Last week during our weekly radio show “The Morning Cho” on UCentral radio 99.3 FM, my co-host and I were reminiscing about the Big 12 and through rambling came across the first of what would be many what if’s. What if Nebraska beat Texas in the 2009 Big 12 Championship? Would TCU have represented the state of Texas in the championship instead? I don’t know. What I do know is here is the first installment of five Big 12 what if’s.
- What if Rhett Bomar was never kicked off the team?
I think the bigger question should be what would’ve happened to Sam Bradford? You know the man who put up 79 points in his first start and went on to set numerous records en route to a Heisman and being a first overall draft pick? Crazy to think at one point he was behind Bomar. Contrary to what happens today, I like to believe that Bradford, whose dad played for the Sooners, would’ve waited his turn and dominated when he got his chance leading Sooner fans to ask the question; What if he started longer?
2. What if Kansas beat Missouri in 2007?
Ah, 2007, the year of the Jayhawk. Still to this day one of my favorite college football teams of all time. A bunch of overachieving blue-collar players who took advantage of a weak schedule en route to one of the best runs in history. Sad the core went out on a seven-game losing streak. What if they found themselves on the other end of the 36-28 final score? While making the Big 12 championship for the first time ever would’ve been huge in its own right, what about the fact that they would’ve been playing for a spot in the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP. Kansas football and championships don’t go together and yet it could’ve. I’d still think OU would’ve beaten them just like they did Missouri, handily.
3. What if Robert Griffin III never followed Art Briles to Baylor?
RG3. My favorite college football player of all time hands down. What he did for the downtrodden program was nothing short of a miracle. Yet what if it never happened? What many people don’t know was the Copperas Cove native committed to play for Briles at Houston. A weird move for the fourth best dual-threat quarterback in the country. I imagine Briles would still have won at Baylor but it would’ve taken him longer. Instead of benching Miami Fla. transfer Kirby Freeman in the third game of the season he would’ve had to stick with him resulting in a less than stellar first year that I think would with no more than two wins compared to the four they one. Secondly, he wouldn’t have had the luxury of redshirting Nick Florence, who in his own right was a solid QB. Instead of winning ten games four years in, it’d be more like five or six.
4. What if OU never lost to Boise State?
This one pains me because I truly believe this was the cause of the Sooners BCS bowl struggles. Just look at the record after that game.
2008 Fiesta Bowl against West Virginia: 48-28 loss
2011 Fiesta Bowl against Connecticut: 48-20 win
2014 Sugar Bowl against Alabama: 45-31 win
2015 Orange Bowl against Clemson: 37-17 loss
2017 Sugar Bowl against Auburn: 35-19 win
2018 Rose Bowl against Georgia: 54-48 loss
While you might say that’s still a .500 record, to me it’s misleading. The UCONN team they played was ranked 25 and was only there because they won a weak then Big East. Alabama was coming off a disappointing non-championship season and didn’t want to be there and it showed. Finally, the win over Auburn while a strong one, was over a team with no quarterback a huge disadvantage. If they don’t lose to Boise they don’t have the hangover against West Virginia and turn those losses into wins. Dominating ones at that.
5. What if OSU never lost to Iowa State?
I end with one that has to be a sore spot for Cowboys fans. On the cusp of a Big 12 championship and national championship appearance, Brandon Weeden and Co. fell in Ames 37-31 in double overtime. “This one stings. This one’s tough,” Weeden said after the game. Stings indeed. Despite a dominating Bedlam win over OU the following week and a Big 12 championship, the first in program history, they had to settle for a Fiesta Bowl win over an Andrew Luck led Stanford team. Given the disappointment of last years team, you can’t help but wonder if they would’ve given Auburn a run for their money or even won. My thoughts? Yes on the first part, no on the second. Nobody was stopping Cam Newton on his quest for a storybook ending to one of the greatest single-season runs in NCAA history.
What if Kansas made a bowl in 2009?
What if the Ron Prince era at Kansas State was a success?
What if Mike Sherman put it all together at Texas A&M?
What if Texas Tech and Mike Leach never split?
What if Texas Tech never ended OU’s home winning streak?