The schedule maker got it right.
That’s likely something that is not often said, but the conference schedule for the Big 12 in football couldn’t have been set up any better.
The league has four teams in the top 15 in the first AP football poll to come out in November. Two are in the top three.
Baylor is at No. 2, TCU at No. 5, Oklahoma State is No. 12 and Oklahoma is in at No. 14. All but the Sooners are undefeated.
And that (except for the Sooners’ lone loss) is by design.
It was clear that four teams would be ahead of the pack coming into this season, and even more specifically, that Baylor and TCU would be at the top.
So none of these teams has faced any of the others in the opening portion of the conference slate. Each has had the opportunity to collect victories and rise in the polls as November approached. And the plan has worked.
Without a conference championship game in the Big 12 (which has seemed to come across as the “be-all, end-all” factor to make the College Football Playoff), these big conference matchups will take center stage in the national spotlight and give the league much-needed attention at the close of the regular season.
Here is a look at the schedule of the Big 12’s big four:
Nov. 7 – TCU at Oklahoma State
Nov. 14 – Oklahoma at Baylor
Nov. 21 – Oklahoma at TCU
Nov. 21 – Baylor at Oklahoma State
Nov. 27 – Baylor at TCU
Nov. 28 – Oklahoma at Oklahoma State
It would seem OSU has the most “favorable” three-game opportunity as each matchup will be at Boone Pickens Stadium.
The bottom line is that once again as the season winds down, the Big 12 should be right in the middle of the conversation for the four-team playoff, with thanks this time to an unsung hero – the schedule-maker.