre Dame and Oklahoma State over an unbeaten Pitt team in Stillwater. The loses are Oklahoma to both Houston and Ohio State, Kansas State to Stanford, TCU to Arkansas, and Texas to California late Saturday night.

OU head coach Bob Stoops said after his team's loss that they needed to keep a good attitude and go compete in the Big 12 (for a championship.) The Big 12 teams that are holding their heads above water, like Oklahoma State, should fire up for Big 12 and try to win a conference title and go to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl. 

The Big 12 Board of Directors meet in October and are expected to discuss expansion. I have been pretty resolute about the conference not expanding and the chairman of the Big 12 board, OU President David Boren, has said they won't just expand to expand. However, there is some football proof on the side of the expansion candidates that show maybe they deserve in. Houston beat OU and Memphis hammered Kansas.

Those two wins give the expansion candidates a 2-2 record on the whole against the Big 12. The losses are both to Big 12 member Baylor as the Bears beat candidates SMU and Rice, but the games were competitive late into the second half.

How about this little expansion statistic, the Big 12 this football season is 5-3 vs. non-power 5 conference opponents. The expansion candidates are 7-9 vs. power five conference opponents. I'm going to guess those numbers are not exactly indicative of your opinion.


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