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Texas A&M Football

Around CFB: Attempting to rename the 14-member Big 12 Conference

August 29, 2023

Though numbers and geography have never really mattered to college football conferences, perhaps the Big 12 should soon consider a name change.

The Great Escape?
The Big Golden Corral?
The Big Senile?

They’d all fit. Let’s take a look at why:

• The Great Escape: When Texas and Oklahoma leave for the Southeastern Conference next season, the Big 12 will have only seven of its original members. That’s only because Colorado is coming back after a sabbatical to the Pac-12.

Of course, Nebraska left for the Big Ten in 2011, while Texas A&M and Missouri joined the SEC in 2012.

• The Big Golden Corral: Next season, the Big 12 will add Colorado, Arizona, Arizona State and Utah. That’s after this year adding BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and Central Florida.

That will bring the Big 12 to 16 teams. That’s a lot to offer, but on a national scale, none are that great, kind of like a certain chain restaurant.

• The Big Senile: It’s hard to fathom that the Big 12 might have been the college football premier conference in the early 2000s. In 2001, four Big 12 teams finished in the top 10 (No. 5 Texas, No. 6 Oklahoma, No. 8 Nebraska and No. 9 Colorado).

But the league got feeble-minded and began spouting gibberish.

The Big 12 once boasted of crowning “one true champion” and had two teams share the conference championship.

Mikala Compton/American-Statesman
Despite departing the Big 12 in less than 12 months, Steve Sarkisian’s Longhorns have been picked to win the league.

In 2016, the Big 12 asked several universities around the country to put together elaborate proposals for membership. The Big 12 decided not to expand but ended up begging four of the rejected schools to join.

Then there was the opening week of 2020 when Sun Belt Conference teams Louisiana, Arkansas State and Coastal Carolina all beat Big 12 opponents.

Louisiana blew out Iowa State, which finished the regular season in first place in the Big 12 standings.

Heck, even when the league seemed to do well, it has blown up in their faces.

Oklahoma reached the College Football Playoff in 2019. The Sooners were then dismantled by LSU, 63-28.

TCU reached the national championship game last season only to be annihilated by Georgia, 65-7.

Understandably, the Big 12 has issues with teams in the SEC — and teams going to the SEC.

Just last week, Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark — the league’s fifth in less than 30 years — made his feelings about Texas clear.

Speaking in Lubbock at a Texas Tech kickoff luncheon, Yormark told Red Raiders coach Joey McGuire:

“I’m not going to put any pressure on you, but I’m going to be in Austin on Thanksgiving, and you better take care of business like you did right here in Lubbock last year.”

Texas Tech defeated Texas 37-34 last season.

Once, the Big 12 made it a penalty for Texas opponents to do the “horns down” gesture. Now, the league may be doing it on a weekly basis.

Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman
Another Big 12 detractor, Oklahoma went 6-7 in Brent Venables’ first year in Norman.

No doubt, everyone associated with the Big 12 is angry that Texas and Oklahoma are leaving.

Still, a conference commissioner should never publicly show favoritism.

What if a controversial call enables Texas Tech to beat Texas again? That might raise suspicion of the game being “fixed.” Perhaps the league could face legal action.

Of course, in that case, the Big 12 merely could plead insanity and claim it was just more gibberish from the feeble-minded.

Heisman Watch (If my ballot was due today)

1. Caleb Williams, USC, QB: Of course, only Archie Griffin has won the Heisman twice. Williams might join him. Obviously, he has the ability, but he also has the perfect team — a strong offense and a suspect defense. The Trojans need him to post outrageous statistics. He can do that in a conference that typically offers weak competition. Also, he has great media support. Williams got off to a good start with 278 passing yards and four touchdowns in a 56-28 victory over San Jose State.

2. Jordan Travis, Florida State, QB: Everybody likes an exciting quarterback who can run and make plays off schedule. That’s Travis. Last season, he passed for 3,214 yards and 24 touchdowns. He also rushed for 417 yards and seven scores. He’ll likely be better this year. The Seminoles still have excellent receivers. Also, the pass defenses are vulnerable. Travis can get an inside track with a strong game against LSU.

3. Blake Corum, Michigan, RB: A star on what should be a legitimate national championship contender. Last season, Corum rushed for 1,463 yards and 18 touchdowns despite an injury that forced him to miss two games and limited him to just two carries against Ohio State. Expect him to be even more productive.

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
Hartman’s four touchdown passes in Week 0 tied a Notre Dame school record.

4. Sam Hartman, Notre Dame, QB: First, he has the Notre Dame hype behind him. That’s always an advantage. Second, he’s really good. Hartman passed for 3,701 yards and 38 touchdowns last season at Wake Forest. He’ll have better players around him at Notre Dame while facing roughly the same caliber of competition. Hartman made a good first impression at Notre Dame. He passed for 251 yards and four touchdowns in a blowout win over Navy.

5. Drake Maye, North Carolina, QB: Another mobile quarterback who makes plays off schedule. Maye had a spectacular freshman season in which he passed for 4,321 yards and 38 touchdowns. He rushed for 698 yards and seven touchdowns. He amassed the most yards of total offense with 5,019, but North Carolina still finished only 9-5. The individual is often blamed for the team’s failings (see Peyton Manning). That could damage Maye’s candidacy.

Predicted Playoff Participants

1. Georgia: The Bulldogs are looking to become the first team to win three consecutive national championships since Minnesota in 1935, ’35 and ‘36.

2. Michigan: The Wolverines are absolutely loaded. Ann Arbor residents may be partying like it’s 1997.

3. USC: Seven of USC’s Pac-12 opponents ranked 80th or worse in pass defense last season. The others were ranked 40th (Stanford) and 60th (Utah). That’s easy pickings for Caleb Williams.

4. Clemson: In a “down” year, the Tigers won 11 games and the ACC championship last season. The ACC overall is soft. Clemson figures to be improved, and Florida State must visit Death Valley.

Games to Watch

No. 5 LSU vs. No. 8 Florida State: Huge opener. Both have national championship aspirations. Those hopes are enhanced with a win. The loser walks the tightrope the rest of the season.

Colorado at No. 17 TCU: Maybe the most intriguing game in the nation. What is TCU without Max Duggan? What is Colorado with Deion Sanders?

No. 9 Clemson at Duke: This game has ACC championship implications. How often can that be said for a first game? How often can that be said for a game involving Duke?

No. 21 North Carolina at South Carolina: Interesting regional clash of teams trying to reach the next level.

Boise State at No. 10 Washington: The Huskies may be over-hyped. A win would give them a degree of legitimacy. Boise State isn’t as good as a decade ago, but the Broncos are no pushover.

Discussion from...

Around CFB: Attempting to rename the 14-member Big 12 Conference

6,372 Views | 9 Replies | Last: 10 mo ago by wisdom
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Georgia: The Bulldogs are looking to become the first team to win three consecutive national championships since Minnesota in 1935, '35 and '36.

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Big X
Variables are useful.
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Happy Family 16!
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MID 14
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The BDF, Big Dumpster Fire still works as the conference name.
The Agly Duckling
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ccatag said:

The BDF, Big Dumpster Fire still works as the conference name.
I like your point, but it may be less "Dumpster Fire-ish" with the sips no longer having so much . . . mmm, influence on things moving forward!
Z Team
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Need to be thoughtful here and have a name that is flexible. Like climate change can include anything.
I think calling it Big anything makes it a joke. They could just call themselves The Xit. It's close to the XII they had before. They could use the new twitter logo and save some money. And it would connect with their past and future.
The Xit. Either that or the classic BDF.
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Happy Family - beef, pork, chicken, shrimp, crab with white or fried rice.
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ccatag said:

The BDF, Big Dumpster Fire still works as the conference name.
TexAgs should get at least a vote, and this is it.
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