Let’s start with the good news. The conference received 29 invites, and every school not named Baylor received at least one invite. Compare that to last year’s 18 invites, and it’s absolutely fantastic. That’s a 61 percent increase over just last year.
Now for the bad news. Twenty-nine invites is still lagging behind the rest of the Power 5 conferences. The SEC leads the way with a whopping 70 invites — four more than last year — while the ACC and Big Ten received 60 and 50 invites, respectively. Even when remembering all three of those conferences have 14 members, it’s still and impressive showing and more invites per member than that of the Big 12.
Even the Pac-12, who didn’t have a great year on the field, had a respectable 45 players invited and averaged more invites per school than that of the Big Ten.
It’s clear that while the Big 12 is improving in perception, there is still some work to do. However, the difference we are talking about is just 6-8 invites from being on par with the rest of the Power 5 when averaged out by number of members. Given the growth over last year, that’s very doable. Where can the conference make up those numbers, though?
Not surprisingly, Oklahoma and Texas lead the way for the conference with six invites each. Since they lead the conference you could argue they are doing their part. However, compared to other flagship programs around the Power 5, even OU and Texas could do better. Florida State received 9 invites, Georgia received 10, Ohio State received 11, and Alabama received 14 invites. A couple of more invites a piece at the top could go a long way for the conference.
Still, while the flagships should provide the biggest punch, it’s not all on them. If schools like TCU and West Virginia — schools who help carry the perception of the conference on the field, but received just two and three invites, respectively — receive a couple of more invites it would also go a long way in improving perception.
And then finally, the Big 12 can’t afford to have a school not receive and invite. Last season Iowa State and Kansas were left out. This season they’ve each received an invite, but Baylor is now the odd man out. Just one or two more invites from those schools, and again, that’s a big difference. The good news is that all three schools have improved their recruiting, which is where raising the talent level starts.
Here’s a complete list of the Big 12 invites.
|Marcell Ateman||WR||Oklahoma State|
|Dylan Cantrell||WR||Texas Tech|
|Keke Coutee||WR||Texas Tech|
|Justin Crawford||RB||West Virginia|
|Tre Flowers||S||Oklahoma State|
|Chris Lacy||WR||Oklahoma State|
|Allen Lazard||WR||Iowa State|
|Byron Pringle||WR||Kansas State|
|DJ Reed||CB||Kansas State|
|Mason Rudolph||QB||Oklahoma State|
|Nic Shimonek||QB||Texas Tech|
|James Washington||WR||Oklahoma State|
|Ka’raun White||WR||West Virginia|
|Kyzir White||S||West Virginia|