On The Outside Looking In – The Big 12 Conference’s BCS Bowl Dilemma

As we wind down the final month of the regular season in college football – rivalry games taking center stage – the Big 12 Conference is currently sitting on the outside looking in for a shot at one of the coveted 4 spots in the BCS Bowl Playoff. When the season kicked off way back in early September, four Big 12 schools actually had high hopes of receiving one of those four esteemed bids.  Oklahoma, Baylor, West Virginia and Oklahoma State University all started the season like that little ant; they had “high hopes”!

But as we near the end, the college football Bowl Championship Series Selection Committee is simply not showing any love for the top rated teams from the conference.

Baylor saw their season hopes plummet amid four losses and a monumental in-school scandal that has left the Bear’s program tattered and torn. The other three schools have each endured a pair of poorly placed defeats that basically has the BCS selection committee all but crossing the Big 12 off their list.

Here is why not a single one of this trio of twice beaten Big 12 teams has much more than a snowball’s chance of securing one of the four playoff spots come BCS selection Sunday.

  • Momentum in Morgantown?

For a while the West Virginia Mountaineers looked like the conference’s best chance at bowl game prominence. After a half dozen scores were inked in the books, WVU found themselves in the playoff conversation at 6-0.

But, then came a pair of defeats inside of a month, both at the hands of the two Oklahoma Schools. The OU Sooners and the Oklahoma State Cowboys each tacked a number onto the loss column for WVU; henceforth the “eers” have been erased from playoff conversation.

  • Optimism in Oklahoma?

Matching West Virginia with only a pair of defeats and one of those convincingly over WVU in Morgantown, one might think that the Sooners could be a 2-loss team worthy of playoff consideration. Sooner fans seem to be “whispering with optimism”, especially since both losses game in the first 3 weeks of the season. Not so fast Sooner-boomer fans.

While an opening week loss to an upstart University of Houston squad might be excusable in the eyes of the selection committee, it is highly unlikely they will be able to look past a 3 touchdown drubbing – in Norman, Oklahoma in front of a national TV audience – at the hands of the nationally 2nd ranked Ohio State University Buckeyes. Unless every single team currently ranked ahead of OU loses, (about as probable as pigs learning to fly), the current leader in the Big 12 conference will be ticketed for the All State Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day.

Now, before all you Sooner fans decide to make arrangements to be in Dallas, Texas on the first day of 2017, don’t forget you have a date on the first Saturday in December with your bitter cross-state rivals. The Cowboy faithful will make the trek from Stillwater to Norman with an upset on their mind. An OSU win on December 3rd and the Cowboys will lasso the Big 12 season championship and punch their own ticket for the “Big D” on January 1st. The loser will by default earn the conference’s 2nd bowl spot in The Valero Alamo Bowl.

  • Tainted Image?

What this really means for the Big 12 Conference’s national image is that none of their schools warrant consideration to play for the coveted crystal ball handed to the NCAA football national champion. The winner of the Oklahoma – OSU game will be the only university deemed worthy of even playing on New Year’s Day.

The Mountaineers still have a date with Iowa State before they finish their season in “win for school pride” game in Morgantown, West Virginia against Baylor. The Bears will have little to play for except some season-ending solace to lick their wounds. WVU will be in a must win situation to prove themselves worthy of the conference’s 3rd best bowl bid; a date in the Sunshine State at The Russell Athletic Bowl.

Not much consolation for a proud member of the NCAA Power Five football conferences to be sitting on the outside looking in for a chance to vie for the national championship. But, in those formidable words, uttered thousands of time from the mouths of many a disgruntled sports fan; “there’s always next year”.

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