Together, Kansas University and Texas make up nearly half of the Big 12 players currently playing in the NBA. Of 41 Big 12 players in the NBA, 19 of them (46.3 percent) wore a Jayhawk or Longhorn uniform in college.
Projecting which college superstars turn into NFL standouts can be difficult (see Leaf, Ryan; Smith, Akili; Salaam, Rashaan, to name a few).
With the 20th pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Aqib Talib, cornerback, Kansas University. It was the only time a Big 12 Conference player heard his named called in the first round. When the 2009 draft takes place Saturday in New York, that likely won’t be the case again.
Kansas University’s early Big 12 tournament exit last week ruled out the possibility of the Jayhawks sweeping the regular and postseason conference men’s basketball titles. The sudden departure from Oklahoma City did, however, provide the Jayhawks with plenty of rest before their first-round tilt in the NCAA Tournament with North Dakota State. Will the added rest make a difference?
Technically, there’s not a Big 12 North or South division in college basketball, but teams from the North seem to be swinging the pendulum of talent away from the South in 2009.
With college football recruits signing on the dotted line all around the country today, here’s a look at a prized prospect from each Big 12 school in the class of 2009:
The Oklahoma men’s basketball team is 17-1 and off to its best start in 23 years. Undoubtedly, the driving force behind the Sooners’ stellar start is sophomore Blake Griffin, who averages 22 points and leads the country with 13.4 rebounds per game. But there’s a critical component of Oklahoma’s rotation that wasn’t around last year with Griffin.
What Oklahoma has done now hardly seems fair.
The Big 12 is a young conference this season in men’s basketball. Of the 344 Division I schools, not a single Big 12 team ranks in the top 50 in experience level. But there’s still expectations of deep NCAA Tournament runs for a few of the conference's finest. Here’s a preview of the Big 12 hoops season to get you amped for the crux of conference play:
In 17 seasons, Phillip Fulmer led the Tennessee football team to a 152-42 record, including a BCS Championship trophy in 1998. Tommy Tuberville, in 10 seasons at Auburn, led the Tigers to an 85-40 record, including an undefeated season in 2004. As of today, both men are no longer college football coaches.
If the Big 12 were to claim a signature victory roughly one month into the college basketball season, it’d likely be Texas 68, UCLA 64, on Dec. 4.
Not much was made of Missouri before the college basketball season this winter. The Tigers weren’t ranked anywhere. In fact, they’re still not ranked after an 8-1 start.
With 12 games down and one to go, Kansas University’s Todd Reesing has already thrown for more yardage than he did in 13 games last year.
It’s about time the Big 12 gets over the hump of mediocrity in bowl games. It’s amazing to think that 5-3 is the best the conference has ever fared in bowl games.
The Big 12 Conference and college football bowl games: not historically an unstoppable combination. The conference carries a mediocre 41-44 bowl record in 12 years. The Big 12’s best bowl record for an individual season is 5-3.