Stephen Hawking wrote a book entitled "A Brief History of Time," which detailed the history of the universe and probably quantum physics and string theory and concepts which are far above my intellectual capabilities. This is nothing like that. This is all about football. Thus, I give you:
A Brief, Recent History of Big 12 Football ("recent" being 2012-now)
Known for their basketball team, Kansas Football is typically a cellar-dweller. Ever the choice for collegiate homecomings, Kansas seems to be far more concerned with basketball than with the happenings on the gridiron. And honestly, I can't say I blame them. Losing to Kansas is definitely meme-worthy (sorry, Longhorns), and usually leads to stadium destruction. Bless you, KU. (And no, it's not basketball season yet. Calm down.)
Kansas State (43-22)
Ah yes, the Snydercats. Never count out the Snydercats. Over the past 5 years, KSU has had a consistently good team, usually winning 8-9 games per season. In 2012, the Snydercats were ranked number 1 under quarterback Collin Klein.......and then they came to Waco and were upset by an inconsistent Baylor team. That season, the Wildcats continued their winning ways to finish 11-2. While they haven't been that dominant in recent history, you can never count out Bill Snyder's squad, since he is probably a wizard. Seriously.
Iowa State (17-44)
Ah yes, the Cyclones. They usually have a pretty good rivalry with Kansas. They're also waiting quite patiently for basketball season. Honestly, they're usually pretty neck and neck with Kansas, but they don't tear down goalposts. In fact, we're not quite sure what they do? Drink Natty Lite and remark on the growth of this year's corn? (@WideRightNattyLite pls help)
Hey, you wanna hear a joke you've heard 5 million times before? Why doesn't Texas fall into the ocean? (Because Oklahoma sucks HEYOOOOOO.) While I was raised to never, under any circumstances, cheer for OU (thanks, mom), I have to hand it to them: they're darn consistent. The Stoops brothers have built a veritable dynasty up in Norman: good recruits, good player development, lots of wins....this is the stuff of dreams: a reliable football brand. While the last National Championship they won was in 2000 (but they went to the Playoff in 2015 and lost to Clemson) and their last Heisman winner was Sam Bradford in 2008, the Sooners are a reliably good team. (Eeeeeeeexcept when it comes to A Big Game.) It's downright infuriating. Let the little guys have a chance, would ya?
Oklahoma State (45-20)
OSU: the ultimate wild card. Will they be good this year? Will they crash and burn in November? Who even knows? They're about as up and down as Mike Gundy's hair, to be perfectly honest. Typically, they start out decent, gain some momentum headed into October and then drop an important game or two and fade from the national spotlight. (Much better than the trainwreck A&M usually becomes by November, but this is not a post about SEC football, so I digress.) Has OSU done anything outstanding recently? Nope. (I mean, other than spoil the 2013 Baylor season...#Tripgate2k13.) Do they have a ton of potential? Yup.
(Honestly, just really glad Gundy isn't rocking the mullet any more. That was a nightmare and a half.)
Oh Texas. Ohhhhhhh Texas. I could write an entire dissertation on your football team. How do I keep this succinct?
Relevancy: last 'Ship won in 2005. Last Heisman won by Ricky Williams in 1998. Last season, they lost to Kansas. Last Saturday, they lost to Maryland. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
Without going too far into my diatribe, Texas is a team that for all intents and purposes really ought to be good. They routinely get top recruiting classes and well-regarded coaches. But there's a key piece about Texas that's missing: player development. Even with Texas taking most of Baylor's 2016 class (released post-scandal), they really ought to have more raw talent on the field than mediocre Maryland. And yet. This, in addition to their carousel of QBs ("If only Ash had stayed healthy, all our troubles would be solved!" cry the message boards), add to the fire. (My personal hot take is that most of the problems at Texas come down to ego: a sense of entitlement pervades fans, boosters and players alike. I don't know what it's like to play college football, but I know what it's like to play powderpuff football and take your foot off the gas: you rely on your superior athleticism to trump discipline and it doesn't end well [my team nearly lost that game, but we got our focus back and pulled out the W].) Oh Texas. Bless you.
(Ps: Sorry David.)
Since this is a Baylor blog, I'll trash all the other schools and sing the praises of my alma mater, right? Wrong.
Fact of the matter is that until 2011, Baylor was not on the map. Baylor was the opposite of "on the map." Baylor, in 1999, blew the UNLV game in incredibly embarrassing fashion. In 2011, RG3 won the school's first Heisman. In 2013 and 2014, we were in Playoff talks. 2015 was Injury City for the Bears, and 2016 we shall not speak of again. Long story short, the Bears have recently fallen on hard times (or have been rocked by a scandal...take your pick) and are rebuilding. Will the rebuild be successful? Who knows?
Chris Platt: visually representing the state of Baylor Football right now or catching a great pass? You decide.
In early 2012, a giant drug bust at TCU led to 4 football players being kicked off the team and drew into question the supposed widespread use of drugs on the team. Didn't seem to hurt the Horned Frogs much once former QB Boykin rolled into town: under his leadership (and 13k offensive yards), the Frogs dominated and were even part of the CFP picture. After Boykin came Kenny Hill (alias Kenny Trill), who led the Frogs to the well-respected Liberty Bowl. (Read: sarcasm.) Can the Frogs find success in the pocket again? Will their offense work without a dual-threat QB in the backfield?
(sidebar: real-life horned lizards shoot blood out of their eyes and that is so incredibly metal)
West Virginia (36-28)
Ah, West Virginia. The Mountaineers are recent additions to the Big 12, joining in 2012 and quickly realizing their role as Burner of Couches, Killer of Dreams, and a general wildcard. Part of the issue with playing WVU is that you have to go to Morgantown, which is a very difficult place to play football if you're planning to win. Holgorsen usually has a decent squad, but they are wildly inconsistent on the road (granted, it's a long ole road to Texas from West Virginia), so you can't ever count out the 'Eers, though you might want to. Plus, they burn couches a lot.
Texas Tech (32-31)
Tech Football is known for one thing and one thing alone: Coach Kliff "Bro" Kingsbury. Just kidding! The Raiders usually put together a decent team and play really competitively on offense, but the defense can't seem to hold it together for long enough to put together a string of wins they honestly should have had. Star QB Patrick Mahomes II just went to the NFL, so it'll be interesting to see if the Raiders have another young gun in the backfield who can light up their offense. (Okay, I'm done making really bad firearm puns.)
And there you have it: a brief history (in the past 5 years) of Big 12 Football. Ain't the prettiest, most successful group around, and it seems like the conference as a whole is tending toward mediocrity, but we sure know how to put points on the board. 2016 was a particularly bad season for the Big 12, as most middle tier programs were pretty meh, and only a couple teams did better than about 6-6. (Yes, "meh" is a metric. A meh-tric. I'm done.) 2017 may hold better results for the remains of the SWC, or we may completely crash and burn. We shall see.
Regardless, go Big 12. May you ever result in shootouts.
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