Big 12 football: Comparing the WAC to the Big 12

by John Helsley Modified: July 24, 2013 at 2:00 pm •  Published: July 23, 2013

The Wacky Big 12

On some fronts, the current Big 12 looks a lot like the old WAC of the 1960s, '70s, '80s and '90s, an offensive-dominated league featuring frequent shootouts and showing little sign of quality defense.

Back then …

* Arizona State led the nation in total offense four times between 1962 and 1973. BYU was No. 1 nationally five times between 1979 and 1985.

* TCU's LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for 5,623 yards between 1997-2000.

* BYU's Steve Young threw for 351 yards and rushed for 113 in a 1983 game against Baylor.

* Fresno State's Trent Dilfer threw 271 straight passes without an interception in 1993.

* BYU's Ty Detmer (1988-91), who ranks fifth all-time in career passing yards at 15,607, is the only passer in the top 10 who didn't play after the year 2000.

And now …

* Of the NCAA's top all-time passers, three — OU's Landry Jones, Texas Tech's Graham Harrell and Texas' Colt McCoy — rank in the top nine.

* The past 11 years, six times the nation's top passer has come from the Big 12.

* Over the past five years, the Big 12 has averaged three teams in the top 10 of the NCAA statistics for total offense and scoring offense.

* In 2008, the Big 12 had five teams — OU, Texas Tech, OSU, Texas and Missouri — rank in the top 10 of both scoring offense and total offense.

by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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