Big 12 Spotlight
The following is a list of all major BCS conferences and the average number of points they score per game:
1. Big 12: 43.322. Big Ten: 33.673. Pac-10: 30.404. SEC: 30.125. ACC: 27.546. Big East: 25.69
In the turbo-charged world of Big 12 Conference football, scoring is king.
Take these sample scores from the first three weeks of the season to refresh the memory. Keep in mind the following opponents who faced these Big 12 teams all made bowl games last season:
Missouri 52, Illinois 42; Oklahoma State 56, Houston 37; Texas 52, Florida Atlantic 10; Oklahoma 52, Cincinnati 26.
The bottom line: These outrageous scoring outputs are mandatory in the new era of spread offenses and winning football games in the Big 12. And the statistics prove it.
As of today, the Big 12 leads all other BCS conferences with a scoring average of 42.32 points per game. No other conference is even within striking distance. The Big Ten ranks second at 33.67.
Missouri leads the charge with an unimaginable 57.67 points per game, tops in the nation.
"We want to score every time we touch the ball," Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel told the Associated Press after the Nevada victory on Saturday. "We know that's probably not going to happen."
Well, maybe not. But the Tigers scored on their first 10 possessions against Nevada and racked up 651 yards of total offense.
Four teams (Missouri, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State) have averaged at least 50 points per game. Iowa State, which ranks 11th out of the 12 teams in the conference in scoring offense, has still averaged 32.33.
Not surprisingly, the Big 12's quarterbacks receive much of the credit. It's easy to see why when taking a glance at the nation's top quarterbacks in passing yards. Of the top 10, the Big 12 has four of them (Texas Tech's Graham Harrell, Kansas' Todd Reesing, Daniel and Oklahoma's Sam Bradford).
"I think this is somewhat unusual that we have this many players in this league that are good," Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said during Monday's Big 12 teleconference. "At the end of the year last year, we could have had five guys who could have been named All-Conference at quarterback, and everyone would have agreed with it. Offenses are moving the ball, being efficient and putting up big numbers."
When conference play starts Oct. 4, those outlandish numbers will likely decrease.
However, defensive battles in the Big 12 are likely a thing of the past.
"We throw anywhere from 250-300 (passes) in practice," Texas Tech coach Mike Leach said. "And we'll drop anywhere from two to five."
Despite being the nation's leader in scoring offense, the Big 12 isn't too far behind in scoring defense, either. Here's how many points each conference has given up per game:
1. SEC: 12.642. Big Ten: 16.053. Big 12: 17.034. ACC: 18.655. Big East: 24.666. Pac-10: 27.94