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League Wide: Cool It With the Playoff Woes



Let’s take a look at some news from around the league over the last week or two.

Take A Chill Pill

Commissioner Bob Bowlsby says to not worry about the Big 12 not being a playoff fixture over its first three years.

“That’s a really short window,” Bowlsby said. “It get a little tiresome, because I know we play at a very high level, and I know that, top to bottom, we’re the best in the country in terms of balance. And I know that the method by which we conduct our championships and conduct our regular season is the most difficult.” [ESPN]

To Bowlsby’s point, the Big 12 is really close to three for three (getting in):

And the Big 12 hasn’t played well in big non-conference games. Last season, OU probably would have made the playoff had it beaten either Houston or Ohio State; instead, the Sooners lost both. In 2014, Baylor probably would have made the playoff had it played a representative non-conference schedule; instead, the Bears played SMU, Northwestern State of Louisiana and Buffalo, and the playoff committee elevated Ohio State past Baylor. [NewsOK]

Which leads us to the last piece, just win.

We’ve debated for years the Big 12’s value. That debate needs to end. Ask not what your conference can do for you, ask what you can do for your conference. And the answer is, OU can beat Ohio State. West Virginia can beat Virginia Tech. OSU can beat Pittsburgh. TCU can beat Arkansas. Texas can beat Southern Cal (well, you know what I mean). And if a team makes the playoff, win once it gets there. [NewsOK]

Buy Low on Bill

Pick the K-State Wildcats to finish in the middle of the pack at your own peril.

His Wildcats have returned a full-time starting quarterback six times in the past 20 years. In those six seasons, his teams have won 11 games five times and nine on one occasion. He won 11 games with Michael Bishop in 1998, 11 in 2000 with Jonathan Beasley, 11 in 2002 and ’03 with Ell Roberson and 11 in 2012 with Collin Klein. The latter two included Big 12 titles and BCS bowl bids, too. In 2014, Snyder won nine games with Jake Waters. Add it up and you’ll find that Snyder’s teams have gone 64-17 since 1998 when returning a full-time starting quarterback. [SportsOnEarth]

Given health concerns and age, you could see the Wildcats striving to send a legend out on top.

Kool Kliff

Facing one of college football’s hottest seats, Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury was cool at Media Days.

Never mind the questions about Kingsbury’s job status at Texas Tech, or the 16-21 record the past three seasons, or a defense that has been dreadful even graded on the Big 12 curve.
Kingsbury still looked the part of the next-generation coach, one just as comfortable on TMZ as ESPN.
Three days’ worth of stubble? Yep.
A funky gray suit and brownish tie combo that few coaches could pull off? You bet.
A relaxed attitude? Definitely. [SportsDay]

Kingsbury is probably under more pressure (to save his job) than any Big 12 coach. He cites a third-year defensive coordinator and convincing his team to be confident as his motives in being cool. But have we ever really seen a hot seat coach behaving neurotically?

He is comfortable talking about some things.

Keeping Up with the Jones

Berry Tramel made the trip to West Virginia and was surprised by what he found.

What is the most fascinating or interesting information you learned about West Virginia’s athletics department during your recent visit?

How West Virginia is really not in the arms race. The Mountaineers have solid facilities and are constantly upgrading, but they’re not trying to build the palaces you see in Lubbock and Stillwater and Waco and Norman and Fort Worth and Austin. WVU is not recruiting against Texas A&M and Alabama. WVU is largely recruiting against Pitt and Maryland and the like. [NewsOK]

West Virginia’s isolation must really put them in a different place from a recruiting perspective. Looking at their classes, Ohio River Valley and Florida are honey holes they dip into and the expectations must be different for the football-rich Texas players the rest live off of.

In defense of the Mountaineers, they are trying.

Quick Hitters

Frank Mason shared Big 12 male athlete of the year with a Texas swimmer.

Tech joins the arms race with this pretty fly indoor facility.

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