Ready to Compete
Here is the good news, out of the 20 varsity sports that will likely compete in the Big 12, nine of them will likely be in a spot to continue to have postseason success and in some cases even compete for Big 12 Championships.
Football: As a reminder, this list is teams who are ready to compete and make it to the postseason. While there are certainly questions whether the Cougars are ready to compete for a Big 12 Championship, there should be little question about them being bowl eligible. If the Cougars adopt the ‘A, B, C’ format of scheduling, at worst BYU should be 2-1 before starting Big 12 play. From there, going 4-5 would get them to a bowl and BYU is certainly talented enough to do that, especially if Kansas is on the schedule.
Running Programs: Yes, I know that this includes six sports (men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track) but they will all be put into one group. Right now, the Cougars aren’t part of a conference in track and field, but that will change in the Big 12. Despite being a top ten team on both sides, the Big 12 is stacked with talent with Texas Tech and Texas being top national programs. They will still compete well and certainly qualify plenty for nationals. In cross country, the men’s and women’s programs are top five nationally and will be pushed by Oklahoma State and Iowa State other top five programs.
Women’s Soccer: Last season the Cougars played in the national championship game. That alone says that this team is ready to compete in the Big 12. The Big 12 isn’t great in soccer, although TCU and Texas are both great opponents. It will still be a big step up from the WCC, but the women’s soccer team should be fine.
Women’s Volleyball: Similar to other teams on this list, women’s volleyball should compete for a top three spot from day one. The top tier of WCC teams may match well with the average Big 12 team. While this means the quantity of big games will increase, the Cougars have already shown that they can compete well with the best and should have no problem remaining a Top 15 team nationally.