“I'm sure they've changed some of their offenses and defenses schemes to better fit the SEC opponents, but I would definitely say them leaving our conference and going there and doing well, says a little bit about the Big 12.”
OU felt the wrath of a Big 12 expatriate last season, losing 41-13 to A&M in the Cotton Bowl even though the Sooners had won eight of the last nine games when the series was a Big 12 affair.
Now it's OSU's turn for a Cotton Bowl at-bat against an old foe that has prospered in new environs. And just like the Sooners, the Cowboys have dominated, winning four of five games against Mizzou since 2002.
“We have a lot of talent in the Big 12,” said OSU linebacker Shaun Lewis. “We have some of the best coaches in the country in this conference. Everyone wants to crown the SEC as the most dominating conference. And you should. They've won the last ever how many BCS championships.
“But we play good football over here in the Big 12, too, and any of our teams can compete over there.”
The success of A&M and Missouri show that the gulf between the Big 12 and SEC was not vast. The SEC clearly has produced more top-shelf teams. But the idea that the SEC's depth is far greater has been debunked by the Tigers and Ags. Programs ranging from so-so to solid went to the SEC and mostly have been far better than that.
But the shine on the Big 12 by A&M's and Missouri's success is about to disappear. After 2013, there can be little argument that their success casts a good light on the Big 12.
Which is why the best Big 12 marketing in the Cotton Bowl would be a Cowboy victory.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at email@example.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.