With all the problems and all the controversy after not expanding, the Big 12 needs West Virginia and Baylor to come up with special seasons.
Why the Big 12 needs West Virginia and Baylor to keep winning.
A complete waste of time, disappointing, embarrassing.
And those were a few of the nice things said over the last 24 hours since the Big 12 Conference announced it would not be expanding. And while the decision to stay at 10 has nothing to do with the conference’s on-the-field performance it has everything to do with perception.
Long gone are the days of the BCS computer rankings. Those polls have been replaced by a committee, who in just a few short weeks will unveil the first College Football Playoff poll of the season.
How does the CFP poll and the Big 12 failure to handle expansion correlate?
The 2016 season had already been determined to be a failure by most in the national media. At one point there was no Big 12 team in the top 15 in either poll – Oklahoma had already accumulated 2 losses, and Texas was already talking about firing their head coach.
And this was only four weeks into the season. With how the conference fumbled expansion, or the lack thereof, most feel the Big 12 is in shambles.
The only two remaining bright spots for the Big 12 are its two remaining undefeated teams, Baylor and West Virginia.
Baylor has solidified itself as a perennial powerhouse but the offseason scandal surrounding former head coach Art Briles and the School’s failure to adequately address the issues have left it scarred, and West Virginia is being perceived as that one team who really doesn’t belong. Again, it is the public perception of the Big 12 Conference.
No matter how the Bears and Mountaineers are being perceived, the Big 12 needs them to remain successful in the worst way, more so than Oklahoma or Texas, at least this season.
December 3rd in Morgantown, West Virginia may be one of the biggest days in the history of the Big 12 Conference.
That’s when the Baylor Bears will travel West Virginia to face the Mountaineers in what will be the final weekend of the Big 12 season. If both teams remain undefeated going into December that game will hold more weight than almost any game in the history of the conference. The winner will be crowned Big 12 champion and undoubtedly receive that coveted invitation into the CFP.
And if Baylor and West Virginia go into that game undefeated, the Big 12 has already won. It would have proven that even in a year where Oklahoma and Texas failed to be of national relevance the conference survived.
It would also prove that even without a championship game, it was able to have a legitimate representative on a national scale.
The Big 12 needs Baylor and West Virginia; now, more than ever before. These are the only two teams who still have the ability to save the Big 12. If ever there was a time to prove to the country that the conference was deeper than Oklahoma and Texas, that time is now.