The Big 12 sent six teams to 2016 bowl games. Four of them won and two lost. Only West Virginia, to me, did not put up a battle worthy of their conference standing.
Oklahoma and Kansas State defeated SEC teams in Auburn and Texas A&M. They brought great pride to a conference that was down-played all season. Very simply, Auburn hadn’t faced a real spread attack all season and they couldn’t find an answer. The athletes on the outside were too fast and the quarterback, Baker Mayfield, was too good. That final score was OU 35, Auburn 19, and it could have been worse!
K-State using a QB run-offense and a stout defense dumped the Aggies, 33-28. It was clearly an upset but it showed what makes the Big 12 one of college football’s great conferences.
Baylor destroyed Boise State, 31-12, with a display of the spread offense attack at its finest. For a team that had been covered in defeat by other Big 12 teams the last half of the season, it was unexpected.
Oklahoma State dismantled Colorado, 38-8. It was a shocking display of Big 12 talent and what outsiders seem to believe that Big 12 teams can’t play — defense. Ask Colorado.
Auburn tried to bulldoze OU with an SEC running game — didn’t work. After an opening drive by Auburn, the SEC got embarrassed on both sides of the line of scrimmage.
Three of those Big 12 teams return outstanding quarterback talent and will be a national threat next season.
At least in the case of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, their rosters are made up almost entirely of Texas talent. Same goes for Baylor. All three run the spread offense that breaks fast and forces the defense to cover sideline to sideline.
As for TCU, the Frogs were most certainly in the bottom half of the Big 12, and had the worst QB of all the league’s bowl teams, Kenny Hill. It showed in a 31-23 loss to Georgia.
West Virginia’s coach went nuts on the sideline, which affects his team in a negative fashion. The slightest mistake seems to send him into a terrible mood and his players can’t handle it. Miami’s 31-14 victory was a setback to the conference much like the beating Texas took from Arkansas in the Texas Bowl two years ago.
The results of the bowl season was inspirational to Big 12 followers. Most certainly, with next seasons Big 12 Championship game in Arlington, the league will even grow in the spotlight.
It was fun to me to listen to the TV announcers of the Sugar Bowl praise Auburn’s first pounding drive down the field, letting everybody know what a powerful team the Tigers of the SEC were. and how Oklahoma had not seen a brute force such as this. To his credit, Brent Musburger changed his tune as the Sooners piled on the points as the game went on. OU’s defense held gains at breakneck speed.
Keep this in mind: at least six of 10 Big 12 teams best talent comes from Texas, and that’s where they recruit heaviest.
I know Aggie fans were sick when their Aggies got knocked off by K-State.
I have gotten several phone calls from Inside Texas readers that took my advice and bet on Clemson in the championship game. It needed to be done. Alabama played in a league without offensive talent to challenge their excellent defense. Only Ole Miss could move the ball on them of the games I watched on TV. It took a team with an offensive Big 12-like attack and a tough, athletic defense to beat Alabama. Clemson had that, but give Bama credit — it made for a great game.
The next step is National Signing Day and I have no expectations for Texas at this point. I do feel whoever decided to send in their Letter of Intent and stays under the direction of Coach Tom Herman and his staff will come out big winners in three years.