Offense Rules In The Big 12
When you think of the Big 12 these days, you think offense. The conference once known mainly for the wishbone attack has been leading the nation for a while, and that's not changing any time soon.
Last year, Baylor and Texas Tech were in the top 10 in total offense, with the Bears ranked No.1 in the nation, averaging 52 points and 618 yards per game.
Think about that: 52 points per game. Who does that? The Bears, that's who.
Playing against the Bears was like running a track meet. If you didn't keep up, you'd be left in the dust. Recently, head coach Art Briles said he would be interested to see how his high-powered offense would fare in the NFL.
"It's kind of intriguing to me because, as opposed to 20 years ago when there was always a trickle-down effect, it's a trickle-up effect now," he told SB Nation. "I think everything's trickling up from high school to college to the NFL, and that's why the game's getting more open and more exciting and more diverse. To me, as a guy that deals on the offensive side most of the time, I think it would be very exciting to get to the NFL level with this type of scheme and see what happens."
Baylor wasn't the only team that burned up the field last year. So did Texas Tech. We already knew Kliff Kingsbury was an offensive genius from his time as offense coordinator at Houston and Texas A&M. Kingsbury was the mad genius behind creating that guy named Johnny Football who won the Heisman Trophy. So he knows a little something about offense.
The Red Raiders averaged 511 yards per contest last season and were ranked eighth in the country. Kingsbury said the key to his success is studying other offenses.
"I love watching tape and studying other people's offenses, and that's why I'm in this, to work with the kids and develop student-athletes," he said last year in Sports Illustrated. "But the X's-and-O's part gets lost. That's what I really enjoy doing."
The Bears and the Red Raiders aren't the only teams that run track meets on offense. Oklahoma State, Kansas State and Oklahoma also know how to pick up the pace. If you watched any of these teams play each other last season, you knew you probably were going to see a shootout. But if you are a fan of the Big 12, you wouldn't expect anything less. Expect the same in 2014. More shootouts, more exciting games, more close finishes.
After all, this is Big 12 football.