1. Watch out for the Big 12
Since it had the major split-up in 2012, the Big 12 wasn’t taken too serious on the national stage. Since the start of the 2012 season, the Big 12 and PAC-12 were commonly considered the two worst of the Power Five conferences. The PAC-12 continued to slip these past two years, but the Big 12 is trending up thanks to its two blue blood members.
The trend of disrespect coming the Big 12’s way could cease very soon. That’s partly thanks to the rise back to prominence for the Texas football program. When Texas football is doing well nationally, it benefits the Big 12. The Big 12 is at its most marketable point when the most valuable (according to the Wall Street Journal) program it has is doing well on the field.
The Oklahoma Sooners are another huge part to thank for this gain of respect for the Big 12, as hard as that can be to admit for the Horns. We do need to recognize was this conference was able to accomplish this season, and in the postseason. Texas highlighted the Big 12’s postseason resume with its convincing Sugar Bowl victory over No. 5 ranked Georgia.
A few other highlights of the postseason for the Big 12 included two other wins over the SEC, from the Baylor Bears and Oklahoma State Cowboys. The Iowa State Cyclones could have pulled off the Alamo Bowl victory if not for some very poor reffing that legitimately cost them the game. But, the point here is that a rise back to national contention for the Horns is great for the Big 12 and could restore the conference back among the top three of the Power Five.