ESPN’s Tom Luginbill wants the Big 12 Conference left out of the College Football Playoff once again if the conference can’t house a team with respectable numbers on defense.
On ESPN’s Paul Finebaum Show Monday, Luginbill said the Big 12 should not be allowed into the playoff if it “doesn’t have a team that’s worth a darn on defense.”
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) August 7, 2017
The Big 12 has received scrutiny in recent seasons for lacking defensive powerhouses among its member schools. Last season, Oklahoma defeated Texas Tech 66-59 in a game that broke the single-game record for most first downs and total offense in FBS history. Texas Tech’s defense was also ranked dead last in the FBS in 2016 – allowing an average of 43.5 points per game.
This season may not be much more promising for the conference on defense, as no Big 12 teams were included in Bleacher Report’s top 25 defenses for the 2017 season. Kansas State received an honorable mention.
If any schools are to shine, however, ESPN predicted in March that Texas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will see improvements from last season on defense.
The Big 12 has only been a part of the College Football Playoff once since the playoff was introduced during the 2014 season, with Oklahoma receiving an invite in 2015. The Sooners lost to Clemson 37-17 in the semifinals.