Archive for Tuesday, October 31, 2006

South division dominant

North teams are 3-13 against southern counterparts this season

October 31, 2006


The disparity between the two Big 12 Conference football divisions is so great again that the issue of what to do about it became a topic of conversation on the weekly Big 12 coaches conference call Monday.

Over the weekend, Oklahoma defeated Missouri, and Oklahoma State upset Nebraska, both South victories coming by double digits. The North has a 3-13 record vs. the South. The lone North victories this season: Kansas State 31, Oklahoma State 27; Missouri 38, Texas Tech 21; Colorado 30, Texas Tech 6.

A telling moment during the call came when Bill Callahan was asked about the defense of his team's next opponent, Missouri.

"They're the best defense I've seen so far, especially in our division," Callahan said.

Asked later about the Texas defense the Cornhuskers faced a couple of weeks ago, Callahan reiterated he meant "in our division."

It's as if the split has created a feeling of two different leagues, the strong one and the weak one.

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops went out of his way to say he respected the talent level and coaching ability in the North and said he didn't look at it as two different "segments." In fact, Stoops said he wouldn't mind seeing it become one big conference without any divisions, such as the Big 10 and Pac-10.

"It would probably be great if you threw out the Big 12 championship game," Stoops said. "Play an extra game, get it away from the divisions, mix up who the teams are who you're not playing each year."

If that happened, Stoops would like to see a system whereby the old Nebraska-Oklahoma rivalry could return on an annual basis.

"That would probably be great," he said. "I think those are the kinds of things that would be possible. That's another rivalry we have that we'd be able to have each and every year. It's been diluted now that we only play every couple of years. I don't know how fair it would be, but hey, that's the way it is. We have more rivalries than anybody else. The idea of making it one big conference to me seems pretty attractive."

Baylor is 3-0 against the North and 0-2 versus the South, but Bears coach Guy Morriss isn't seeking any gerrymandering.

"I kind of like the conference-championships set-up myself," said Morriss, who must face Texas and Oklahoma on an annual basis. "To me, it's everything is settled on the field."

He said he didn't think anyone should feel slighted because of any scheduling balance.

"They knew when they got in the conference what the competition was going to be like," Morriss said. "I don't see it as unfair. I see it as we have to catch up to those guys."


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