Beyond what the Texas football program brings to the Big 12 in 2018, Iowa State’s contract extension Matt Campbell is added proof of its strength.
Within the past four or five years, the Big 12 took a ton of heat since the conference broke apart and also acquired two new members. The Big 12 lost key members such as the Mizzou Tigers, Colorado Buffaloes, Texas A&M Aggies, and Nebraska Cornhuskers. Those departures left room for someone like head coach Matt Campbell and the Iowa State Cyclones to step up and fill that void.
Texas football is one of the teams that caused some scrutiny on the Big 12 since it was rumored that was the program that caused Nebraska, Texas A&M, etc. to bolt for other conferences. The Texas Longhorns rising back to the top of the Big 12 standings definitely helped to restore the image of the conference this year.
One of the biggest wins for the Horns this season came over Matt Campbell and the Cyclones. Iowa State was one of the nation’s hottest teams coming into its Week 12 battle against the Horns on the Forty Acres. The talent and strength of the Horns defense shined in that game, as it completely shut down the upstart Iowa State offense.
However, Iowa State and Texas were just two of the teams that showed the skill and depth of the Big 12 in 2018. The Big 12 isn’t respected much in the nation as a strong football conference. Most of the strength of the Big 12 is recognized in other sports such as basketball and baseball.
However, this year saw the Big 12 get a blue blood program into both the Allstate Sugar Bowl and the College Football Playoff. Those blue bloods that got into those important postseason games were the Horns into the Sugar Bowl and the Oklahoma Sooners into the Playoff field. Texas will get the Georgia Bulldogs in the Sugar Bowl and Oklahoma gets the Alabama Crimson Tide in one of the Semifinal games.
Even outside of Texas and Oklahoma, the Big 12 has some representatives in what promises to be some of the most entertaining non-New Year’s Six Bowl games on the postseason slate. The Oklahoma State Cowboys, West Virginia Mountaineers, and Iowa State all have some of the most entertaining Power Five bowl games this year.
Iowa State has potentially the best game that’s not a New Year’s Six Bowl, against the Washington State Cougars in the Alamo Bowl. Seeing two capable top teams from the PAC-12 and Big 12 face each other in the Alamo Bowl this year should provide a high level of entertainment with a lot of marbles on the line for both squads.
Before the preparations for the Alamo Bowl officially started to take place for the Clones, the program decided to extend its rising star of a head coach in Matt Campbell. He received an extension through 2024 to stay in Ames, IA, and continue to build that program.
Iowa State has a lot to be excited about for the next few years, between the extension of Campbell and the continued develop of standout freshman quarterback Brock Purdy. An appearance in the Alamo Bowl was also a great way to cap the 2018 campaign, and it proves that the rise in 2017 was no fluke.
Another thing that the extension of Campbell proves is that the Big 12 is a great place for head coaches to land right now. The Kansas Jayhawks brought in a big name former LSU Tigers head coach in Les Miles to take over next year. Other coaches like Tom Herman for the Horns and Lincoln Riley for the Sooners are thriving in the early part of their tenures in the Big 12. This is an exciting time to be a fan of any team around the Big 12 with coaching headlines like this.