What occurred to the Massive 12? They have been as soon as a dominant power within the faculty soccer world. They have been feared by opponents, beloved by followers, hated by others, and all the pieces a school soccer powerhouse convention needs to be. Now, with Texas and Oklahoma having left the convention for greener pastures, the Massive 12 is a shadow of what it was.
The Massive 12 introduced as we speak the 4 groups presently on the forefront of the convention’s enlargement plans: BYU, Cincinnati, UCF, and Houston.
These don’t sound too horrible proper? BYU had an awesome season final 12 months. Certain, they misplaced Zach Wilson, however they’ll construct off their success in 2020 and maybe shock some individuals this season. Cincinnati was unbelievable, and even gave Georgia a run for his or her cash within the Peach Bowl. UCF has been a profitable program for years now, and Houston hasn’t been as nice, however has the historical past and placement to make an honest addition to the Massive 12.
Right here’s the factor. Cincinnati may already be the perfect college within the convention. Baylor was atrocious in 2020. Oklahoma State was high quality, however not particular. Iowa State was nice, however they haven’t been nice so long as Cincinnati has. Cincinnati was the perfect group of this bunch in 2020, and primarily based on this NCAA rating from August 17, solely the Cyclones are higher in 2021, and it’s shut.
It’s simply another excuse level of emphasis exhibiting how far the Massive 12 has fallen. Between 1985 and 2005, the Massive 12 gained (or shared) seven nationwide titles — practically twice as many as some other Energy 5 convention. Since 2006 although, the convention has had zero, placing them on par with the Pac-12, and everyone knows how pathetic they’ve been in school soccer in latest reminiscence.
Certain, they’ve had a number of Heisman winners and a few playoff appearances, however these have been carried by Oklahoma. RG3’s Baylor is lengthy gone now, and that program just isn’t what it as soon as was within the first half of the 2010’s. With Oklahoma’s departure, no college left within the Massive 12 has had critical success not too long ago price celebrating.
Ought to the Massive 12 introduce BYU, Cincinnati, UCF, and Houston quickly, maybe they’ll regain among the dignity it as soon as had. Nonetheless, the convention would nonetheless be a good distance from being the intense risk that it was a number of a long time in the past within the faculty soccer world. I do know Iowa State appeared actually good on the tail finish of final season, particularly after profitable the Fiesta Bowl, however even with the returns of head coach Matt Campbell, quarterback Brock Purdy, tight finish Charlie Kolar, and plenty of different starters from 2020, I nonetheless discover it laborious to consider that this group might develop into a legit risk to Georgia, Clemson, Alabama, or Oklahoma.
By way of Energy 5 rankings, I might nonetheless place the Massive 12 above the Pac-12, however it looks as if day by day the road will get thinner. I miss the times when the Massive 8/12 was a convention to be feared, not simply cowering within the shadow of the SEC. I hope I see some enchancment in 2021, however I’m not holding my breath.