Big 12 mailbag: Freaks, foes and Keith Ford


In today's Big 12 Twitter mailbag, we discuss conference rivals, freaks of the league and what Keith Ford's departure means for the Oklahoma backfield.

Hope everyone enjoys their Memorial Day Weekend.

Now, on to the 'bag:

This is interesting, and not as easy as it might seem if we keep it conference-only. These are obvious: Baylor (TCU), Oklahoma (Texas), Oklahoma State (Oklahoma), TCU (Baylor), Texas Tech (Texas). These, not so obvious: Iowa State (Kansas State), Kansas (Kansas State). K-State and West Virginia are tough. I'm not sure anyone in Manhattan gives the Jayhawks a second thought anymore in football. As for the Mountaineers, I guess I'd give them either Oklahoma or Texas, though West Virginia has no natural Big 12 rival, and let's face it, probably won't for a long time given its distance and lack of tradition with the rest of the league.

Baylor's Shawn Oakman and LaQuan McGowan are in the top three. Human beings aren't supposed to weigh 400 pounds and still be able to move the way McGowan does. At 6-foot-9, Oakman has a ridiculous frame. For the third spot, I'll go with Oklahoma running back Samaje Perine. How many true freshman running backs have we seen carry the ball 35 times and not slow a beat in the fourth quarter?

One had nothing to do with the other. Joe Mixon was going to play whether Ford stayed or not. The Sooners experimented with Mixon in the slot in the spring to find ways to play him and Perine at the same time. Ford's departure probably impacts freshman running back Rodney Anderson the most. Anderson turned heads during spring ball. With Ford gone, that's one fewer back Anderson has to overcome for carries.

The answer to this would be way too long to list. However, think about this: How many players from TCU and Baylor could start for every other team in the Big 12, including Oklahoma and Texas? The answer might be a bit disconcerting to you Sooners and Longhorns fans out there.

The Big 12 tried to do this with Notre Dame and failed. BYU is a nice program, but it hardly carries the cachet worthy of a scheduling alliance like a Notre Dame. Had the Big 12 added an 11th team during the second round of realignment, perhaps a football-only arrangement with BYU would have made sense. But that ship sailed long ago.

If I say yes, will you guys stop with these weekly realignment proposals?