As football coaches from the Big 12 assessed an unwanted historic precedent Monday, Baylor’s Jim Grobe acknowledged the reality that co-exists with the fact the league enters November with zero top-10 teams in The Associated Press poll for the first time in league history.
“We hurt our possibility of getting in the playoff,” said Grobe, whose 13th-ranked Bears (6-1, 3-1 in Big 12) are one spot behind No. 12 Oklahoma (6-2, 5-0), the league’s highest-ranked team in this week’s poll.
The College Football Playoff selection committee will release its first set of rankings Tuesday and the Big 12 is not expected to have any team among the handful of top contenders to crack the four-team playoff bracket in December. During Monday’s conference call with league coaches, Texas’ Charlie Strong said the lack of a highly ranked team from the Big 12 in the first week of November underscores the parity in college football.
“I know it’s the first time that’s happened,” Strong said. “But still, there are some really good teams in this league.”
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Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, a playoff participant last season, was more defensive about the current state of the league, saying the Big 12 has had “plenty of years” with multiple top-10 teams in November.
“That’s just where it is today,” said Stoops, whose team lost nonconference games in September to Houston (6-2) and No. 6 Ohio State (7-1).
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy, whose team is No. 22 in this week’s AP poll (6-2, 4-1), remained philosophical.
“You go through ups and downs,” Gundy said. “Every league has done that, except the SEC. I still fall back on the (nonconference) schedule. There’s been so much talk about us upping the ante and … if you do too much, you can be out of it late in the year with these ranking systems we have in place today.”
Gundy acknowledged today’s increased parity in college football is at least profitable for the product.
“It’s great for fans but it’s tough on coaches because it means all the games will be close,” Gundy said. “The stock market value of college football has gone through the roof in recent years and parity only makes it more valuable.”