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Why the Big 12 Needs to Go 10-0 This Weekend



After months of waiting, it’s finally here; the return of college football. While this opening weekend is going to be fun for all of us fans, it’s time to get to work for the players and coaches.

For Oklahoma State and any Big 12 teams with aspirations of reaching the College Football Playoff, one thing needs to happen this weekend: The conference needs to go 10-0.

There are times I wonder if the Big 12 only having 10 teams is part of the problem. In the Big 10, SEC, and ACC, you can hide your bad teams better, schedule around them. Plus, the more teams you have, the more good records in the middle. The Big 12 however plays everyone. With as bad as Kansas, Iowa State, and yes, even Texas Tech have been since the induction of the CFP, it hurts the reputation of the league as a whole.

While the records in opening weekend haven’t been bad over the last three seasons (The Big 12 is a combined 21-8), they’ve yet to have a perfect record after week one. Of those eight losses, four were to non Power-5 teams including two losses to FCS opponents.

Take a look at the schedule for this weekend:

Home Away
Oklahoma State Tulsa
Texas Maryland
Oklahoma UTEP
Texas Tech Eastern Washington
Baylor Liberty
Kansas Southeast Missouri State
Kansas State Central Arkansas
Iowa State Northern Iowa
TCU Jackson State
West Virginia Virginia Tech

It’s not exactly a murderer’s row of opponents. There are five FCS teams, only two Power-5 teams, and only one ranked. No one expects a lot from Iowa State or Kansas this season, but performing well in non-conference is huge. Even if the only conference game either wins is when they play each other, not starting out with a bad loss would be big for the conference. It’s embarrassing for the whole league when any team loses to an inferior opponent. And when everyone plays everyone, a bad loss hurts the whole league by extension.

Iowa State losing to Northern Iowa hurts the reputation of the league. OSU losing to Tulsa hurts the reputation of the league. I don’t mean to get all “SEC, SEC” on you, but we really should care more about how the other teams perform than we often do. It’s fun to laugh at Texas and OU when they lose to teams like Houston, but it comes back to bite us when suddenly what should have been a great win is diminished by early season failures.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s more important for the league if the top teams win their big Power-5 match-ups (looking at you this week, West Virginia). But it doesn’t help when teams get bad losses early either.

A perfect 10-0 doesn’t guarantee anything, but it will certainly help the league’s reputation down the line, which could be just the boost the conference needs to not get shut out of the playoff for the third time in four years.

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