How good has the Big 12 been really?

  • So while on another site I got into a debate over how good the Big 12 has been in basketball during our 10 year run of conference titles. My position is that the conference has been good at times, but definitely not great. To be a great team in college basketball, you have to have at least a modicum of tournament success. It’s very hard to call yourself a great team if you don’t at least reach the Final Four. Maybe that’s not fair, but in my opinion that’s the way it is. And really isn’t that the way it is in ALL sports? Post-season success defines greatness? How many “great” non-Final 4 teams can you recall? Especially if you get outside of your comfort zone with teams you’re familiar with (i.e., the '07 or '11 KU teams, or other Big 12 teams even). How many can we name off the top of our heads? Has the Big 12 had any great non-KU teams during this run?

    So with that being said, how many non-KU Big 12 teams have made the Final Four during our 10-year run? The answer is none. Zero. Even including us, can a conference be deemed great if over a 10 year span it has 2 Final Fours? Some conferences get that in a single season, let alone a 10-year span!

    The counterpoint to my argument was made with a link to this article The Big 12 was good y’all

    The basic premise of the article is that according to kenpom stats, the Big 12 has had more teams finish in the top 10 kenpom rankings.

    I’m not denying that the Big 12 has been decent. The whole argument in fact came out of me lamenting the Big 12’s decision to pass on Louisville back in '11. That it would have put another great team in our conference, and that you can’t have a great conference without a couple great teams. Sure the Big 12 can be “tough” at times, but has it ever been “great”?

  • Years ago–pre-1985 for sure (and maybe earlier)–I might have agreed with your premise that a team had to reach the FF in order to be considered “great.” But I don’t think that’s true now. I don’t think one upset–although it’s what we remember–defines a whole season.

    It used to be that a team had to win their conference championship to get in the tournament. Now a team can get there–and potentially win the whole thing–even though they may finish at or near the bottom of their conference standings. These conference tournaments have changed everything.

    I think KU had a great team in 1996-97; Missouri was great in 2011-12.

    Even before 1985, K-State had a great team in 1962 but didn’t win the Big 8 championship. On the other hand, in 1965, Wichita State was great until Dave Stallworth left at the semester. They were good after that and got to the FF. But you sure wouldn’t consider that tournament team to be great.

  • The discussion continues on the importance of Final Four championships…

    If we accept that the measuring bar to measure with is National Championships, then we are in for some shocking results when looking at conferences.

    First, before going further, the Big 12 is young, and the only way to even consider studying stats will require merging the Big 12 stats with the previous Big 8 stats.

    Now… for the juicy results:

    POP QUIZ QUESTION #1: Name a D1 Midwestern conference with more National Championships than the hybrid Big 12-Big 8?

    ANSWER: Actually, there are two Midwestern conferences. First… the Big 10. Most of you probably figured that one out. Lots of great teams in the Big 10! Second… the Missouri Valley! Yes… that’s right, the Missouri Valley! So while we continue our annual bashing of Wichita State for a plethora of reasons, one can not be that they come from an inferior conference. Because if we judge conference elite status by National Championships, the Missouri Valley not only beats the Big 12, but also the Big 12 combined with the Big 8!

    POP QUIZ QUESTION #2: How many conferences are “more elite” than the hybrid Big 12-Big 8?

    ANSWER: 6 conferences. And “independents” also have more titles. The 6 conferences are (in order of “elitism” ): Pac 12, ACC, SEC, Big 10, Big East, and Missouri Valley.

    Gee… our conference doesn’t add up to a hill of beans when comparing numbers of National Championships.

    Some one needs to tell the boys with the fancy calculators that determine RPIs and SOSs that the Big 12 is ranked as only the 7th best conference in America!


    (read down to “Championships by conference membership at the time of tournaments” )

  • @icthawkfan316

    I agree with you that it was a major blunder to not take Louisville. Maybe even instead of West Virginia if they didn’t want both of them. It would have improved the Big 12 in both football and basketball.

  • The next real question to consider is:

    Why haven’t the Big 12-Big 8 conference won more National Championships?

    I believe that is what we need to get to the bottom of.

    First… even though Kansas is truly the mecca of college basketball, perhaps our conference has not always valued basketball.

    Second… we’ve always been a “football conference.”

    Third… football and basketball seasons overlap. I’ve always thought basketball was undervalued because it starts when football is in full swing.

    Fourth… there must be several good reasons, but I’m just not coming up with more. However, I am counting on many other posters to help shed some light here!

    PS: Perhaps we didn’t take Louisville because we still undervalue basketball and overvalue football! Then I scratch my head even further… why didn’t we go after Florida State? When I consider both of these factors the only thing that pops in my head is that our conference has an inferiority complex! We don’t want to take any schools that might shoot right to the top of basketball or football!

    It seems to me that we would have given our conference a huge shot in the arm if we had picked up both Louisville and Florida State.

  • @drgnslayr I would say that most other conferences, at least 4 of the 5 “Power 5” and at least 4 of 6 from the old BCS conferences value football over basketball (possible exception being the ACC in both the Power 5 and BCS, and definitely the old Big East in the BCS). Yet most of those conferences are able to consistently produce Final Four teams and even National Champions, so I think it is possible to be more of a football conference while also valuing basketball. Whether the Big 12 has done that is up for debate.

    As to not taking Louisville, I’ve described that as the biggest “whiff” by our conference officials in the realignment/expansion era. They would have been a huge boon to BOTH our basketball and football pedigrees.

  • It was a mistake not to take Louisville even if it would have been considering them only for their football. They have been better than several in the Big 12. And it would be easier to add one more team to get the conference back to legitimacy.

  • @icthawkfan316

    Of course, all those conferences value football. Football is a popular game and many of those conferences have elite football programs. But I think they all value basketball at least closer to football. There are plenty of programs I know in those leagues that value basketball highly… like Indiana!

    What other school in the B12 really values basketball (even now)?

    Texas is a football state… period.

    Oklahoma is a football state… period.

    What is left? Iowa State? K-State? The purple kitties have always been a football leaning school and ISU has recently become more on basketball because of “The Mayor.”

    I grew up here… I experienced what the Big 8 was about. The big showdowns were football: OU vs NU then later… OU vs OSU OU vs UT UT vs TAM.

    Wasn’t it just last year that someone posted the Youtube clip showing Travis Ford speaking on campus pleading for students to support their team by going to games?

    You won’t see those clips from many of these other conferences, especially from ranked teams.

    Imagine how good the B12 conference would be in basketball if all the schools really valued basketball? Maybe Kansas is part of the problem? Maybe our dominance has become so dominant that the other schools’ fans just don’t commit to the sport?

    I respect The Mayor for what he is doing at ISU, and hope he continues to bring solid ball to ISU. That is definitely becoming the premiere games to watch in B12 action; Kansas vs ISU.

  • @Wigs2 said:> don’t think one upset–although it’s what we remember–defines a whole season.

    I don’t think it is the sole element to define a season, but it has to play a part. A large part even. I think it’s possible to have a great team and not make the Final Four or win a championship, but tournament success has to carry a certain weight. Consider the '88 championship team. They were 21-11 going into the NCAA tournament. Nobody would consider that a great team. No conference championship. No conference tournament championship. But because they won 6 straight NCAA tournament games for the championship, don’t we consider that to be a great team?

    So if you accept the premise that a tournament run can elevate the status of a team from good to great, then you have to accept that the lack of tournament success can downgrade a team.

    I guess one way to look at it is to think of the season as a college class. The NCAA tournament is the final, worth x% of your grade. If you’re coasting through the class with a 98% heading into the final, you can afford to bomb that final test and still end the semester with an A (A = great). But if you’re sitting at a 90%, you need an A on the Final to maintain that grade for the semester.

    I think your example of Missouri in '11-'12 was a good one, but flaming out to a #15 seed in the opening round…I’d say their “greatness” that year is debatable.

  • @icthawkfan316

    What needs to change so we (conference) start winning our fair share of titles?

  • @drgnslayr Well my point is that it’s possible to do both - valuing football as paramount, but also to commit to your basketball program. Michigan, Ohio St, Florida, etc. There is no reason why Texas, with their vast resources and alumni base, shouldn’t have a basketball program on par with those schools.

    As to what needs to change…I don’t know. But forget titles…let’s just get a team to the Final Four! I would say that overall the coaches in our league are good, but aside from Self we have no greats. Hoiberg is on the cusp and I really like what he’s doing in Ames. But it just seems that top to bottom the conference is solid, yet unspectacular in terms of its coaching talent. And perhaps that is because the coaches don’t have top notch staffs. It could be that upgrading the quality of assistant coaches could put a guy like Rick Barnes over the top.

    Of course the conference, as it sits now, is at a disadvantage. We have only 10 schools, smallest of the Power 5. And while we didn’t lose anybody that was irreplaceable from a basketball standpoint - Nebraska, Missouri, aTm, Colorado - replacing them with West Virginia and TCU is a downgrade. So maybe that’s part of the answer - get better teams in the conference!

    And even our beloved Jayhawks must share a little bit of the culpability when it comes to coming up short in the championship department. We should have more. Given our greatness and status as a blue blood, can we honestly say we’ve won our fair share? As many as we should have?

  • @icthawkfan316

    I never considered the 1988 team to be great. A great player or two, but not a great team. A team that won because the higher seeds kept getting upset. Lost 11 games (most ever by an NCAA champ), had an-almost home game for the NC. Played NC game against a Billy Tubbs-coached team.

  • The Big 12 has been an average to slightly above average conference. The major problem is that the Big 12 has really not had many top tier teams over the last decade.

    Let’s look at Sweet 16 appearances since 2004 -

    Kansas has seven. Texas and Baylor each have three. Oklahoma State has two. Iowa State, K-State, Mizzou, Texas Tech, Texas A&M and Oklahoma all have one each. That’s 21 total appearances in 11 seasons. That’s not even 2 teams a year making it past the first weekend of the tournament.

    Let’s look at top 4 seeds since 2004:

    2004 - OSU (2), Texas (3), Kansas (4)

    2005 - OSU (2), Kansas (3), Oklahoma (3)

    2006 - Texas (2), Kansas (4)

    2007 - Kansas (1), A&M (3), Texas (4)

    2008 - Kansas (1), Texas (2)

    2009 - Oklahoma (2), Missouri (3), Kansas (3)

    2010 - Kansas (1), K-State (2), Baylor (3)

    2011 - Kansas (1), Texas (4)

    2012 - Kansas (2), Missouri (2), Baylor (3)

    2013 - Kansas (1), K-State (4)

    2014 - Kansas (2), Iowa State (3)

    That’s not all that impressive, especially if you ignore KU on those lists. Consider that in those 11 years, the Big 12 has gotten a combined 60 teams into the dance and you realize that the Big 12’s problem is that it has too many decent teams and not enough elite ones.

    K-State is decent, but they aren’t going to compete for a national title. Oklahoma is decent, but they aren’t going to win it all. Same with OSU, Baylor, Missouri (when they were in the league), Iowa State, Texas (most years), etc. The Big 12 is full of legitimate NCAA tournament teams, but not teams that can lift the trophy on the first Monday in April. And that’s the issue.

  • @Wigs2 Well it sounds like you are discounting the tournament all together, as if it plays absolutely no part in whether a team has a great season or not. If that’s your position, then we’ll have to agree to disagree.

    However, even if you don’t agree with my '88 KU team example, if you do agree that the tournament at least plays some part in how you define the success of a team, then it’s all a matter of how much weight you assign to that. Like I said, I weight it heavily. Perhaps you weight it no more than just another game or series of games on the schedule. But if you do that, then why not just have a BCS system, where we ignore the tournament and just have kenpom or some computer ranking tell us who the best team was and award that team the championship? Really, if you don’t let the tournament play a weighted role in defining success, then that is what it sounds like.

  • @Wigs2 Yes, I think we missed a great opportunity with Louisville. And I feel for the athletes at WVU that have to trek so far west to compete half the time.

  • @drgnslayr


    You have to consider that the old Missouri Valley Conference eventually became the Big 8 and teams like KU, KSU, Nebraska. Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Missouri were part of that conference; in fact, the two earlier titles the Missouri Valley has were won by Oklahoma State, a current member of the Big 12. The original Missouri Valley has more in common with the Big 12 that it does with the current Missouri Valley conference, wouldn’t you agree?

    An interesting analysis would be to look at how many titles the current conference teams have won regardless of which conference they belonged at the time. In any case, anything older than 1985, when the NCAA went to 64 teams is pretty much irrelevant. In fact, with all the realignment of the last couple of years, most conference history is pretty much irrelevant.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Right… but at the time they were Mo Valley. It just points to a certain amount of triviality to all this title business counting as modern-day elitism.

    Just look how UCLA skews the conference comparisons. According to the conference with the most titles it is easily the Pac-12 (the mostly one-horse pony). So today the Pac-12 is the most-elite conference? They haven’t won a title since 1995. Even the lowly Big 12 has won a title since then!

    You don’t need to defend Kansas and the Big 12 to me. I’m just pointing to how silly this idea is that the number of National Champions determines prestige of a conference.

  • @icthawkfan316

    “Well my point is that it’s possible to do both - valuing football as paramount, but also to commit to your basketball program. Michigan, Ohio St, Florida, etc. There is no reason why Texas, with their vast resources and alumni base, shouldn’t have a basketball program on par with those schools.”

    I totally agree!

    And when I’m arguing with Texas fans this is what the argument is about. And every single time these Longhorns sort of snicker when comparing basketball to football.

    It’s the same in Oklahoma. I’ve been to plenty of Sooner games and grew up going to many Sooner football games. Basketball isn’t even on the same planet in Oklahoma. Texas is even worse.

    Visit Texas and you will see very large football stadiums and you will wonder what college the stadium is for… wrong… it is a high school stadium!

    I view it like this… culturally, the Big 12 is most-similar to the SEC. Take Kentucky out of the SEC and what do you have? Right… you have a football conference (even with Kentucky in it).

    Look at it this way… would you rather be in the SEC? We may be a football conference but there are worse football conferences to be in (for basketball). Just look at Missouri. The lowly Tigers basketball isn’t exactly burning the nets since heading to the SEC!

  • We didn’t get Louisville true, but we improved by losing Missouri!

  • If the NCAA Tournament was a computer, then it would be loaded with spam and viruses. My opinion. I enjoy watching the tournament, because I love watching basketball. However, the seeds are meaningless. Too many teams that don’t belong. Cinderella is for Fairy Tales! The best teams and only the best teams should be allowed to participate in the NCAA Tournament. Conference Tournaments, generate revenue, that’s it. Teams with losing records should not be allowed to participate. Teams that get hot at the end of the season, should not be allowed to participate. They should qualify for the NIT or some other tournament. No more than 4 teams from any given conference. Have the Conference Tournament mid-season, with every team playing the same amount of games. As far as the Big XII and the strength of the Conference. I can’t think of any place in the Big Xii where it is easy for opposing teams to come in and get a win on Campus. Neutral sites, yes. On Campus, no. Don’t see teams lining up to play in Aames, Iowa, Waco, Texas, Austin, Texas, or Stillwater, Oklahoma.

  • @drgnslayr

    I agree. National Titles do not define how good a conference is; in fact, a National Title does not even define which is the best team. The entire national tournament is predicated in one team getting lucky for 6 games (see KU in 1988) and not necessarily which one is the best team. This is why many of us have hold the Conference regular season title in high regard since it represents excellence throughout the season.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    You encapsulated my thoughts exactly!

  • Banned

    When we throw around the word conference what do we mean?

    In the last 20 years

    The Sec has won 5 Florida won 2 and UK has won 3.

    The Big 10 has one 1 Michigan St.

    The PAC 12 has won 2 UCLA and Arizona each winning one.

    The ACC has won 5 Duke won 2, NC won 2, and Maryland won one.

    The old Big East has won 6 Connecticut was won 4, Louisville won one, and Syracuse won one.

    The Big 12 has won one, KU.

    If my numbers are correct it would seem to me that Basketball conferences do quite better in in the tournament and winning championships. I know some will try to claim the ACC is a football conference but I’m not buying it. They are a basketball first conference. The anomaly is the SEC which is a football conference has won 5 yet that was done by just two teams. KU is tied with Louisville all time at seventh with a mere 3 championship. Meaning friends that winning a championship is very indeed hard to do.

    My opinion is I don’t care what conference you’re in, you win 10 consecutive championships that’s quite a feat. People want to say the Big 12 is weak because KU has dominated it. Yet it doesn’t diminish what KU has done. I feel we put to much precedence on how many championships a conference has won, in reality it’s just a few teams in those conference that actually win a championship.

  • @icthawkfan316 Ha! Welcome aboard ict! I’ve been posting that exact point for 4 or 5 years. Any conference that can be dominated by one team for 10 years is by definition, lame. Add to that, almost no Final Four appearances for that stretch (I think Oklahoma State made an appearance early in Bill’s KU career) and you have to wonder how anyone could consider this a “power conference.”

    It’s always gratifying to check in to the boards and see good posters picking up on points I made years ago. What’s not gratifying is seeing the Jayhawks continually underachieve in the tournament. Hard to get excited about this team anymore.

  • I get it… that people want to blast Kansas through claiming the Big 12 isn’t up to snuff.

    So what about their teams? For all those people, look at your own team’s SOS every year and compare it to Kansas.

    Once again, we are playing one of the toughest schedules in the country this year.

    I do believe we need to verbally blast many teams in our conference for not putting more into basketball. Their failures can largely be associated with their weak followings.

    Fans down south need to become as big of fans in basketball as they are football.

    And the opposite can be said for Kansas… we need to be better fans for Jayhawk football. We need to be there when they stink, not just when they are playing winning football. That is how we turn it around. Recruits come in to Memorial Stadium and when they see the fans leave at halftime, they might as well leave, too.

    I never leave at halftime. That is disrespectful. It’s like throwing tomatoes at the emperor.

  • This post is deleted!

  • @KUinLA Okie St had a Final Four appearance in Self’s first year at KU, the one year he didn’t win the conference.

    Regarding the Jayhawks underachieve in the tournament, this ties in with my desire to have a higher quality of conference opponent. How well are the Big 12 teams preparing KU for the tournament? How well are they preparing Bill? How often does he have to consider different strategies throughout the course of the conference season? Very, very rarely. Most of the time we just run our stuff and “out-talent” the rest of the conference.

  • @JayHawkFanToo I would agree that National Titles do not necessarily define which has been the best team over the course of the season. However, when you hold the conference titles in such high regard remember that it only represents excellence among those other 9-11 teams. How does that translate nationally? What measuring stick do we have that says that the dominance over those 9-11 teams is worth anything? What do we have to judge whether it is more impressive than Gonzaga’s streak in the West Coast Conference or wherever they play? Most will say the non-conference schedule, which to me is every bit as flawed because non-conference games are played in the first 2 months of the season. What is the true measure of how good a team is - how they play at the front end of their schedule, or how they’re playing in March?

    I get it. Many fans, because of KU bias and the disappointments not just of us but of the conference as a whole, wish to just explain away the tournament as being “lucky” or “hot”. That’s a cop-out. If you do that, you’re basically absolving the team of all responsibility for their play. Like “we didn’t get beat by a better team, we were just unlucky. We’re still the better team”. Problem is, you have to show it on the court.

    Like I said, if you don’t like the tournament I suppose you should support a BCS format and have computers tell you who is the best team, and then let that team print t-shirts and hang banners.

  • @KUinLA

    You wrote:

    "Ha! Welcome aboard ict! I’ve been posting that exact point for 4 or 5 years. Any conference that can be dominated by one team for 10 years is by definition, lame. "***

    I respectfully disagree with you. Just because KU has had superior teams in the last 10 years does not at all mean that the conference is, as you put it, “lame.”

    Look at the other so called “power” basketball conferences and you will see that traditionally one or two teams have dominated the conference. In the entire history of the ACC, UNC has more conference titles than all the other schools schools (not including Duke) combined. If you look at just the last 20 years you will see that UNC and Duke have more than 70% of the titles, same thing with SEC where Kentucky and Florida have dominated the conference. The Big East is/was the same way with Georgetown dominating in the 80s, UConn and Syracuse after that and more recently Louisville. In the Big 10 Michigan State and the Ohio State have consistently been at the top with other teams making brief runs. UCLA and Arizona have won 7 of the last 10 years in the PAC 12

    Now, if you look at the Big 12 and the 10 titles in a row that KU has won 6 tiles outright and 4 of those titles were shared with other schools and KU has won only 6 of the post season titles in the same 10 years. So, the Big 12 is not any different than the other conferences where a couple of teams tend to dominate. While KU has been a step above the rest, several conference teams, in addition to KU, have been recently ranked in the top 10, including OU, OSU, Baylor, ISU, Texas and KSU right of the top of my head. Just in the past season 70% of the conference teams were at one time or another ranked in the top 25; can you think of any other conference with these numbers?

    A better (perhaps even the best) indicator of Conference strength is how many teams, or better yet, what percentage of its teams a conference sends to the tournament and the seeds they get. Last season the Big 12 sent 70% of its teams, which I believe is the highest percentage ever sent by a conference…that is the true indicator of conference strength, wouldn’t you agree?

    Other excellent indicators of conference strength are the Conference Power indices as calculated by many analysts such as Sagarin and Ken Pomeroy and where the Big 12 has consistently been ranked in the top 3 for the last 10 years.

  • Here is the deal… Kansas has not always won it’s conference. Go back before the last 10 years. We were dominant, but definitely not winning the conference every year.

    Our consecutive streak just shows how good Bill Self has been at winning our conference. It isn’t like our conference has become weaker, in fact, I’m pretty sure other teams in our conference often rank higher today than they did before this streak.

    What comes to mind is ISU and the Oklahoma schools. They are consistently better today, though Oklahoma had a past period of dominance that isn’t matched yet today. Give them some time!

    All eyes should point to Texas. They should be a dominant team every year!

  • @icthawkfan316

    First, it is not my job to absolve teams of all or any responsibility, that is between the team and its coach.

    Second, The Gonzaga West Coast Conference streak is not nearly as impressive as KU’s since the West Coast Conference routinely send one or maybe two teams to the tournament where the Big 12 routinely sends at least 5 or 7 last year. Last season, the Big 12 had at one time or another 7 teams ranked in the top 25 while the West Coast Conference with also 10 teams had how many? One? The level of competition is not the same; it is not even close.

    The best indicator of team and conference strength are those calculated by analysts like KenPom and Sagarin, among others, that take into consideration not only what opponents a team has but also the opponent’s opponents and their records, margin of victory and so on. The percentage of teams a conference sends to the tournament and their seeding is another good indicator of Conference strength.

    I personally believe that 64 teams is way, way too many, with many of the automatic qualifiers being wholly undeserving. I would start with the top 32 teams playing one game to get to 16 and then 4 groups of four playing a round robin tournament and the four winners going to the final four. In the final four two teams play each other best of 3 and the winners advance to a best of 3 finals. I believe that while it does not completely eliminate luck. at least gives teams with one bad game a chance for atonement.

  • I like your best of three plan.

  • @JayHawkFanToo I’m not saying it’s your “job” per se, but when you dismiss the tournament as nothing more than luck, as a fan you are essentially also dismissing the team’s performance during those games as the tournament as also nothing more than luck. Good or bad, it’s luck. If you run into someone who beats you, eh they just got lucky for that game. That’s essentially your argument when you say that the tournament is nothing more than a team getting lucky for 6 games. I hold the Jayhawk’s performances in those games, both good and bad, in much higher regard. I don’t walk away from a victory and say “YES!!! We got so lucky today!”

    Again, I liken the NCAA basketball season to a college course. The final is weighted and does count against your overall grade. Similarly, the NCAA tournament is weighted and counts against a team’s overall evaluation. I would never have dreamed of going up to a professor in school and saying “so I know I bombed the final, but that was just me being unlucky on one day, having just one bad day, out of the semester. It shouldn’t count in any way or be used to determine my final grade. Or at the very least, I should take two more tests and you can take the best two out of three.”

    I wonder if we would be having this argument if the Jayhawks didn’t have their 10-year conference winning streak but had one or two more titles during that stretch. Or to put it another way, would you break up the streak and trade a handful of those conference championships for one more national championship?

    If you say you would, there’s your answer on how important the tournament is to defining your season. If you wouldn’t, then we’ll have to disagree, but you’re crazy.

  • I would take another NCAA championship over a 10 year Big 12 title run in a heartbeat.

  • @icthawkfan316

    Both of you have valid points, which points to the answer being somewhere in between.

    The more skilled a team is, the less luck will be needed to win out in March. Self even describes it that way.

    There has never been a sucky team winning the National Championship. But in the same breath it can be said that the winner every year is not the best team that year. They may not have even been the best team in the tournament because every team takes a different path. What typically happens is the best team gets beat along the way because of whatever you want to call it… luck… or how about “the glass is half empty” and saying… misfortune. Great teams run into a team that gets super hot, or the great team is super cold, or both! Great teams run into that one team that is their match-up nightmare (perhaps the only team capable of beating them without extreme luck). Great teams suddenly have their best player with the flu or an ankle twist.

    Anything can happen when teams play just one game. I like the idea of a “best of 3” as mentioned. I’m sure we would just argue about that later on, too, and insist we need a best of 7!

    I don’t put all my eggs in one basket… and I don’t define everything by amount of National Championships. So I’m going to live with the system being the way it is. Sure it means we go down to inferior teams most years. That comes with the territory. It helps build character in everyone.

    Do yourself a favor and keep your blood pressure down by accepting that there is a lot more than skill involved in crowning a National Champion every year.

    But that doesn’t mean we don’t work harder to find out why we lose as much as we do in March. I don’t think Hudy’s new research is the total answer, but I think she is pointed in the right direction.

    Figuring out how to be better in March keeps extra interest in all of this. We all chat more and attempt to creatively resolve this issue. Nothing wrong with that!

    Hey… it is August and we are all spending our time chatting about a winter-time sport! I believe this is part of the proof that the imperfections around Kansas basketball are helping fans suck in deeper to the game! It definitely works for me. If we just robotically won the National Championship every year I would probably be deep sea fishing right now instead of typing!

  • @icthawkfan316

    Again, I am not saying the tournament is all luck but a dose of it goes a long ways towards getting you a championship. Look at the '88 team, that tournament can be replayed another 100 times and KU does not win it again; it took a lot of luck and inspired play to get that title and a little luck and tenacious play to get the '08 title. On the other hand, KU has been on the other end, where it could have won the title at least 2-3 times with Williams and a couple more with Coach Self, but it was not to be…had the championship been best of three, KU has a least 2 more titles.

    I have not taken any college classes lately, but even back then when I did, many if not most, professors did not weigh the final any more than the other test given throughout the term; in fact, in many classes, the lowest score was dropped and if you did well in all previous tests, you did not even have to take the final. When I was teaching graduate Engineering courses, every test I gave was open book, open notes and the final was a project student worked on throughout the semester and weighed accordingly… pretty much what we do in the real world, something many college professors are clueless about.

    If KU ties or breaks UCLA record, I am sure it will the talked about for a long time and would be considered one of the greatest feats in all sports. Even now, during every single broadcast of KU games, there are references to the conference title streak, while the past championships are hardly ever mentioned. In short, no, I would not trade the 10 title streak for another championship, since another national championship is more likely with a winning streak (luck notwithstanding) than without one. I guess we just agree to disagree, but just because we do I do not need to call you crazy.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Man where did you go to school? I went to Wichita State and our finals were nothing like that. Dropping the lowest score, open book, open notes, etc. Anyway…

    You mention the references to our streak during television broadcasts. Outside of KU fans, who do you think that impresses? Are recruits more likely to choose a school based on being part of a conference championship winning streak, or for the chance to play for a national championship (admittedly, either of these is usually an afterthought, ranking behind such reasons as available playing time, player development, getting said player to the NBA, etc.). Regardless, because it gets mentioned in a TV broadcast is hardly a reason why I’d rather have the title streak. I’m sure if we win another national championship, that will get plenty of national attention (as it did following the '08 title).

    As to whether it’s one of the greatest feats in all sports…it has its merits, especially in this day and age of players leaving early. The years in which Self has had to replace all 5 starters (3 times I believe) and still won it are particularly impressive. However, without a legitimate and consistent challenger, it takes the shine off a bit. Which was kind of my original point. Rankings, kenpom, sagarin…all that aside, how many of these conference foes passes the eye test as great? The '07 Durant Texas team. The Ekpe Udoh Baylor team in '11 (which was hosed by the worst officiating I’ve ever seen in their elite 8 game against Duke, which would have given the conference at least one other final four team during this run), Maybe the '09 OU team with Blake Griffin & Willie Warren (13-3 in conference, went to the elite 8 and lost to eventual national champ UNC, who had brought everyone back from their '08 Final Four team). That’s all I can think of really. But has there been a program that has pushed us? Someone in conference making us get better?

    Again to get back to the original point, in all of sports greatness is achieved or maintained through post season success. In 5 years is anyone going to remember that the Big 12 got 70% of its members into the tournament (other than Big 12 honks)? Is anyone going to remember someone being ranked in the top 10? Do they hang banners or print T-shirts for that? The answer is no, no, and no. You know how I know - because I’m a pretty avid college basketball fan across the board, yet I couldn’t tell you without looking who was ranked in the top 10 out of the Big 10 in 2009, or how many teams got into the tournament that year from the ACC. And aside from the embarrassing WSU & UK examples, I can’t think of anyone printing t-shirts based on rankings.

    They do have t-shirts for our conference streak. “Ten There, Done That.” So that’s something.

  • @icthawkfan316

    The major schools in which I have earned at least half a dozed credits include American University, Georgetown. University of Maryland, University of Dayton and University of Kansas; so I have pretty good grasp of how most schools operate. Most of the graduate teaching I have done was at KU. The students that took my classes will tell you that it was one of the toughest classes they took and yet one of the most rewarding; if you did not know the subject, all books and notes would do you no good. The purpose was not to teach them how to memorize but to think and reason logically, which they did. I have yet to find a circumstance in real life where my boss told me (or I told on of my engineers) here is a project, you have one hour to find a solution and you cannot use any books or manual or notes; it just does not happen in real life. Emergency projects do happen and in that situation normally is all hands on deck, using all available means…this is how the real world works. Extending the concept this is the equivalent of players needing the playbook at the end of the season; if you do not know the system by then, the playbook will do you no good.

    You ought to get out more and talk to people outside our area; maybe you do. Just about after every game that is broadcast nationally, I get calls from friends, particularly in the East Coast, and they all comment about the “streak.” Maybe it does not impress you but it surely does impress a lot of basketball savvy fans all over.

    Look at my previous posts. Although KU has won 10 titles in a row, 4 of those were shared with other teams, which means they were at least 4 other teams equally as good as KU. Last season ISU finished the season and post-season ranked higher than KU, the year before KSU finished the season tied with KU and ranked #12, the year before Missouri finished right behind KU in the conference and was ranked ahead of KU at the end of the regular season when the conference finished the post-season with 3 teams in the top 10…I could go on, but you get the point. While KU has won 10 titles in a row, there have been other teams that had equally good season during this time and KU has by no means completely dominated the conference, which makes the titles that much better.

    Last, look at the Power Rankings for the conference for the last 10 years and you will see that the big 12 has consistently been ranked in the top 3. I am at a loss to explain why some people want to downgrade the achievement that 10 titles represents and the conference at large. Fans of conference such as the SEC are constantly crowing about how good they are even when their entire success is due to two teams and they routinely send only 3-4 teams (out of 16) to the tournament and just a the year before last, one of its top two teams lost to Robert Morris in the first round of the NIT…now, that is lame.

  • Banned

    Ok so after reading and rereading some of these posts I’ve come to the conclusion this topic boils down to this. If KU would have won more championships then the Big 12 wouldn’t be considered weak. After all it’s not like the other conferences are sending a plethora of teams on to greatness. Yet because UConn had so much success in the Old Big East it is great, and because UK and the Gators trade punches and have won some championships the SEC is great. Even though just about any basketball analysts will tell you the SEC is weak in basketball and that UConn doesn’t even hold a candle to KU.

    How many times has KU been so close?? Yet because they play in weak dumb football Big 12 conference they weren’t prepared? To win a championship it takes a little luck. The ball bounces this way or that way and KU has 5 or maybe six championships. Yet because the ball didn’t bounce that way or this way and KU didn’t win those extra championships the Big 12 sucks.

    I’m a big basketball fan too. I’ve watched many of basketball games from many conferences. The ACC is entertaining to a point as they have there fair share of rummies. Yet before conference realignment what did they really have? Duke and NC? The old Big East was quite good yet they fouled so much you just wanted to rip your eyes out. Hell a team could be down 20 points and they would be fouling at the end of the game. Big 10 basketball is actually quite fun to watch even though they are like the Big 12 in that they really haven’t had much success in the tournament. (After all Championships are all that matters). The Pac 12 is usually dominated by one team. It maybe a different team every year, but none the less the Pac 12 champion is already decided long before the season is over. The SEC please that’s like watching paint dry. In fact if it wasn’t for just rooting against UK or the Gators to lose, watching paint dry would be more entertaining.

    The big 12 may suck in the eyes of some on here for basketball, but man to a true basketball fan they have some games that are fun to watch, and I’m not just talking about KU games.

  • @wissoxfan83 said:> we improved by losing Missouri!

    how I wish a Google search for “addition by subtraction” would give results that included Missouri leaving the Big12… That would be as good as the search for “Missouri National Championships”

  • @icthawkfan316

    “Outside of KU fans, who do you think that impresses?”

    I know one thing… it impresses my Dookey inlaws! It’s pretty tough to get them to acknowledge a dirt farmer college like Kansas!

    That alone, is worth more than one National Championship!

    The streak just keeps on giving… This next year it will be a big thing, then the next year and the year after (if we keep it going).

    When you win a NC, in 6 months you are already knocked half way down off your thrown. Yes… you are the reining champ, but few bring it up except your own fans. Once ball starts in November it is like what happened half a year earlier never happened at all!

    But I would love to win a few more NCs in the next few years!

  • @icthawkfan316 said:> You mention the references to our streak during television broadcasts. Outside of KU fans, who do you think that impresses?

    This is a fair question.

    I suspect the conference championships are more salt in the wound of our conference-mates than a point of admiration nationally.

    The things that are probably most impressive to those outside of the B12 bubble are (in this order):

    1. Number of recent players now in the NBA and their corresponding draft ranking
    2. Overall winning percentage of Bill Self at KU
    3. KU’s historic winning percentage and rank (#2) in all-time wins.
    4. KUs 3/5 national championships
    5. the shoe company (nod to Jaybate)

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