I’ve got an unpopular opinion that I’m going to share. I think a lot of you reading this feel the same way, but you’re scared to admit it.
Even if it felt like a four-month Cure concert for Oklahoma fans, the last Big 12 football season was pretty stinkin’ good.
Baylor – Baylor! – won its second straight conference championship. It wasn't that long ago that the Bears went something like 37 years without even winning a Big 12 game.
TCU’s new offensive coaches completely transformed the Horned Frogs’ attack and helped defensive guru Gary Patterson build one of the best teams in the country. Their best player went from a below-average running back trying to play quarterback to one of the top signal callers in the country in the span of a couple months.
The conference co-champs staged one of the best games of the entire season. In fact, a lot of the league’s marquee matchups were entertaining – TCU-West Virginia, OU-Kansas State, TCU-OU, just to name a few.
Kansas State did its voodoo. A freshman running back broke the single-game rushing record. Oklahoma State won the Bedlam game in about the most unlikely fashionable possible.
The conference is competitive. The teams are well-coached. The games are entertaining, and they're all on TV.
I hate to sound like a “One True Champion” commercial. Seriously, though, listening to discussions like this week’s ad hoc referendum on the conference’s lack of a championship game reminded me that the incessant amount of bitching about the Big 12 is vastly disproportionate to what there is to bitch about.
Obviously, I wish some things were different about the Big 12. For all the pettiness and posturing that defined the league from its creation, I was sad to see the original membership splinter.
Yet, somehow the Big 12 remains a good football league in spite of itself. If the conference could ever find a way to rid its culture of the kvetching about optics and boardroom bullshit, it might find a way to get even better.