JACK'S SMACK: Big 12 or big flop?

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - I was having a conversation with a buddy last night. He's a Missouri fan and like many of them, he has some mixed feelings about Mizzou bolting for the SEC.

I bring this up because we both agreed if Missouri was still in the Big 12, chances are pretty good they would win this conference this year. 

Take a look at what's happened to the Big 12 since Missouri and Nebraska bailed.

I'm serious about this, folks. The league has gone from one of the premier football conferences in America to a league that can be compared with the likes of the MAC and Mountain West.

Yes. Big 12 football, competition wise, has fallen to that point.

I saw one pre-season publication that had the Sun Belt ahead of the Big 12.

The team picked to win the conference, Oklahoma State, has already lost to West Virginia who is picked at the bottom of the conference with Kansas.

And please, don't misconstrue that with parity.

So, how bad is this league? Probably not as bad as I'm making it sound. But I state my case with this:

Kansas State, defending co-champs, is about to lose for the third time in five games. They're more than a two touchdown underdog at Stillwater.

Oklahoma Sooners are probably the best team in the league. They're still not in the top 10, no Big 12 team is.

There's no question that Big 12 mystique is not quite as shiny since Missouri and Nebraska defected.

It doesn't matter how they try to sell it. TCU and West Virginia are not a good tradeoff for Missouri and Nebraska.

Just to give you an idea of how soft this conference is, Texas Tech for crying out loud is one of the league's top ranked teams.

You talk about a cupcake schedule. They get KU, Iowa State and West Virginia in the next three weeks.

Missouri fans need to move on, but it's okay to dream of what could have been.

That's Jack's Smack.

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