Can we please re-draw the Big 12 football schedules at some point? (Part Three)

Part One (the groundwork)
Part Two (1996-99)

So in the first four years of the Big 12's existence, the redrawn schedules really didn't make a ton of difference.  Texas A&M won the South in 1999 instead of Texas, and Texas Tech twice finished in a much more advantageous bowl slot because of the balanced schedules, but there was no major altering of history, no years with a different Big 12 champion.  Does that change with the turn of the century and with the emergence of OU and Texas as the OU and Texas we've come to know for this entire decade?

2000

New Games

NU beats Texas in Austin (!), KSU beats OSU in Manhattan, Tech beats CU in Lubbock, OSU beats KU in Stillwater, CU beats BU in Waco, OU beats MU in Columbia, OU beats Iowa State in Norman.

New North Standings

Kansas State 7-1 (11-1)
Nebraska 6-2 (9-2)
Iowa State 4-4 (7-4)
Colorado 3-5 (3-8)
Kansas 2-6 (4-7)
Missouri 1-7 (2-9)

New South Standings

Oklahoma 8-0 (11-0)
Texas 6-2 (8-3)
Texas A&M 5-3 (7-4)
Texas Tech 4-4 (8-4)
Oklahoma State 2-6 (4-7)
Baylor 0-8 (2-9)

New Big 12 Championship Game

Oklahoma 27, Kansas State 24

So K-State, Oklahoma State, and Texas Tech pick up a game in the win column, while Texas, Iowa State, Missouri lose one.  No major change in the standings, and we get the same great Big 12 title game as we got in the real 2000.

New Bowl Matchups

Orange: Oklahoma 13, Florida State 2
Cotton: Kansas State 35, Tennessee 21
Holiday: Oregon 35, Texas 30
Alamo: Nebraska 66, Northwestern 17
Independence: Mississippi State 43, Texas A&M 41 (in the greatest Indy Bowl ever)
Insight: Iowa State 37, Pittsburgh 29
Gallery Furniture: East Carolina 40, Texas Tech 27

* In the end, not a single change here.

Biggest Winner of Schedule Re-Distribution

I guess it's Quincy Morgan and K-State, because they end up 12-2 instead of 11-3.

2001

The 2001 season was one of the craziest in the Big 12's relatively short history.  OU and Texas both flirted with making a bid in the national title game, and Nebraska was at or near the top of the rankings most of the season.  Meanwhile, Colorado lost to Fresno State in the first game of the season, slipped under the radar...and then destroyed Nebraska, upset Texas in the Big 12 title game, and almost made the national title game with two losses.  With four national powers, the slightest change could make the difference in both division races and the national title hunt.  Let's see what happens.

New Games

NU beats Texas in Lincoln (knocking them out of the national title hunt well before the Big 12 title game), K-State beats OSU in Stillwater, Colorado beats Tech and Baylor in Boulder (they lost to Texas in the real 2001, but they didn't play them here), Oklahoma beats MU in Norman and ISU in Ames, OSU beats KU in Lawrence.

New North Standings

Colorado 8-0 (10-1)
Nebraska 7-1 (11-1)
Kansas State 4-4 (7-4)
Iowa State 3-5 (6-5)
Missouri 2-6 (3-8)
Kansas 1-7 (3-8)

New South Standings

Oklahoma 6-2 (10-2)
Texas 6-2 (9-2)
Texas A&M 4-4 (7-4)
Texas Tech 4-4 (7-4)
Oklahoma State 3-5 (5-6)
Baylor 0-8 (3-8)

New Big 12 Championship Game

Oklahoma 31, Colorado 3 (according to WhatIfSports)

So Texas is not a national title player, and Colorado enters the Big 12 Title Game not as the underdog, but as a Top 2 team trying to play its way into the national title team..and failing.  Oklahoma finishes in the BCS Top 3-4...and Nebraska still sneaks into the national title game when nobody's looking.

In all, Colorado, Kansas State, Kansas, and Oklahoma State pick up a win with the new schedules, while Texas, Iowa State, Missouri, and Baylor lose one.

New Bowl Matchups

Rose: Miami 37, Nebraska 14
Fiesta: Oklahoma 33, Oregon 26*
Cotton: Colorado 29, Arkansas 12*
Holiday: Texas 47, Washington 43
Alamo: Iowa 19, Texas Tech 16
Independence: Alabama 30, Kansas State 7*
Insight: Iowa State 24, Syracuse 17*
Gallery Furniture: Texas A&M 28, TCU 9

* Lots of changes in bowl bids this year.  Nebraska still gets rocked in the title game, but OU makes the Fiesta after winning the Big 12, and Colorado is denied an at-large BCS bid by the fact that two other Big 12 teams are already in.  So they sink to the Cotton Bowl.  Meanwhile, KSU and Iowa State switch places due to Iowa State dropping a game from 7-4 to 6-5 with the newly-balanced schedules.

Biggest Winner of Schedule Re-Distribution

Thanks to UT's regular season loss to Nebraska, OU sneaks away with both the South title and eventually the Big 12 title, finishing with 12 wins and a Fiesta Bowl title.

2002

New Games

UT beats CU in Boulder, CU beats OSU in Boulder, Nebraska beats Tech in Lincoln, KSU beats OU in Manhattan, MU beats Baylor in Columbia, OU beats KU in Lawrence, ISU beats OSU in Stillwater.

New North Standings

Colorado 6-2 (8-4)
Kansas State 6-2 (10-2)
Iowa State 5-3 (8-5)
Nebraska 4-4 (8-5)
Missouri 3-5 (6-6)
Kansas 0-8 (2-10)

New South Standings

Texas 6-2 (10-2)
Oklahoma 5-3 (9-3)
Texas Tech 5-3 (8-5)
Oklahoma State 4-4 (6-6)
Texas A&M 3-5 (6-6)
Baylor 1-7 (3-9)

New Big 12 Championship Game

Texas 28, Colorado 27

So a year after four teams dip their toe in the national title waters, none do in 2002.  Everybody finishes with at least two conference losses, and the divisions finish with a .500 record against each other.

Iowa State, Missouri, and Nebraska pick up a game in the win column (making Mizzou bowl-eligilble...that's what happens when you trade OU for BU), while Colorado, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State drop one.

New Bowl Matchups

Rose: Texas 62, Washington State 17*
Cotton: Oklahoma 43, LSU 9*
Holiday: Kansas State 34, Arizona State 27
Alamo: Wisconsin 31, Colorado 28
Independence: Ole Miss 27, Nebraska 23
Houston: Iowa State 24, Southern Miss 20*
Tangerine: Texas Tech 55, Clemson 15
Humanitarian: Boise State 41, Oklahoma State 21*

* OU and Texas switch places (with similar results), while Iowa State--having beaten OSU instead of getting drubbed by OU--gets a better bowl bid and ends up 9-5 instead of 7-7.  The Humanitarian Bowl has to decide between 6-6 Missouri and 6-6 OSU and goes with the 'Pokes...which saves Mizzou the trouble of getting drubbed by a mid-major team on their home field for the second time that season (after Bowling Green tossed them around in September).  Mizzou doesn't get a bowl bid, but it's still a rather successful season for them.

Biggest Winner of Schedule Re-Distribution

I was going to go with Texas, since they got a Big 12 title out of the deal, but it's really gotta be Seneca Wallace and Iowa State, who finish with 9 wins instead of 7 after their 6-1 start.

2003

New Games

OU beats KSU and KU in Norman, Texas beats CU in Austin, OSU beats CU in Stillwater, NU beats Tech in Lubbock (?), OSU beats ISU in Ames, Mizzou beats BU in Waco.

New North Standings

Kansas State 6-2 (10-3)
Nebraska 6-2 (10-2)
Missouri 5-3 (9-3)
Kansas 3-5 (6-6)
Colorado 3-5 (6-7)
Iowa State 0-8 (2-10)

New South Standings

Oklahoma 8-0 (12-0)
Texas 7-1 (10-2)
Oklahoma State 5-3 (9-3)
Texas Tech 3-5 (6-6)
Texas A&M 2-6 (4-8)
Baylor 0-8 (2-10)

New Big 12 Championship Game

Kansas State 35, Oklahoma 7

After a few years of switched-up title games, alternate history gives us the same one this year.  After a mid-season 3-game losing streak, K-State rebounds to win the Big 12, but OU goes to the national title game anyway.

In the end, few teams' records are altered.  Mizzou and Nebraska pick up wins with the new schedules, while Baylor and Tech drop one each.

New Bowl Matchups

Sugar: LSU 21, Oklahoma 14
Fiesta: Ohio State 35, Kansas State 28
Cotton: Nebraska 28, Ole Miss 23*
Holiday: Washington State 28, Texas 20
Alamo: Oklahoma State 24, Michigan State 14*
Independence: Arkansas 27, Missouri 14
Houston: Texas Tech 38, Navy 14
Tangerine: NC State 56, Kansas 26

* Nebraska's extra win puts them in position for the Cotton Bowl, and you have to figure they'd take a 10-2 NU team over a 9-3 OSU team.  That drops OSU down to compete for the Alamo with 9-3 Missouri, and just for bitterness' sake, we'll say that once again OSU is chosen over Mizzou, keeping Mizzou in Shreveport, where they are denied of their first 10-win season since the '60s.  Still, though, flipping Oklahoma for Baylor has resulted in 6-6 and 9-4 records in Brad Smith's first two seasons, instead of 5-7 and 8-5.

Biggest Winner of Schedule Re-Distribution

Nebraska picks up an extra win and adds a Cotton Bowl trophy to the mantle instead of an Alamo Bowl one.  So here's my question: does Frank Solich still get fired if Nebraska finishes 11-2?  I realize he got fired for them doing just one game worse, but does one extra win and a January 1 bowl bid keep the dogs off of him for one more year?  I honestly don't know the answer to this.

What have we learned so far?

Here are the four-year standings for each division:

North
Team W L Win% Division Titles
Nebraska 23 9 .719
Kansas State 24 10 .706 2
Colorado 20 14 .588 2
Iowa State 12 20 .375
Missouri 10 22 .313
Kansas 6 26 .188

Despite a huge difference in quality in 2003, Iowa State holds onto second-tier status thanks to their 2000-02 performance.  Meanwhile, NU snags the best overall division record despite not making the Big 12 title game at all in the four-year span.

South
Team W L Win% Division Titles
Oklahoma 29 6 .829 3
Texas 26 7 .788 1
Texas Tech 16 16 .500
Oklahoma State 14 18 .438
Texas A&M 14 18 .438
Baylor 1 31 .031

OSU gets the tie-break over ATM for doing better in the last two of the four-year span (I'm creating rules on the fly).  OU and UT clearly distinguished themselves from 2000 to 2003, and it shows here.

So the 2004-07 schedules will be set accordingly.  No South team will play both NU and KSU, CU and ISU, or MU and KU.  Meanwhile, no North team will play both OU and UT, Tech and OSU, or ATM and Baylor.  Considering how they North shook down in 2004-05 (with a logjam around .500) and 2007 (with Mizzou and Kansas surging to 7-1), schedule changes could make a huge difference.

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