BIG 12 Teams surprise many


College football is coming to a close, and for those of us who follow the BIG 12, we’re glad to see the end to this nightmare. Alabama has dominated every opposition, and Ohio State hasn’t faltered much either. Clemson has performed up to standard (besides their loss to Pitt), and Washington has exceeded all expectations by cracking the top four and securing a playoff spot. However, the biggest surprise of the year has been the failure of many BIG 12 teams and the success of some others. Something went seriously wrong this year. The teams we expected the most out of failed, and the dark horse teams stepped up and took their place.


What happened to UT’s football team this year? One of the team’s only bright spots was Heisman award hopeful D’onta Foreman, who ended up not even getting shortlisted for the award. Foreman broke Texas’ long-standing record, previously held by NFL legend Earl Campbell, for the most consecutive games with 100+ rushing yards. How could a team with such a high-powered run game perform so poorly? Many UT fans blamed the coaching staff for their poor performance throughout the season. Former head coach Charlie Strong had three seasons to get things done at UT, but didn’t deliver. Although he is a great coach for players, he has no idea how to manage a team with potential. His third season with the Horns was his last, as he was replaced the week after Thanksgiving by Tom Herman, former coach of the University of Houston football team. It’s hard not to be optimistic about the Longhorns for next season, but it seems like any time they’re hyped up, they fail to meet expectations. Oh, and they also lost to Kansas for the first time since 1938.


The winners of the BIG 12 this year were Oklahoma, West Virginia and Oklahoma State.


It was expected of Oklahoma to win the conference this year, and they did. They finished on a 9-game winning streak, losing only to Ohio State and Houston. It is becoming increasingly frustrating to see Oklahoma winning, especially because of their very unlikeable quarterback Baker Mayfield. Although he will be leaving after next season, it won’t be a surprise if they find a good replacement.


West Virginia and Oklahoma State were big surprises. Oklahoma State ended up at 13th in the AP Top 25 poll, and West Virginia was just behind in 14th. The Sooners beat both teams and finished seventh in the poll. OSU beat the Mountaineers 37-20 in late October, which could explain their one ranking advantage. Both teams had mediocre schedules but still overachieved. This was nice to see from a usually unforgiving conference. Who doesn’t like a good underdog story?


On the other side of the standings, Baylor, TCU and Texas Tech struggled to finish with winning records.


Without Art Briles, Baylor couldn’t replicate their normal winning ways. The Bears’ defense this year was struggling to hold their own, giving up a total of 364 points. Even with their undefeated start, they finished on a six-game losing streak. Because of this, watching Baylor was far less than enjoyable, and even when they did score a large amount, they weren’t always coming out on the winning side.


TCU lost a star receiver in Josh Doctson to the NFL Draft, and it had a huge impact on their success. Even with semi-notable wins against Baylor (a 62-22 blowout) and Texas (31-9), they fell flat, losing games against Arkansas, West Virginia, Oklahoma State and more.


Texas Tech finished 5-7 after notable wins against TCU and Baylor, and losses to West Virginia, Arizona State and more. The Raiders have been one of the more inferior teams in the BIG 12 in past seasons, and they kept their role this season. They weren’t consistent enough to be at the top of the conference, and they couldn’t record more than a two-game winning streak.


It’s good to see that the end of the season has come. No longer will we have to be disappointed week after week. Hopefully we won’t have to put up with this next season.