In hopes of cutting new Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby some slack I gave him credit for forcing Big 12 teams into improving their non-conference schedules. Then the guy turns around and pulls a boner at the Big 12 Media days. I thought his comments were self-serving and embarrassing.
Bowlsby suggested that the NCAA had lost its ability to police its members and that cheating was rampant. Normally, that statement would not be a big deal because as we know cheating has gone on from the beginning of man, but his timing could not have been worse.
Bowlsby is the Commissioner of the very conference that is home to the current leader of the cheater’s club. Bowlsby’s conference is also home to the only power conference with a team that will lose practice time in 2014 due to poor academic performance. If there was ever a “kettle calling the pot black” scenario, this was it.
Some have suggested that Bowlsby’s rant was meant to encourage the NCAA compliance team to cut OSU some slack. I can see that as a possibility as Deflecting attention and blame away from Stillwater makes perfect sense. Another possibility is that Bowlsby’s rant was a preemptive strike against the bow of the SEC prior to the big 12/SEC non-conference schedule. By doing so, he can blame losing to the SEC teams this fall on illegal recruiting by the SEC.
To be honest as the SEC has separated itself from the rest of college football over the past ten years I have tired of this “woe is me” mentality. As Barry Switzer use to say, “get better if you’re tired of getting beat”.
The Big 12 needs to get better and 2014 must be the year that this happens. Granted OU gave us a start with its win over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, but we need an encore performance by the rest of the league.
In 2014, the Big 12 will face off against SEC teams Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Tennessee, and SEC lookalike Florida State. Running the table against these guys would go a long way in making a statement that the Big 12 is back.
Hopefully, the 2014 season will see the tide turn for the Big 12 against the SEC. In the meantime possibly a dose of reality is in order…
- It was the SEC that created the first conference championship game. By staying the course, the SEC now produces an automatic final two qualifier to go along with a 2nd final four candidate.
- It was the Big 12 that took a snooze while the SEC stole away Texas A&M and Missouri.
- It was the SEC and not the Big 12 that created the immediate recruiting advantage for these two former Big 12 teams that turned them into immediate winners on the national stage.
- It was the Big12 and not the SEC that allowed Boone Pickens and Deloss Dodds to determine the direction and makeup of the realigned Big 12 Conference.
- It was the Big 12 that allowed Clemson, Florida State and Louisville to slip through its fingers as future conference teams…
- It was the Big 12 that invited no-name teams West Virginia and TCU to become Big 12 Conference members.
- It is the Big 12 that continues to hang onto two non-footballs programs in Kansas and Iowa State.
- It was the Big 12 that allowed two of the nation’s best rivalries in OU/Nebraska, and Texas/Texas A&M to be frittered away.
- It was the SEC and not the Big 12 that signed the ESPN/ABC/CBS television contract that will allow SEC teams to double the revenue of Big 12 teams.
- It is the SEC and not the Big 12 that continues to recruit lights out… Currently the SEC has seven teams ranked among the nation’s top ten in the 247sports.com rankings while the big 12 has none.
While it is true that Bob Bowlsby cannot be blamed for all of these missteps, he is a big boy getting paid a ton of money. He needs to stop making excuses and get ‘er done.
The Big 12 Conference needs less rant and more substantively leadership out of the Commissioner’s office…