Big 12 stands tall in ESPN SP+ Post-Bowl Ratings

Much was made about TCU’s lack of strong opponents during their meteoric run to the College Football Playoff, but as it turns out, in ESPN’s own SP+ metric (ESPN+)., the Big 12 is the second strongest conference in college football. Only the SEC has a higher average rating.

We here at Sooners Wire have attempted to be respectful of our purple clad friends down south, and we are very excited to see what Sonny Dykes and co. can do in Los Angeles against Georgia in the national championship.

Moving back to the Sooners, they rank a bit higher than expected at No. 18 in the country. That’s good for fourth in the Big 12.

The SP+ serves as a “predictive model” so perhaps OU fans will be treated to a bit of a resergence in year two of the Brent Venables era. Obviously, No. 18 in the country isn’t the goal for this program, but after a 6-7 season, being anywhere near the top 25 feels like a good sign of things to come. With a lot of players returning on both sides of the ball and some blue-chip prospects coming in, the crimson and cream could end up rising in the SP+ rankings by quite a bit this time next season.

One of the great things about the Big 12 in its current form is that every team will play each other at least once during the course of the football season. That format allowed the “circle of suck” to be completed after Kansas State defeated TCU in the Big 12 Championship.

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Don’t let the talking heads fool you, the Big 12 was a meatgrinder this season. Let’s take a look at where every Big 12 team fell in the SP+ ratings.

6. TCU Horned Frogs

Nov 26, 2022; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; TCU Horned Frogs quarterback Max Duggan (15) points at his receiver after thrown a touchdown pass against the Iowa State Cyclones during second half at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

8. Texas Longhorns

Oct 15, 2022; Austin, Texas, USA; Texas Longhorns quarterback Quinn Ewers (3) calls a play from the line of scrimmage during the second half against the Iowa State Cyclones at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

9. Kansas State Wildcats

Dec 3, 2022; Arlington, TX, USA; Kansas State Wildcats quarterback Will Howard (18) holds up the championship trophy as the Wildcats celebrate winning the Big 12 championship after defeating the TCU Horned Frogs overtime at AT&T Stadium. Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

18. Oklahoma Sooners

Dec 29, 2022; Orlando, Florida, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Gabriel Dillon (8) attempts to get away from a group of Florida State Seminoles defenders in the second quarter in the 2022 Cheez-It Bowl at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

29. Oklahoma State Cowboys

Oklahoma State Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy looks down as he stands on the sideline during a college football game between Oklahoma State and West Virginia at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022. West Virginia won 24-19.
Osu Football Vs West Virginia

30. Texas Tech Red Raiders

LUBBOCK, TEXAS – NOVEMBER 26: Tyler Shough #12 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders looks to pass during the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma Sooners at Jones AT&T Stadium on November 26, 2022 in Lubbock, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Getty Images)

33. Baylor Bears

WACO, TX – NOVEMBER 13: Head coach Dave Aranda of the Baylor Bears watches his team play against the Oklahoma Sooners in the second half at McLane Stadium on November 13, 2021 in Waco, Texas. Baylor won 27-14. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

51. Iowa State Cyclones

Nov 26, 2022; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Iowa State Cyclones quarterback Hunter Dekkers (12) hands off to running back Eli Sanders (6) against the TCU Horned Frogs during the first half at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

57. Kansas Jayhawks

Nov 26, 2022; Manhattan, Kansas, USA; Kansas Jayhawks quarterback Jalon Daniels (6) runs away from Kansas State Wildcats safety Drake Cheatum (21) during the fourth quarter at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium. Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

64. West Virginia Mountaineers

Nov 19, 2022; Morgantown, West Virginia, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers head coach Neal Brown during warmups before their game against the Kansas State Wildcats at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

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Story originally appeared on Sooners Wire