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The Big XII: Exposed?

Last night's Fiesta Bowl was indicative of many things.

Ohio State's senior class still doesn't know how to win a BCS Bowl game. Terrelle Pryor should be a future star while Colt McCoy may have maxed out his potential. And, obviously, the Big XII is simply not as good as we've been led to believe.

You all heard it at the Cotton Bowl. You could even hear it through the TV.

O-ver-rat-ed! *clap* *clap* *clap-clap-clap*

True. Tech was very much overrated. Some may nitpickily disagree with that assessment, saying that such a sentiment downplays our victory but they were, by the very virtue of their #7 ranking and the definition of the word, certainly overrated. They were rated higher than they should have been.

As were Mizzou, Texas, and Oklahoma State. While Northwestern, Ohio State, and Oregon are all good opponents, none are exceedingly great opponents (Oregon's pretty close, though). This is noteworthy because, for the duration of the regular season, we were told that the aforementioned Big XII teams were exceedingly great.

Let's not kid ourselves here; Ohio State sucks. The Big Ten sucks. The Big Ten reeled off an impressive single victory this bowl season. When we learned that the Rose and Fiesta bowls were going to pit USC and Texas against Penn State and Ohio State respectively, we all thought "well, damn, those bowls are going to be lopsided."

Well, USC held up their end of the bargain. Who would have imagined that Texas would have ended the first half trailing to the Buckeyes 6-3? Likely a few assholes from Ohio and that's it. Furthermore, the same assholes would have also predicted Ohio State to actually control a lead over the Longhorns late into the 4th quarter! If the Longhorns were who we thought they were, they wouldn't have required 4th quarter heroics to defeat the Buckeyes. If the Mizzou Tigers were who we thought they were, they wouldn't have gone into overtime against Northwestern. If the Texas Tech Red Raiders were who we thought they were, Michael Crabtree wouldn't have been limited to 30 receiving yards against an undersized Rebel secondary.

"But, but, the Big XII has such great quarterbacks!"

Does it? While sitting here "at work," I jotted down the 32 NFL teams and the conferences from which their #1 quarterback hails.* Would you like to guess how many of them hail from the Big XII? C'mon. Give it a shot.

Yep... one. And his team is playing pretty stellar football without him. The other Big XII quarterback of note is Seattle's Seneca Wallace who is only starting as the replacement to an injured Matt Hasslebeck.

Of the current starting quarterbacks in the Big XII, only Sam Bradford is truly a convincing NFL prospect. The others are too small (Chase Daniel, Todd Reesing), fold under pressure (Graham Harrell), or play in gimmicky offenses (all of them). Matthew Stafford and Jevan Snead both have better pro potential than Colt McCoy, Chase Daniel, and Graham Harrell. Certainly, these quarterbacks are great college quarterbacks but, when we SEC fans see the Mannings, Jay Cutler, Jamarcus Russell**, Jason Campbell, et al every Sunday we get just a bit peeved with the media's love for Big XII quarterbacks.

Jason White won the Heisman over ME?! With regards to "ratings," we Rebels were, and likely will continue to be, underrated. A poor start to the season will do that to any team because, while we had one of the nations strongest finishes, rankings systems operate based on a team's season-long body of work. We're certainly playing like a top-10 team and, no matter what our final ranking may be, I'll continue to think of this team as such.

Oklahoma, may Tebow have mercy on your foreskin soul.

*I'm not perfect at this so I may have made a mistake. If so, I'm sure I'll get a dozen comments or so about it.

**He sucks balls. I know.