Over the past ten years, the Big XII Conference has grown in popularity as an offensively dominant conference. The spread offense took center stage as players like Sam Bradford, Graham Harrell, and Colt McCoy shined while defenses played catch up. Now, five years later, a new trend has taken the nation by storm showcased by the Alabama Crimson Tide. Since 2008, Nick Saban collected three national championships behind a solid defense and a power style attack.
Through the opening weekend, the Big XII appears to be on board with a balanced attack. Could 2013 mark a change in mentality of the conference as dual-threat quarterbacks take charge?
In week one, teams across the conference slapped 38 offensive touchdowns up on the board. But, it is the fashion in which they did so that requires attention. A fifty-fifty split could not have been anticipated but it is certainly what happened as 19 touchdowns came through the air with the other 19 coming on the ground.
Make no mistake, this stat does not take away the big play ability that Big XII offenses have become known for. Only ten of the touchdowns scored came from less than ten yards out. Through the air, teams averaged 36.8 yards on touchdown passes while the rushing attack came in at 15.4 yards on plays that scored.
If the passing-to-rushing touchdown ratio wasn't enough evidence that a change could be upon the Big XII, consider this. As the 2012 season came to an end, only the Oklahoma St. Cowboys and Baylor Bears averaged 5+ yards per carry. By stark contrast, the league averages 5.1 yards per carry as a whole after the opening weekend.
For many, this is a welcomed and called for change. Will the change of mentality continue to hold as conference play begins? For that, we will have to wait and see as the jury is still out...