Part 4 – Big 12
If you’re not a fan of college football and don’t have a team, we’re continuing our path through the conferences to help you choose with the Big 12!
With the cancellation of the 2020 British American Football Season, there is no doubt we all have a massive football-sized hole in our lives. Although the NFL is extremely popular amongst not only Britballers but people in the UK in general, there is still only a minority of people following football at the College level. So, if you are looking for something new to fill that Britball void, here is a guide to the Division 1 FBS College teams and why you should choose to follow them. Whether you choose to your team to follow based on team colours, location or current record, there will be an option for you.
Next up we turn our attention to the Big 12, the home of some of the nation’s most exciting offences with points aplenty.
The Big 12 is only a single conference, and at the end of the season, the top two teams play each other for the Big 12 Championship.
|Iowa State Cyclones|
|Kansas State Wildcats|
|Oklahoma State Cowboys|
|TCU Horned Frogs|
|Texas Tech Red Raiders|
|West Virginia Mountaineers|
So, let’s get a look at the teams
Formed – 1899 | Home Colours – Green and Gold | All-time Record – 607-578-44 (.512) | National Titles – 0 Claimed | 2019 Record – 11-3
Familiar Players drafted – Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins (2012) Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns (2012) Kendall Wright, Tennessee Titans (2012
Rivals – TCU
Baylor is another team currently recovering from Scandal. Under coach Rhule (now the Carolina Panthers Head Coach) they did a remarkable job turning the on-field side of the football programme around going from 1-11 record in 2017 to 11-3 in 2019 and narrowly missing out on the Big 12 Title. Despite losing a lot at the end of last year, Baylor will be hoping to continue their progress in the right direction
Iowa State Cyclones
Formed – 1892 | Home Colours – Cardinal and Gold | All-time Record – 539-655-46 (.512) | National Titles – 0 Claimed | 2019 Record – 7-6
Familiar Players drafted – Kelechi Osemele, Baltimore Ravens (2012)
Rivals – Iowa
The Cyclones certainly aren’t a powerhouse football programme and, like a few others, are higher up in the basketball world. But if you want to be a follower of a niche team to follow in a conference full of exciting offence then Iowa State might be for you.
Formed – 1890 | Home Colours – Crimson and Blue | All-time Record – 586-651-58 (.475) | National Titles – 0 Claimed | 2019 Record – 3-9
Familiar Players drafted – Aqib Talib, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2008) John Riggins, New York Jets (1971)
Rivals – Kansas
Another one of the Big 12’s basketball schools. Honestly, there isn’t much to like about the Jayhawks football team, they won a division championship in 2007 with a 12-1 season. However, outside of that, their highest winning season since 1995 has been eight wins and that came the year after, and they haven’t mustered over five wins since.
Kansas State Wildcats
Formed – 1890 | Home Colours – Royal Purple and White | All-time Record – 539-652-41 (.454) | National Titles – 0 Claimed | 2019 Record – 8-5
Familiar Players drafted – Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers (2008) Darren Sproles, San Diego Chargers (2005) Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks (2015)
Rivals – Kansas State
A very similar outlook for this team as their in-state rivals, the Wildcats are not predominantly a football school and, as such, aren’t likely to be a contender in any format, division or national. Kansas State had a strong end to the ’90s and Early 2000’s under Coach Bill Snyder but are generally a middle of the pack team.
Formed – 1895 | Home Colours – Crimson and Cream | All-time Record – 908-327-53 (.726) | National Titles – 7 Claimed | 2019 Record – 12-2
Familiar Players drafted – Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings (2007) Lane Johnson, Philadelphia Eagles (2013) Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns (2018) Gerald McCoy, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2010)
Rivals – Texas, Oklahoma State
Oklahoma has been the king of the Big 12 over the last decade, amassing seven of the last 10 Conference Championships. Along with that, they have managed to gain selection to the College football playoffs in four of the six years since its inception. Unfortunately, from there it’s really a case of the bridesmaid never the bride for the Sooners, who have been blown away in all but one of their semi-final bouts, and the one they weren’t, they still lost. Critics will tell you it’s down to the Big 12 playing no defence, but they are certainly a fun, high scoring team to watch.
Oklahoma State Cowboys
Formed – 1901 | Home Colours – Orange and Black | All-time Record – 601-557-47 (.518) | National Titles – 1 Claimed | 2019 Record – 8-5
Familiar Players drafted – Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys (2010) Tre Flowers, Seattle Seahawks (2018) James Washington, Pittsburgh Steelers (2018)
Rivals – Oklahoma, Texas Tech
The Oklahoma State Cowboys are one of the stronger teams in the Big 12 and are quite often only outdone by the in-state rival Sooners. In the last decade, seven of the Cowboys seasons have ended with 10 or more wins. To add to that, Oklahoma State play an exciting brand of offensive football and this season coming, have a Heisman frontrunner in running back Chubba Hubbard.
TCU Horned Frogs
Formed – 1896 | Home Colours – Purple and White | All-time Record – 962-346-36 (.729) | National Titles – 2 Claimed | 2019 Record – 5-7
Familiar Players drafted – LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego Chargers (2001) Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (2011) Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Philadelphia Eagles (2016)
Rivals – Multiple
TCU has only been in the Big 12 since 2012 and have still managed to win it once in that time as well as finishing 2nd on two other occasions. They have generally been one of the strongest teams in the conference despite a downturn in the last two seasons. Last season marked only the third time that TCU had not been bowl-eligible since 1998, so look for this team to begin building up again towards the top of the Big 12.
Formed – 1893 | Home Colours – Burnt Orange and White | All-time Record – 916-375-33 (.704) | National Titles – 4 Claimed | 2019 Record – 8-5
Familiar Players drafted – Vince Young, Tennessee Titans (2006) Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs (2008) Earl Thomas, Seattle Seahawks (2010)
Rivals – Oklahoma
Texas Longhorns are another of those huge household names in college football. Between 2001 and 2009, the Longhorns recorded nine Straight 10+ win seasons including the National Championship in 2005 where they went 13-0. Speaking of the 2005 National Championship, the Longhorns beat USC in what was arguably one of the greatest football games ever played. If you get a chance, go back and look at that game. The Longhorns are working their way back and are certainly hyped to do so most years.
Texas Tech Red Raiders
Formed – 1925 | Home Colours – Scarlet and Black | All-time Record – 571-458-32 (.553) | National Titles – 0 Claimed | 2019 Record – 4-8
Familiar Players drafted – Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs (2017) Michael Crabtree, San Francisco 49ers (2009) Zach Thomas, Miami Dolphins (1996)
Rivals – Multiple
The Red Raiders are another of those middle of the pack teams with a handful of eight-win plus seasons and until the last six years, consistent bowl eligibility. They tend to use an Air raid style offence, and as a result, often play some exciting football (see Patrick Mahomes) in a similar brand to most of the Big 12. However, their lack of strength on defence tends to hurt them.
West Virginia Mountaineers
Formed – 1891 | Home Colours – Gold and Blue | All-time Record – 757-502-45 (.598) | National Titles – 0 Claimed | 2019 Record – 5-7
Familiar Players drafted – Pat McAfee, Indianapolis Colts (2009) Bruce Irvin, Seattle Seahawks (2012) Geno Smith, New York Jets (2013)
Rivals – Multiple
The Mountaineers put together some strong seasons between 2005 and 2011, never dipping below nine wins and made a few bowls along the way. However, they have been in a decline ever since 2016 and only mustered five wins last year. They also haven’t won a bowl game since 2015.