It’s the second edition of our mailbag, and we’re talking who’s going to struggle on offense, how long can the Big 12 survive on its current path, and what’s the deal with the replay rule? If you would like to submit a question for next week’s mailbag, fill out this quick form, or tweet your questions to @the_LGG with the hashtag #LGGmailbag!
Our very own Gerald Tracy gets the conversation going with, “Who will have the worst offense in the Big 12?”
Kansas is the easy pick. The Jayhawks are still searching for a QB after the favorite for the job, Michael Cummings, went down with a serious knee injury during spring practice. His availability for the fall is in doubt. Kansas also lost every significant contributor at receiver from a year ago as well. With so many unknowns in the passing game, and some solid depth at running back, they’re going to have to butter their bread on the ground. Nothing is going to come easy though behind an offensive line that’s being rebuilt after losing three starters from last season. By all accounts the Jayhawks are in for a long, long season.
Bryan King writes, “How long do you see the Big 12 existing? I’ll put the over/under at 5 years. Considering the lack of a title game, 10 teams, weak scheduling, Texas sucking, and missing out on teams like Louisville, I don’t see how this conference is long for this world.”
Give me the over. The way over.
It’s funny, in the early 2000’s whenever anyone debated the merits of the Big 12 the conversation turned to schools other than OU and Texas needing to step up. Now in the last five years Baylor, Oklahoma State, TCU, and K-State have all won the conference, and people would have you believe that the Big 12 isn’t to be taken seriously without OU and Texas at the top. It’s somewhat of a case of damned if you do, damned if you don’t. The long and short of it is, college football is a cycle. It’s really just something for us to talk about, and let’s face it, Texas isn’t going to stay down forever.
As far as conference expansion goes, there really isn’t a lot of reason for it right now. I know, I know, that sounds crazy, but it’s true. What it all comes down to is money, and the Big 12 is making more than ever before. The revenue pie would get bigger by adding two teams, but everyone would still get smaller pieces. Combine that with no additional bowl tie-ins, and you’re basically asking your members to take less money to lower their odds of making the postseason.
The only real reason to consider expansion was if adding a conference championship becomes a necessity for the CFB Playoff, but now that’s no longer an issue. The Big 12 was right to push for the ability to have a conference game. They don’t have to dilute the competition pool, but get to add that extra game should they need to. Basically they get to have their cake and eat it too.
The Big 12 was also right to cool their jets on the championship game, and let things play out a little longer. After all, it can just as easily keep a team out of the playoff game. I think we all forget a little bit that the Big 12 was very close to putting two teams into the playoff.
In just a couple of years the Big 12 has gone from the brink of destruction, to healthier than ever before. They’re also poised like no other conference for the playoff. So ya, give me the over.
Thomas asks, “Why would anyone support this new replay rule? Please explain the reasoning.”
I’m not sure I can answer this, because I don’t really know. I’m all for making stadiums safer, and I support limiting rushing the field. However, no matter how well-intentioned, the replay rule is ridiculous. and it’s been met with nothing but criticism. My guess is – if they don’t get rid of it altogether – that we won’t see it enforced barring an extreme example. The Big 12 was mocked relentlessly for crowning one true co-champions last season, and with the passing of the tie-breaker rule we know public opinion matters to the conference. So, I wouldn’t worry about it too much.