BCS Know How is taking you through the six automatic-qualifying BCS conferences in preparation for the 2012 season. Our easy-to-digest previews continue with the Big 12, the conference of change. Scroll down to see our profiles of the other conferences.
Conference: Big 12 Conference (Big 12)
Active Since: 1996
Current Member Schools: Iowa State Cyclones, Kansas State Wildcats, Kansas Jayhawks, West Virginia Mountaineers, Baylor Bears, Oklahoma State Cowboys, TCU Horned Frogs, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Oklahoma Sooners, Texas Longhorns. (10)
Bowl Affiliations: Fiesta Bowl (BCS), Holiday Bowl, Alamo Bowl, Pinstripe Bowl, Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl, Cotton Bowl. (7)
Conference Champion — Oklahoma State
Conference Runner-up — Kansas State
BCS Bowl Results: 2012 Fiesta Bowl — Oklahoma State 41 vs. Stanford 38
Overall Bowl Record: 6-2
Heisman Vote Recipients: Baylor QB Robert Griffin III (Heisman Trophy Recipient)
2012 Outlook: If there is one conference that embodies the churn rate of college football conference affiliation these days, it might as well be the Big 12.
After losing two schools before the 2011 season, the conference lost two more this offseason, as Missouri and Texas A&M vacated the conference for the SEC’s greener pastures. In replacement, the Big 12 recruited West Virginia and TCU to replace the two, keeping the league at a solid 10 teams.
But whereas some conference additions around the country have little chance in their first years in town, the Mountaineers and Horned Frogs look able to compete right away. The Mountaineers bring a tradition of Big East dominance, having visited the BCS three times as Big East representatives, and coming away victorious each time. The Horned Frogs, though not of AQ breeding, have two BCS bids of their own in last two years, claiming a Rose Bowl victory in 2011.
The immediate attention might be focused on the newbies, but traditional powers are here to play as well. Oklahoma looks reinvigorated and many have fingered the Sooners as conference favorites. Kansas State, who had a surprising run to the Cotton Bowl last year look to ride quarterback Colin Klein to national prominence once again. And Oklahoma State, who just missed out on a chance at a national title shot, is back to prove it wasn’t all a fluke.
All in all, though it might be difficult to keep track of what teams actually belong to this conference, the Big 12 looks as strong as ever in 2012.
Heisman Hopefuls: Oklahoma QB Landry Jones, West Virginia QB Geno Smith, Oklahoma State RB Joseph Randle, Kansas State QB Colin Klein, Oklahoma WR Kenny Stills
BCS Know How’s 2012 Predictions:
Conference Champion — Oklahoma Sooners
Conference Runner-up — West Virginia Mountaineers
BCS bids: Oklahoma — Fiesta Bowl; West Virginia — Sugar Bowl
Heisman Finalists — West Virginia QB Geno Smith