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A Trip Around the College Football Landscape

Editor's Note: Not quite yet ready to disect the prior game, so we'll just go over the Big 12 Conference instead. Well, I guess I'm overstating my current mental condition. It isn't like I'm Vince Young-ing it or anything, no suicidal thoughts mentioned to a therapist prompting a call to the police, but I still don't feel the need to analyze the game from every angle, providing some actual analysis on the game. Sorry, it just ain't going to happen. Not yet, anyway. But I am completely fine with the loss, not really all that upset about the events that went down, and am still impressed with how we fought back. Just because I'm not ready to delve into the depths of the game doesn't mean I am pissed off at the world; merely disappointed in the loss. I take losses harder than most, as during football season, the combination of the Kansas Jayhawks and Kansas City Chiefs sort of become my life. It is pretty sad, I suppose, and not necessarily something you would want to disclose to just anyone, but it is the truth. And, with the Chiefs stinking it up worse than Sex Panther, all of that livelihood is dependent upon one team; my Jayhawks. Thus, the incredible, four-day long recovery period. Good thing we have a 1-AA team in Sam Houston State, then a bye week following that, or the next game would sneak up on me.

OK, now that we got the longest Editor's Note in the history of all writings out of the way, let's get down to discussing some football. More specifically, the status of the Big 12 as a whole. As it has been for years-and-years-and-years, the SEC stands atop the college football mountain. Sure, other conferences will seriously challenge their dominance from time-to-time, most recently the Pac 10 last season, but they never seem to actually pull through and surpass the Southeastern Conference. However, this year may be as close as it has gotten for awhile, with the Big 12 being this year's flavor of the month seeking to become the King of the Hill. It isn't better yet, at least it has yet to prove its superiority, but it is certainly something to keep any eye on for the rest of the year.

That being said, one thing is clear; there is a rather large drop-off in talent following the SEC and Big 12. Of the Top 11 teams in the AP Poll, 9 of them, repeat, NINE of them, are either in the SEC or the Big 12. Were Kansas to have won on Friday night, and Wisconsin would have lost on Saturday night (both entirely possible, considering they were both three-point end results), it is possible that, of the Top 12 teams in the country, only USC would be non-SEC and Big 12 related. That is disgusting. Everyone should be ablet o acknowledge just how awesome USC is; they have to be the favorite to win the National Championship this year. They just have to be. But besides them, there is not a single, solitary legitimate National Championship contender outside of the SEC or Big 12. Honestly. I suppose that either Ohio State or Wisconsin or, hell, maybe even South Florida could sneak their way up into the conversation were there to be a disaster scenario, but that doesn't seem likely. A one-loss Oklahoma, or Georgia, or Florida, or Auburn or even Missouri is way more qualified than an undefeated Wisconsin or South Florida, or a one-loss tOSU team.

But after the dominant twosome sitting comfortably atop the conference standings rests, regrettably, the Big 10/11. Not that it has much to do with them, but instead has to do with the Big East being an overrated conference (South Florida is awesome and West Virginia is 'good', but no one else sticks out and Bill Stewart seems to be a pretty terrible coach), the ACC being an incredibly young conference (next season, when North Carolina, Miami and Virginia Tech all figure to be really good, the conference should probably get back to #3) and the Pac 10 losing 4 games over the weekend to the Mountain West. Talk about a one-trick pony. Without USC, the Pac 10 is worse than the MWC, easy, and maybe even worse than the WAC. As it stands currently, here would be my take on the conference situation:

  1. SEC
  2. Big 12
  3. Big 10/11
  4. MWC
  5. ACC
  6. Pac 10
  7. Big East
  8. WAC
  9. C-USA
  10. MAC
  11. Sun Belt

Chew on that for awhile. And, narrowing the scope, here is my take on the Big 12. Honestly, this is the best the Big 12 has been in years. That, combined with Kansas' loss in Tampa this past Friday (remember, can't talk about it) could make a better Jayhawk team look worse than it really is. Honestly.

That being said, here is how I see the Big 12, as it currently stands on this night, the 15th of September.

  1. Oklahoma
  2. Missouri
  3. Texas
  4. Texas Tech
  5. Kansas
  6. Oklahoma State
  7. Kansas State
  8. Colorado
  9. Nebraska
  10. Baylor
  11. Iowa State
  12. Texas A&M

Sorry for the lack of actual analysis. More to come tomorrow. Promise.