Texas won the Big 12 in 2009. OU won in 2010. OSU won in 2011. Kansas State won in 2012 — OK, the Wildcats tied OU but beat the Sooners, earning the automatic berth in the Fiesta Bowl.
That's quite a run of parity. Four schools winning the championship in four seasons.
If TCU, picked to contend, wins in 2013, that would be five in five.
“I think we will have a very interesting year,” said Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby. “You look at the media poll, and Oklahoma State, our preseason pick, garnered 35 percent of the vote. We've kind of got Iowa caucus numbers in terms of people being all over everyplace, as compared to Alabama getting something over 75 percent of the votes in the SEC.”
It is Iowa caucus. Lots of horses out of the gate. By race's end, of course, the field is not so tight. K-State and OU finished three games ahead of the rest of the pack last season.
West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said that the Big 12's deep crop of quarterbacks in 2012 made for an interesting year, and the Big 12's lack of proven QBs in 2013 should do the same.
“Any given weekend, somebody was going to win, and somebody was going to lose, and you could never really predict how that was going to work out,” Holgorsen said. “So I think this year is probably the same thing. The Big 12 top to bottom is as good a conference as there is in college football. It's as competitive a conference as there is in college football.”
Texas is an example of the quagmire. The Longhorns have been the highest-ranked Big 12 team in most of the preseason polls. But the Horns were picked fourth in the Big 12 preseason poll.
“People are confused on who they think may win this conference championship,” UT coach Mack Brown said. “And that's a compliment to our league.”