Big 12 mailbag: Kliff Kingsbury job security, Big 12 playoff scenarios

Welcome to our Week 11 edition of the Big 12 mailbag, where we take your questions involving everything Big 12, or otherwise. Email your questions to shehan.jeyarajah@coxinc.com or Tweet @ShehanJeyarajah to see your question featured next week. 

Let’s just say every Big 12 fan should be huge Auburn fans the next few weeks, considering the Tigers play both Georgia and Alabama.

The nightmare scenario is Georgia losing a close game to Alabama in the conference title game. Because of the Bulldogs’ win over Notre Dame, they should have more wiggle room in the College Football Playoff committee’s eyes. Alabama’s schedule might be weak enough that a loss eliminates them.

It’s in the committee’s best interests to put multiple conferences into the playoff. Doing so helps build credibility in the system. Jilting multiple conferences – not to mention another Power 5 conference if Notre Dame makes the playoff – will cause outrage.

Before the season, it felt inevitable that the Big 12 title game would mess with the conference’s playoff chances. A few months later, that still seems true.

After TCU or Oklahoma loses on Saturday ― they meet at 8 p.m. ET ― the Big 12 will have just one 1-loss team left. Both Oklahoma and TCU enter the game with 8-1 overall records, 5-1 in the Big 12. The winner will be the only one with a shot at the College Football Playoff. Should that winning team go on to lose in the Big 12 title game will knock the conference out of the playoff.

The Big 12 added this title game to give its teams a tougher and more impressive path. The conference succeeded. Unfortunately, the path might just be too hard.

The short answer is that the Big 12 will be crippled with any matchup where the one-loss team loses. The TCU-Oklahoma game this weekend will leave just one true contender for the College Football Playoff. That team losing will kill the Big 12’s chances to make the playoff.

From another angle, a Bedlam rematch might hurt the conference’s defensive reputation dramatically. Critics are already pointing to Oklahoma’s defense as a massive issue. Playing TCU or Iowa State would give the Sooners a chance to keep the game relatively low scoring. Another 60-point shootout with Oklahoma State would hurt the perception of the league.

Texas Tech, probably.

Baylor is coming off a high after beating Kansas last weekend, but the Bears still have issues across the roster. The Bears are thin at wide receiver. Most importantly, the defensive backs still have all the same issues that they’ve had all season.

Texas Tech has playmakers all over the offense. Keke Coutee and Dylan Cantrell should break off a few huge plays. Justin Stockton could have a strong day as well. Baylor’s offense will need to make some explosive plays to have a chance.

Unfortunately, he probably will be dismissed without a bowl game ― and win. After losing to Kansas State, the road is suddenly far more difficult. Games against Baylor and Texas Tech are far from layups, and playing TCU in between makes the road that much tougher.

The argument in favor of retaining Kingsbury would be if a whole slew of jobs open – Texas A&M, Arkansas, Tennessee and Nebraska, to name a few. If all of them come open, it might be worth waiting a year to avoid entering a saturated coaching market.

Honestly, I don’t think Les Miles makes sense at Texas Tech. Miles had tremendous success at LSU, but so much of it was tied to his ability to recruit the state of Louisiana. Every year, it seemed like the story was how LSU underachieved with all the talent. So much of his success was based on Louisiana pipelines. It’s hard to assume he’d be able to reel in even top 30 classes at Tech. What if he underachieved with those?

You know what Patrick? I’m doing great. I get to make a living watching some great Big 12 football games the next few weeks. Can’t complain!

Have questions for the next edition of the Big 12 mailbag? Email us: shehan.jeyarajah@coxinc.com or tweet your questions to @ShehanJeyarajah on Twitter. 

The post Big 12 mailbag: Kliff Kingsbury job security, Big 12 playoff scenarios appeared first on Diehards.

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