TFB Talking Point | Big 12 Perception Problem

Following Texas’ victory over Georgia in the Sugar Bowl, there were some very interesting statistics thrown out on Twitter which included a pair of tweets by our own Super K.

The oft-maligned Big 12 squared off against the mighty SEC in four separate bowls.

Following the four bowl games, the Big 12 came out with a 3-1 record in head to head matchups with the SEC…

#1 SEC Bama defeated #1 Big12 OU

#2 Big 12 Texas defeated #2 SEC Georgia

#6 Big 12 Baylor defeated #10 SEC Vanderbilt

#7 Big 12 Oklahoma State defeated #8 SEC Missouri

Going into the games, all of the Big 12 teams were underdogs to the SEC teams.

Ok, so the Big 12 had a good year in the bowl games right? A one-year aberration, right?

Not so fast my friend…

The Sugar Bowl results, since the contractual agreement was made between the two conferences in 2012, show a pretty decent track record of head to head matchups in favor of the Big 12 over the SEC with another 3-1 record.

But it’s all about the offense…right?

Again, not so fast my friend…

In 6 of their 7 games this year, the Big 12 defenses held their opponents under their scoring average from the season…(Baylor in a win over Vandy gave up more points to Vandy than they averaged for the year)

Ok well…the Big 12 has been horrible in the very recent past, they have just stunk it up…right?

– Insert Lee Corso one more time –

Over the past 3 years, the Big 12 actually has the best overall record out of all the Power 5 conferences…

I know bowl games are not the end-all statistic which is used to determine how successful a conference is, some could argue it is not a fair barometer based on numerous factors, including players skipping and unfavorable matchups…

However, I make the argument that the Sugar Bowl agreement between the Big 12 and SEC is a fair measure of the conferences as that bowl game pits the ‘Best available’ teams from the conference against each other in a head to head matchup. The results, to this point, are pretty one-sided in favor of the Big 12.

I am not a guy who is all about conference pride…however, I also am not a guy who appreciates a widespread national narrative that basically claims it’s the SEC and then everyone else.

It just isn’t true. Texas helped prove that point this year as they were a four-loss Big 12 conference runner-up who went against a two-loss SEC conference runner-up that was way too damn close to getting into the playoffs and beat them up. I know the score was 28-21 so the optics weren’t overwhelmingly bad for Georgia, but anyone who watched that game knows it wasn’t that close and Texas beat them up. Badly.

What is true, in my opinion, is that it is Alabama…and everyone else.