Heading into the 2018 season, the Big 12 is embracing the idea that what sets it apart from from other Power Five leagues is that “everybody plays everybody.” TCU head coach Gary Patterson seems to be on board with that message as well. On the first day of Big 12 Media Days, Patterson talked about some of the difficulties of playing a Round Robin format schedule with all ten teams playing one another.
Patterson maintained that when you don’t have to play a team every year, it’s easier to scheme and game plan against opponents.
“When you play a round robin that’s more difficult,” he said, “for the simple reason that you can’t fool them.
“We’re in a league where everybody knows each other, everybody studies each other, we have to recruit against each other and we’re also friends.”
Perhaps Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said it best earlier in the day.
“You’re not going to win this conference by who you didn’t play.”
The overall quality of all the staffs in the conference is what really makes the nine-game slate challenging. The Horned Frogs head coach said that he thinks “there is a lot of good coaching” in the Big 12. And make no mistake, Gary Patterson is someone who knows about quality coaches – since the retirement of Bob Stoops, he’s widely regarded as the best coach in the Big 12. Athlon, in fact, ranked Patterson as the best coach in the conference.
There’s good reason, then, to take Patterson at his word about the state of coaching in the Big 12. In a year where there are multiple teams capable of winning the conference, having an advantage in the matchup of the headsets will certainly factor into the who makes it to Arlington on December 1st.