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

Part One (The Groundwork)
Part Two (1996-99)
Part Three (2000-03)

So with the 2000-03 seasons taken into account, the following seven changes are made to the 'real-life' schedules for 2004-05:

  • Kansas State plays Texas instead of Oklahoma (and Texas plays KSU instead of Colorado)
  • Kansas State plays Oklahoma State instead of Texas Tech (and OSU plays KSU instead of Colorado)
  • Colorado plays Oklahoma instead of Texas (and OU plays CU instead of KSU)
  • Colorado plays Texas Tech instead of Oklahoma State (and Texas Tech plays CU instead of KSU)
  • Iowa State plays Texas instead of Texas A&M (and Texas plays ISU instead of MU)
  • Missouri plays Oklahoma instead of Texas (and OU plays MU instead of KU)
  • Kansas plays Texas A&M instead of OU (and ATM plays KU instead of ISU)

Now everybody plays somebody from each two-team tier.  (And if you don't know what I'm talking about, read Parts 1-3.)  Once again, I used WhatIfSports.com's randomly-inaccurate-but-fun matchup simulator to play the new games.

2004

New Games

OU beats CU in Boulder, CU beats Tech in Boulder, Texas beats KSU in Manhattan, KSU beats OSU in Manhattan, OU beats MU in Norman, ATM beats KU in College Station, Texas beats ISU in Ames.

New North Standings

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

Missouri still finishes one win short of bowl eligibility, but not one game short of the division title--CU picks up a win thanks to the schedule trade of OSU for TT (and thanks to WhatIfSports) and therefore builds some cushion.  Meanwhile, the North as a whole goes 5-13 versus the South...and it's an improvement over reality.  Ouch.

New South Standings

Oklahoma 8-0 (11-0)
Texas 7-1 (10-1)
Texas A&M 5-3 (7-4)
Texas Tech 4-4 (6-5) (-1 win)
Oklahoma State 3-5 (6-5) (-1 win)
Baylor 1-7 (3-8)

Once again, the scheduling adjustments end up helping the weaker division (the North), as the South loses two wins to the adjustments.  The same teams end up bowl-eligible, though, and we get the same Big 12 title game matchup.

New Big 12 Championship Game

Oklahoma 42, Colorado 3

Still a blowout.

New Bowl Matchups

Orange: USC 55, Oklahoma 19
Rose: Texas 38, Michigan 37
Cotton: Tennessee 45, Colorado 31*
Holiday: California 34, Texas A&M 20*
Alamo: Texas Tech 35, Ohio State 27*
Independence: Iowa State 17, Miami-OH 13
Houston: UTEP 46, Oklahoma State 35*

* CU's extra win makes them, at 8-4, a likely choice for the Cotton Bowl instead of 7-4 ATM.  That bumps everybody down a slot--ATM falls to the Holiday, Tech falls to the Alamo, and OSU falls to the Houston Bowl originally occupied by CU.  Iowa State still gets stuck in Shrevepurgatory.

Shrevepurgatory.  Awesome.  I just made that up, and according to Teh Google, I am the first person to ever use that word.

Biggest Winner of Schedule Re-Distribution

Nobody, really, but I guess I'll go with Bobby Purify and Colorado for getting an extra win and better bowl out of the deal, even though they lost the bowl game.  They're still 8-5, but in a more respectable way...I guess.

2005

New Games

Texas beats KSU in Austin, KSU beats OSU in Stillwater, Missouri beats OU in Columbia (I know...funny, huh?), KU beats ATM in Lawrence, OU beats CU in Norman, CU beats Tech in Lubbock (CU's pwnage of Tech exists in WhatIfSports Land too), Texas destroys ISU in Austin.

New North Standings

Colorado 5-3 (7-4)
Missouri 5-3 (7-4) (+1 win)
Nebraska 4-4 (7-4)
Kansas 4-4 (7-4) (+1 win)
Iowa State 3-5 (6-5) (-1 win)
Kansas State 3-5 (6-5) (+1 win)

So thanks to Mizzou's win over OU (tee hee), they end up tying CU for the division title.  But think about how 2005 played out--the last game of the season was Bill Snyder's last game in Manhattan.  Brandon Archer picks off Brad Smith, and KSU sends Snyder out a winner...only in this new scenario, that loss prevents Mizzou from making the Big 12 title game.  Ouch.  (Plus, KSU beating OSU instead of losing to Tech means the win over Mizzou makes them bowl eligible.)

Then again, losing the division means Missouri doesn't have to go and lose 70-3 to Texas in the Big 12 title game.  Thank god for small favors.

The North ends up with two teams at 5-3, two at 4-4, two at 3-5.  That means the North breaks even at 9-9 against the South, but in the most mind-numbingly mediocre way possible.

New South Standings

Texas 8-0 (11-0)
Texas Tech 5-3 (8-3) (-1 win)
Oklahoma 5-3 (6-5) (-1 win)
Texas A&M 3-5 (5-6)
Baylor 2-6 (5-6)
Oklahoma State 1-7 (4-7)

The Big 12 in 2005 was funny--Texas was great, Tech was solid...and everybody else was mediocre.

New Big 12 Championship Game

Texas 70, Colorado 3

God, that was an amazingly bad game to watch, and I'm grateful it wasn't Missouri in that game.  This was "OU 62, MU 21" times ten.  We at least thought about making it competitive for a quarter or so.  Pretty sure UT was up 21-0 at the opening kickoff in this one.

New Bowl Matchups

Rose: Texas 41, USC 38
Cotton: Alabama 13, Texas Tech 10
Holiday: Missouri 35, Oregon 20*
Alamo: Nebraska 32, Michigan 28
Champs Sports: Clemson 19, Colorado 13
Independence: Oklahoma 30, South Carolina 15*
Houston: TCU 39, Kansas 20*
Fort Worth: Iowa State 40, Houston 7*
Motor City: Kansas State 39, Akron 36*

* Mizzou's extra win does probably land them a bigger bowl game (especially since the extra win drops real Holiday Bowler OU to 6-5), and while I disagree with WhatIfSports on the result of said Holiday Bowl, sending Brad Smith out a winner in a bigger bowl is a nice thought.  In the end, MU and OU switch places, as do KU and ISU.  KSU sneaks into the Motor City Bowl with an at-large bid that originally went to 6-5 Memphis.

This means that, amazingly, all six North teams go to bowls.  And three of them actually win!  An impressive feat considering there wasn't an actually good team in the bunch.

Biggest Winner of Schedule Re-Distribution

The immortal Thomas Clayton and Kansas State.  The bonus win in Big 12 play gets them a bowl bid, and Bill Snyder goes out a bowl winner, even if it comes in Detroit against Akron.

2006

So now the schedule flips, and KU gets dealt a tougher hand in '06 and '07 after ISU was dealt on in '04 and '05.

New Games

OU and Tech both beat KSU in Manhattan, Texas beats CU in Austin, CU beats OSU in Boulder, ATM beats ISU in College Station, Texas beats MU in Columbia, OU beats KU in Lawrence.

New North Standings

Nebraska 6-2 (9-3)
Missouri 4-4 (8-4)
Kansas 3-5 (6-6)
Kansas State 2-6 (5-7) (-2 wins)
Colorado 2-6 (2-10)
Iowa State 1-7 (4-8)

Only three teams are impacted by this year's balanced schedules, but K-State gets murdered.  KSU trades wins over Texas (with a hurt Colt McCoy) and OSU for losses to OU and Texas Tech.  Hope you enjoyed the Motor City Bowl, KSU fans, because there is no 2006 Texas Bowl.

New South Standings

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

Texas gets to beat CU instead of losing to KSU, which bumps them up in the standings, and they end up going to the title game instead of OU by virtue of their head-to-head win.

New Big 12 Championship Game

Texas 47, Nebraska 40

WhatIfSports simulates a much more exciting game than the OU 21, NU 7 game we got in real life.  But think of what this means: by not going to the Big 12 title game, OU does not end up playing Boise State.  That's a net win for them, right?

New Bowl Matchups

Fiesta: Boise State 38, Texas 29*
Cotton: Auburn 17, Nebraska 14
Holiday: Oklahoma 34, California 30*
Alamo: Iowa 27, Texas A&M 20*
Sun: Oregon State 39, Missouri 38
Insight: Texas Tech 44, Minnesota 41
Independence: Oklahoma State 34, Alabama 31
Texas: Rutgers 49, Kansas 19*

* Texas gets the Fiesta bid, and WhatIfSports shocks me by taking the Broncs over UT too.  I guess BSU really was a team of destiny, huh?  Anyway, OU ends up going to sunny San Diego, where they put up a much more respectable showing than ATM did in real-life.  ATM drops to the Alamo, and at 6-6 KU sneaks into the bowl to which KSU is no longer eligible.

Biggest Winner of Schedule Re-Distribution

Gotta be Oklahoma because this play never happens.

2007

New Games

MU beats Texas in Austin, CU beats Texas in Boulder, OU beats KSU in Manhattan, Tech beats KSU in Lubbock, OSU beats CU in Stillwater, ATM beats ISU in Ames, OU beats KU in Norman.

(I think I'm realizing something with WhatIfSports--it's trying to suggest that Missouri should have done better over the last few years than they actually did.  I don't appreciate that.)

I guess if Mizzou was ever going to beat Texas in Austin, it was going to be in 2007--not entirely unrealistic, especially if they played as well as they played in Norman.  Meanwhile, to add insult to injury, WhatIf also gives Texas the losing trip to Boulder that OU suffered in real-life, and OU squeaks by KU in Norman.

New North Standings

Missouri 8-0 (12-0) (+1 win)
Kansas 6-2 (10-2) (-1 win)
Colorado 3-5 (5-7) (-1 win)
Nebraska 2-6 (5-7)
Kansas State 2-6 (4-8) (-1 win)
Iowa State 2-6 (3-9)

I like the way this looks, but think of the paranoia level that would have been in place for Armageddon at Arrowhead.  At 11-0 with a win in Austin, Mizzou would have been #1 in the country.  Meanwhile, KU at 9-2 would have been more like #11-13 or so.  We were paranoid already, but Mizzou would have had even more to lose than they already did, and KU would have been playing the spolier instead of the co-national competitor...oy, there's heartburn, and then there's heartburn.  We'll assume in the end, though, that the 36-28 result is the same.

As is the 38-17 result the next week.

New South Standings

Oklahoma 7-1 (11-1) (+1 win)
Texas Tech 5-3 (9-3) (+1 win)
Texas A&M 5-3 (8-4) (+1 win)
Texas 4-4 (8-4) (-1 win)
Oklahoma State 4-4 (6-6)
Baylor 0-8 (3-9)

With the losses to Mizzou and CU, Texas falls from 2nd to 4th in the South.  Ouch.

New Big 12 Championship Game

Oklahoma 38, Missouri 17

Sigh.

New Bowl Matchups

Fiesta: West Virginia 48, Oklahoma 28
Orange: Missouri 38, Virginia Tech 26*
Cotton: Kansas 42, Arkansas 21*
Gator: Texas Tech 31, Virginia 28
Holiday: Texas 52, Arizona State 34
Alamo: Penn State 24, Texas A&M 17
Insight: Oklahoma State 49, Indiana 33

* At 12-1, with KU at 10-2, Mizzou almost definitely gets into the Orange Bowl, so they've got that consolation.  In the end, Mizzou and KU switch places, and that's about it.  I guess maybe Texas doesn't still get into the Holiday Bowl over ATM, especially since ATM won head-to-head, but we'll keep it like that.  I don't care enough to flip them.

Biggest Winner of Schedule Re-Distribution

You know what sounds better than 12-2 and a #4 ranking?  13-1 and a #2 ranking.

Of course, this overshadows the bitterness that would be associated with finishing #2 behind a team with two losses, but we all know LSU would still get selected for the national title game.  Such is life.

What Have We Learned?

Here are the four-year standings for each division:

North
Team W L Win% Division Titles
Missouri 20 13 .606 1
Kansas 15 17 .469
Nebraska 15 18 .455 1
Colorado 15 19 .441 2
Kansas State 10 22 .313
Iowa State 10 22 .313

Now's a good time to mention that, while Missouri has only had a two-year run at the top of the North division, they've been pretty well-positioned for this run for a while.  As KSU and ISU were sinking like stones and NU and CU were fluttering around .500, only MU and KU have been rising.  And in the seven years that Mangino and Pinkel have been facing off in Lawrence and Columbia, Mizzou has finished with more wins five times and tied the other two.  I have no point here, other than to deflect criticism from people who are already thinking that Mizzou is a two-year wonder, and now the division is back in whoever's hands (Nebraska's, I guess).

South
Team W L Win% Division Titles
Oklahoma 29 5 .853 2
Texas 28 6 .824 2
Texas Tech 19 13 .594
Texas A&M 18 14 .563
Oklahoma State 11 21 .344
Baylor 6 26 .188

It feels like OSU has been better than ATM for a while (to me, at least), but that's really not the case.  2008 was the first season since 2003 that OSU finished with more wins than ATM.

Alright, tomorrow we wrap this series up with a look at 2008, 2009, and what conclusions we may be able to draw from this series of posts that I've found very entertaining to throw together.  Thanks for appeasing me.

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