OVERRATED OR UNDERRATED: TOP AND BOTTOM OF BIG 12 GOING IN TWO DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS
Sam Mayes from the mMm Ranch will be doing his “Overrated or Underrated” throughout the entire Fall to add on from the mMm Ranch’s radio segment that we all are accustomed to. He will discuss a single topic and talk who, what, and why that someone, or something, is “overrated” or “underrated”.
Overrated and Underrated: Cream Rises To The Top While Bottom Dwellers Still Live In Basement
While everyone watched Oklahoma dominate Ohio State in Baker Mayfield’s new house, they were not the only ones that gave their conference recognition. The TCU Horned Frogs went to Fayetteville, Arkansas and put on a show themselves with a 28-7 thumping of the Razorbacks. These are two wins that the conference can finally hang above their heads as quality victories against non-conference opponents. It is nice to see someone in this conference garner some national attention for the right reasons like winning.
For me, the expectations for this conference were much higher than years past. Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, TCU, and West Virginia create a good balance of teams that will be known on the national scale. Oklahoma and TCU’s early wins, as well as West Virginia’s performance against Virginia Tech, showed that this conference is capable of getting out the basement of the power five conferences. For awhile, I did not know if any team in this conference could pull the Big 12 out of that basement. Oklahoma and TCU have given them a sign of hope so far, and Oklahoma State and Texas (with a miracle) can add onto that this weekend at Pittsburgh and at USC respectively.
As a former player in the Big 12, hearing and seeing that this conference is likely to disband hurts. I want my kids, including my one year-old, to see the places I played at during my tenure at Oklahoma State. Then you realize that Baylor is 0-2 with losses to Liberty (FCS) and Texas San-Antonio, Central Michigan is now 2-0 against the Big 12 in as many years after stomping Kansas last week and winning in Stillwater last year, and Maryland showed the country why the Longhorns have been the laughing stock of the Big 12 the last three years. It is easy to see why this conference could be doomed. Hell, Baylor is now a 14-point underdog at Duke this week. It is performances like these that give the national media all the ammunition in the world to bring this conference down:
“Sure, Oklahoma and TCU had good wins, but have you seen what Baylor, Kansas, and Texas have done?”
“The teams in that conference who are irrelevant are losing to teams who are irrelevant in college football.”
See, it is easy to spin the Big 12 already. You currently have a team like Oklahoma that is firmly inserted into the Top 5, but they are being dragged down because of what Baylor is doing. TCU just had a huge road win for their program, but it does not matter because Texas got embarrassed by Maryland. Oklahoma State has looked the part, but Kansas just got beat by the team who upset the Cowboys in Stillwater last year. Where is the line at?
The idea that the Big 12 has not changed because of what the bottom dwellers are doing is overrated. Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, and now TCU should not be punished for what the bottom five teams have done so far. These four have looked significantly better than what anyone thought to this point. Even West Virginia looks better than they did a year ago, and they made a Top 10 appearance in 2016. With that, the Big 12 is very underrated. This is a conference that can, and should, make some noise on the national level this season.