If aliens were to land on Earth, they would take one look at the Big 12 Conference, pick up that there are only 10 schools, and hop back into their intergalactic spaceship to skedaddle it back to their homeland.
Thats because Im convinced aliens are good at math. And 12 isnt 10 anywhere in this wonderful solar system.
But if the aliens were able to get past the numbers game and took a harsh look at the quality of Big 12 football in 2013, what would they deduce?
Baylor can score, but can Baylor defend the run?
Texas has probably saved Mack Browns job for the moment, but are the Longhorns a legitimate threat to win a conference championship?
Come on, Texas Tech is 6-0? Are we buying that, even for a second?
And despite a collective 9-2 record, are those two teams in Oklahoma anything more than window dressing for a conference that really doesnt have much to sell?
Iowa State is bad. Kansas State is having a tough season. Kansas has returned to the good old days of anticipating basketball season.
And then there are TCU and West Virginia, the two schools the Big 12 added to the mix when Missouri and Texas A&M bolted for the SEC a couple of years ago.
On paper, it looked like a good swap. People in these parts convinced themselves that losing Mizzou wasnt a big deal and A&M was never able to escape the shadow cast by those Longhorns.
TCU had made a national name for itself under Gary Patterson, who preached defense. And West Virginia, though a geographical stretch, entered the Big 12 throwing the ball all over the field with Geno Smith, Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey.
Whoa, baby, this is gonna be fun.
Except it hasnt been.
Watching TCU play makes me long for taking down wallpaper. And West Virginia became the latest team to prove that no matter what you can do offensively in college football, its going to come up short if you dont at least to pretend to play defense.
This season, the Horned Frogs and Mountaineers (at least the nicknames are colorful) are a combined 6-6 and 2-4 in the Big 12. Theyre not terrible teams, but theyre blah. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Meanwhile, over in the SEC, A&M has lost only to Alabama and is ranked No. 7 in the country and Missouri, which is at home against Florida on Saturday, is 6-0 and ranked No. 14.
Now it looks like the Big 12 got fleeced. Of course these things take time to work themselves out and theres a good chance both TCU and West Virginia return to football glory down the road. And when you look at what those schools have added to Big 12 mens basketball check that, theyve added nothing.
At least road trips to West Virginia are still new and exciting, providing you dont get lost. Im pretty sure the Texas Tech mens tennis team is still stuck at a Days Inn in Morgantown after a match last spring.
The Big 12 does lock up the Nos. 12 (Baylor), 16 (Texas Tech), 18 (Oklahoma) and 21 (Oklahoma State) rankings in the country. And the Bears do have a thrilling offense, although after seeing them play at Kansas State last week Im not sure they can stop a good, varied ground attack.
Texas Tech has ascended to the No. 16 spot by beating six teams with a combined 12-22 record. Thats good work if you can get it, but it doesnt tell us a thing about the Red Raiders, who have a road game at West Virginia on Saturday (pick up that tennis team on the way back), followed by games against Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Baylor and Texas. Thats the definition of the term meat of the schedule.
Oklahoma State will be lucky to hang on in the Top 25 and Oklahoma looked sluggish and out of its league against Texas, a team that knows all about sluggish and out of its league because thats how the Longhorns were playing just a couple of weeks ago.
If these teams in the Big 12 were the only choices you had for a prom date, youd stay home, order a pizza and watch Jimmy Kimmel.
Maybe thats not fair to Baylor, which is probably the conferences only team capable of staying on the big wave. I suppose Texas is in that mix, but whats to keep the Longhorns from stubbing their toes?
Meanwhile, Missouri has rebounded from a frustrating freshman season in the SEC. The Tigers are that conferences super sophs. And Johnny Manziel just happened to arrive at Texas A&M just as the Aggies were leaving the Big 12.
This hasnt gone the way the Big 12 had hoped. But least this conference is doing what it can to discourage aliens from inhabiting Earth.