AUSTIN - The Big 12 was the first Power 5 conference left out of the College Football Playoff and if the rankings after week three are any indication; the conference is likely to be left out again this year.
For the first time since the conference was established in 1996, no Big 12 team was ranked in the top 15 of the AP football Top 25, according to ESPN. Only three teams from the Big 12 even made the Top 25 led by Baylor at 16, Texas at 21 and Oklahoma at 25.
The Sooners were expected to be the class of the conference this year and instead have fallen flat on their face. After a season-opening loss to a good Houston team, Oklahoma welcomed in Ohio State to Norman last Saturday and were demolished by the now second-ranked Buckeyes.
Baylor has had off-the-field problems and hasn’t been challenged yet on the field. Texas was the toast of the conference before storming into Cal and walking out with a 50-43 loss. The losses from ranked teams are a sign of the overall conference which is just 3-10 against Power 5 conferences, the AAC, and the MAC, according to NBC Sports.
The problem for the Big 12 is with hardly any ranked teams left in the conference, there isn’t a chance to beat a top team to make an impression on the College Football Playoff selection committee. Oklahoma is out of the playoff which could narrow the selection down to Cal and Texas unless another 1-loss team makes a run through conference play.
While it’s too early to write off the Big 12 chances completely, even to chase a national championship, the perception of the conference as being not quite up to the level of the Big Ten, SEC, Pac-12 and ACC is only accelerating as the league struggles out of conference. And if things don’t change quickly for the conference, it’s teams may be sitting at home on New Year’s Eve watching other teams in the College Football Playoff.
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