Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Big 12 fans are envious of other conferences, too
By ESPN.com staff
Posted by ESPN's Tim Griffin
Big 12 supporters can be just as green with envy about other conferences as individual institutions can be.
Check out this list of what makes Big 12 supporters envious of other conferences.
- The Big 12 is envious of the Southeastern Conference for its head-to-head success in bowl games. The SEC whipped the Big 12 twice last season with convincing triumphs by Florida over Oklahoma in the FedEx BCS National Championship Game and Mississippi over Texas Tech in the Cotton Bowl. That pushed the SEC's bowl dominance over the Big 12 to 15-9 in the history of the Big 12, including 9-3 since 2003. The discussion about better athletes in the SEC, particularly on defense, has also gotten old for Big 12 partisans as the conference's offensive reputation has zoomed. All of that talk about the SEC's superior speed and athleticism has stuck in the craw of the heartland like an overcooked onion-fried hamburger.
- The Big 12 is envious of the Big Ten because of its media markets. Both conferences are located in flyover states. But the Big Ten has more major media hubs covered in places like Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Philadelphia and Minneapolis. The Big 12 has places like Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Denver, Kansas City and San Antonio. Among the top 30 television markets, the Big Ten has eight and the Big 12 has five (sharing St. Louis among both). It makes Big 12 partisans sometimes believe their conference receives less national credibility than the Big Ten, considering most schools in both conferences are similar land-grant institutions.
- The Big 12 is envious of the Pac-10 because of more glamorous destinations. Heck, I know the beat writers are. Compare the conferences. The Pac-10 has international meccas like San Francisco, Seattle and Los Angeles and solid stops like Phoenix and Tucson. The Big 12 counters with Ames, Lubbock, Norman, Stillwater, College Station, Waco and Columbia. The Big 12's Manhattan bears little resemblance to "The Big Apple." And it would really be one-sided if havens like Austin and Boulder didn't exist in the Big 12. Thank goodness for the small pleasures in life.