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Part of the issue for the Big 12 is that surplus of 7-5 teams. You won't be in the polls if you're 7-5, but you'll be mighty, mighty close. None of the Big 12's five 7-5 teams were ranked, though four received a total of 75 votes, which combined still wouldn't have been enough to grab the No. 25 spot in the media poll.
But the computers? They factor in every team in the league, and there's no debate there. The Big 12 is the No. 1 league in college football according to the computers, and the Pac-12 is all the way back at No. 3.
There's not a league that can compete with the Big 12's depth, and at the top of the two conferences, there's plenty of debate.
Both Oregon and Stanford won 11 games, but Stanford won only 11 games because it got to beat UCLA in consecutive weekends, counting the Pac-12 championship. Kansas State won 11, but Oklahoma won 10 games with losses to K-State and national title participant Notre Dame.
The top of the two conferences might offer a slight edge to the Pac-12, but it's certainly close to a push at the top. There's no debate at the bottom, though.
The Pac-12 is partly to thank for that. You'll have to excuse the Big 12 if it's not missing Colorado very much these days. The Big 12 has clearly proved itself as the deepest league in college football, even if it can't match what the Pac-12 boasts in the top 15 of the polls.