Stacey Mickles

Big 12 Shines In More Than Just Football

Created on Mar. 24, 2014 7:19 AM EST

Who says you can't have it all? Not anyone in the Big 12. The Big 12 was the only conference to put seven teams in the NCAA Tournament this year. Not the ACC, the Big Ten, SEC or Pac-12.

Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Texas, Baylor and Iowa State all made the Big Dance this year which proves you can be a power conference in both football and basketball.  

Five of the seven teams who made the NCAA Tournament this year also made a bowl game this past season. (Kansas and Iowa State didn't go to a bowl game.) There is your proof that you can do both.

Apparently they haven't learned that trick in the SEC. Only three teams from that conference made the NCAA Tournament and all three had poor football seasons. I wonder what that says about them?  

The Big 12 was one of the first conferences to find balance in both sports. Kansas State has always done well in basketball, but recently it has a powerhouse in football contending for not only the Big 12 title but a national championship a few years ago.  

Baylor, which used to be the conference's little brother, so to speak, in all sports, has stepped up its game in both football and basketball by not only making the Big Dance, but earlier this year made their first appearance in a BCS game. No longer are they the doormats of the Big 12.  

The first team in the conference that seemed to perfect the balance between the two was Texas. Texas football has always been good, but Rick Barnes brought Texas basketball to a new level that almost rivals the football team's success.   

Let's not forget Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, which both made noise this year in football and basketball.   

So yes, it can be done if you have the right coaches and personnel in place. The SEC and the rest of the BCS conferences can learn a thing or two from Big 12 about how to find balance in both your football and basketball programs.  

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