For about three weeks now I have been telling everyone who would listen one simple thing: the Big 12 is overrated. I usually get the same response from just about everyone, including Big Ten fans, that I am nuts. But the past few days I have been really thinking it through. The obvious reason I feel the conference is not any good is the lack of defense in the conference. We are, as Mike so aptly put it, arbitrarily attaching value to teams based upon that team(s) body of work in conference this year. Somewhere, somebody got the idea that the Big 12 was “the” conference this year. They were supported by the gaudy offensive numbers, the star studded names, and personalities that litter the conference. But where has the defense been all season? How can you say the number 1 team in the country is the same team that gives up 24.5 points per game? Just because they beat Texas Tech, 26.25 points per game? Just because they beat Missouri? Please 27.5 points per game! The only "good" defense they faced was Texas who gives up 18.5 points per game. Guess what that result was! Someone needs to dig up a Greek philosopher so we can get someone to use reason here.
Well based on the above someone will jump in here and say you’re a Big Ten fan your conference sucks. The reason we suck? The most common answer is the Ohio State flops of the past two years. Is that the reason? Really? We penalize a whole conference because of two seasons worth of flops? Someone must have forgot about this, and this, and this, and this. Let us see; since 2005 the number one team in the nation is 0-4 in the BCS including two back to back BCS championship flops, a loss to Boise State, and to West Virginia. In those 2 BCS championship games they were out scored by 43 combined points. Ohio State in the past two years lost by 41 combined points. Not much of a case there OU fans. Don’t bring up that National championship in 2000 either, Ohio State got one in 2002. Also how do you explain the 2007 Fiesta Bowl? Or the 2008 Fiesta Bowl when they lost 48-28 to WVU? I am not sure you can. But that won’t stop the pundits from proclaiming the Big 12’s dominance and the “weakness” of the Big Ten.
I just wish that people would be fair in their assessments of teams. Too often people take the trendy, style point rich teams and inflate their value. The reasoning that puts the one loss Big 12 teams ahead of any one loss Big Ten team is off base and lacks supporting evidence. Too bad most of the world has forgotten articles like these.