The Big 12’s interim commissioner, Chuck Neinas, is leading a conference whose football assets are very impressive.One thing Neinas doesn’t have to worry about, in his temporary role as commissioner, is the performance of the teams. In his introductory media conference Friday, he said as much.
“Take a look at what’s happening on the field,” the former Big Eight Commissioner (1971-80) said. “There are some good football teams and we need to focus on that.”The Big 12 Conference can boast of …
· a nation-best 27-2 non-conference record;
· the cardiac Cyclones, whose three fourth-quarter comeback victories have the school off to its best start since 2005;
· the NCAA’s most dynamic player in do-everything QB Robert Griffin III of Baylor. He has more TD passes (13) than incomplete passes (12) and his efficiency rating is obliterating the current collegiate record;
· the nation’s top-rated football team (per USA Today) in Oklahoma.
Before you play the “who have they faced” card, consider that the NCAA ranks the toughest schedules in the nation and this week’s list includes Kansas (1st), Iowa State and Baylor (tied for 2nd), Missouri (4th), Texas A&M (5th), Texas and Oklahoma (tied for 6th) and Kansas State and Oklahoma State (tied for 8th).
Neinas has a healthy agenda to work through in the coming weeks. But, getting his teams more competitive on the field isn’t one of them.
Beyond that, the Big 12 has five of the NCAA’s top dozen total offenses, two of the Top 10 total defenses and eight schools receiving votes in the coaches’ poll.
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