Respect. The Big 12 has sought it for so long. Hasn’t gotten a lot of it. But now, after a couple of big wins last week, it’s starting to earn it.
The biggest of the big wins came when Oklahoma planted its flag on Ohio State’s turf in a 31-16 victory that vaulted the Sooners to No. 2 in the country.
WVU coach Dana Holgorsen definitely noticed.
“I think the Big 12 has good football,” Holgorsen said. “We unfortunately didn’t win our first one, but it was against a Top 15 team [in Virginia Tech]. I just think it’s good to have those matchups though. If you want respectability and want to get in the discussion for the CFP, you have to win all those games. Glad the Big 12 got a couple of those wins last week.”
It’s a very good thing the Big 12 got those wins. With the College Football Playoff committee, we definitely have returned to the era of style points and eye tests. If you want in the playoff, you have to look the part. Smacking around the Buckeyes on their home turf puts you on the path to looking the part. Beating good teams the rest of the way will do that, too, and that’s where the rest of the Big 12 is coming in.
Four Big 12 teams are in the AP top 20 and Oklahoma State is sitting with Oklahoma in the top 10. If a couple of teams can run the table to the end of the season, that might not only put a Big 12 team in the playoffs, but another Big 12 team in the access bowls.
Of last year’s lineup of two playoff semis and four other access bowls, four of those spots went to Big Ten teams, and two each to the ACC, Pac-12 and SEC. The only single spot conferences: the Big 12 and the MAC. The Big 12 wants out of that club and if, say, Bedlam decides the Big 12 title with both teams in the top five, that could do it.
The Big 12 is starting to earn some R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Now is just has to take care, TCB.
(Thus ends the Gameday Blog’s tribute to Aretha Franklin. Just be happy I didn’t add a YouTube link to her video for “Pink Cadillac.”)