Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Big 12 vs. Pac-12? No debate here
By David Ubben
Author's note: On today's "Hot Button," I debated Ted Miller on what conference was the nation's No. 2. It got ugly. Want to see what Miller wrote about the Big 12/Pac-12 debate?
The SEC has won the past six national championships, leaving it the indisputable champ among the nation's strongest conferences.
Or so we're told, anyway. Silly me, I thought conferences were made up of more than one or two teams.
Oh well, that's a debate for another day. Today, I'm told there's a "debate" between the Pac-12 and the Big 12 for who's No. 2?
C'mon man. That's like debating which of USC's bowl appearances the past two seasons was most impressive. Does not compute.
The simple math says this is indeed a debate: Both leagues have five teams in the Top 25. The Pac-12 has two teams in the nation's top four. The Big 12 doesn't have any.
But no matter what the folks from the SEC might tell you, a league is made up of more than just the best and most prominent piece or pieces.
From top to bottom, no league in college football has been better than the Big 12 through two weeks. (We'll leave Kansas out of this for now).
I see your five teams in the Top 25, Pac-12. I also see your standings feature two divisions and 12 teams.
The Big 12? It's trimmed to just 10 teams these days, meaning exactly half of the league is in the polls. The Pac-12? That league's only got 42 percent of its teams ranked.
And what about the good teams who haven't quite made the poll? Arizona vaulted into the rankings last week after beating Oklahoma State in Tucson, but take a good look at the bottom of the AP poll. Every single Big 12 team other than Kansas and Texas Tech got votes, meaning at least a few media members believe eight of the league's members deserve a spot in the polls.
Only seven Pac-12 teams earned votes, less than 2/3 of the league. The Big 12? Eighty percent.
Hey, I get it. Right now, the Pac-12 and the SEC have the headline-making national title contenders. There's probably not a team in the Big 12 as good as USC or Oregon, or Alabama and LSU. But we're not talking national title picture.
We're talking which league has the best teams.
The Big 12 has the same amount of teams as the Pac-12 in the top 10 (two), but when you look up and eight of the Big 12 teams have made a case for the Top 25? That's insane.
The Big 12 so far this season has just two losses, including one from Kansas, and another in the only head-to-head game versus the Pac-12. That's it, though.
The Pac-12 has six losses, including an FCS loss by Colorado this past weekend.
In those 17 games, Big 12 teams have bested opponents by an average of nearly 31 points. The Pac-12 has won its nonconference games by an average of only 11 points.
The Big 12: The home of style points ... and tons of good football. Certainly more than the Pac-12.
A debate? This one was over before it started.