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Does the Big 12 have a sleeping giant?

Welcome Big12 Fans and Foes Forums Utah Utes Sports Football Does the Big 12 have a sleeping giant?

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    • #218235
      1
      Grayshirt
      Participant

      If so, who would it be? ASU? Colorado? UCF?

    • #218236
      4
      Central Coast Ute
      Participant

      Good question. I have a hard time putting Colorado in that spot with all of the roster turnover. The locker room also didn’t seem to be united last season, so I have no reason to believe they will be now. For example, just look at how one of Deion’s sons spoke about a player that left.

      I’ve always thought ASU is a sleeping giant. They have potential and a really good market, they just can’t seem to get out of their own way.

      UCF is interesting. They have a huge alumni base, a ton of NIL money, and amazing recruiting grounds. I don’t think they come out this year competing for the B12 championship, but next year could be completely different.

    • #218241
      2
      Tony (admin)
      Keymaster

      Good topic. Thanks for starting it! This is how we get more discussions rolling. I can’t help thinking ASU will at some point be a factor. Then again I can’t even name all the teams in the Big12 yet. 😐

      • #218276
        4
        AlohaUte
        Participant

        ASU make the most sense, but we’ve all been saying it for decades and it hasn’t happened.

        I’ll be the Homer and say Utah. We have the continuity, culture, and are an extremely well run university in one of the 3 most well run states. On top of that, I’d argue that Utah HS sports may only be 2nd to California in talent being produced out west.

        • #218294
          2
          UteThunder
          Participant

          Utah isn’t asleep anymore.

          I remember hearing back in 2003, one of the reasons Urban came to Utah is because he felt like we were a sleeping giant. He woke us up and Kyle has built us up, especially during our time in the Pac-12. We aren’t an Ohio State or an Alabama, but we are the next best thing compared to those types of programs.

          • #218311
            1
            AlohaUte
            Participant

            Agree and disagree. I suggest that we aren’t sleeping but we also aren’t a giant. There is still room for growth and cementing is as a power. We aren’t there yet.

    • #218261
      4 1
      UteThunder
      Participant

      The Big 12 has several sleeping giants.

      ASU has no excuse to not be a good to great football team.

      UCF has a lot of what you need, their only problem is living in the shadows of Florida, Florida State, and Miami.

      Colorado was big time back in the 90s.

      Baylor, Texas Tech, TCU, & Houston are in the same boat as UCF, lots of advantages, but all live in the shadows of Texas and Texas A&M.

      BYU, as much as we hate to admit it, is a sleeping giant. If they get the right coaching staff, they could become a power in the Big 12.

      • #218263
        6
        Central Coast Ute
        Participant

        I’m not sure BYU can. In Lavelle’s day, the honor code was more of a word of advice. That’s how people like McMahon and Sarkisian were able to play there. Now you have the gustapo running honor code enforcement and every Ken and Karen in Provo looking over your shoulder to report you. Kids will tire of that real quick like Francis Bernard did.

        • #218284
          2
          Yergensen
          Participant

          Until BYU proves in their recruiting that the honor code, academic standards and weird culture are not limiting factors, they won’t get there.

          They’ve been last for years in recruiting and current 2025 class is last as well vs. B12 recruiting.

          They’re no longer everyone’s trap game. They have to win week in week out against P4 teams not looking past them. No weeks off anymore.

          • #218303
            1
            Central Coast Ute
            Participant

            The honor is a problem for recruiting. They may get fringe portal guys like Slovis, but they aren’t getting a Cam Rising.

            I guess Zach Wilson was able to continually play despite his lifestyle, which wasn’t all that hidden from what I understand. I guess if you’re a star QB, they’ll look the other way.

            • #218308
              Rick Walker
              Participant

              Genuine question but what did Zach do at BYU that was against the honor code? I never heard anything but also never kept close enough tabs so I’m just curious

              • #218310
                Central Coast Ute
                Participant

                All I know is what I heard, so it’s all speculation. But rumors are what get people in trouble there. I’m not giving specifics, but if you know anything about how he lives his life, you know the rumors. I’m not saying any of it is bad, or it makes him a bad person. I just think byu is hypocritical for giving him a pass when others get kicked out of school.

            • #218361
              highlandute7
              Participant

              I would agree that BYU as it stands right now is a sleeping giant. What happens if Ryan Smith decides to put some money towards BYU football like he has done with basketball? That could be a difference maker in many ways. No one knows if or when that will happen but just the fact that there is a possibility of it happening scares me some.

            • #218381
              Utegator
              Participant

              Zach Wilson was a COVID year bust. Probably best to stop talking about him.

          • #218327
            2
            Dallas
            Participant

            Academics is not a limiting factor for getting recruits at byu. Their fans sooo want to believe it is (pert of their holier than thou complex) but they have the same (low) standards as almost every other school when it comes to athletes.

    • #218274
      5
      Grayshirt
      Participant

      TDECU Stadium skyline

      I forgot about Houston. Huge population, but being that they’ve got 4 major professional teams, it would take a lot of winning to build up a fanbase, but a sleeping giant for sure.

    • #218279
      5
      Yergensen
      Participant

      UCF was 4th in B12 recruiting last year, 1st so far this year. They’re going to be a problem.

      • #218280
        4
        MDUte
        Participant

        I wonder if UCF is going to be able to hang on to Malzahn or any coach that’s successful there. I agree UCF is a sleeping giant due to their location, huge growing enrollment etc. But it’s hard to imagine UCF ever over taking Florida, FSU, and Miami. And if they’re always going to be the 4th best brand in Florida, would coaches always use UCF as a stepping stone job??

        • #218319
          1
          Utesbyfive
          Participant

          So the biggest sleepers are in the biggest markets. Houston, Orlando, and Cincinnati. I’m sure that’s why they were added last year.

          • #218360
            1
            Rick
            Participant

            Phoenix is a bigger market than Cincy or Orlando. The city of Houston doesn’t give one crap about their university in relation to the big dogs in that state (Texas and TAMU) and their pro teams. Also, ASU has a massive alumni base in the Phoenix area and they have a good, young coach. Once, they cycle out of the mess that Herm left them, they will rise back up and be near the top of the league IMO. I do believe that if UCF can keep their coach, they will definitely be a strong up and comer.

    • #218292
      2
      ProudUte
      Participant

      IMO, it’s UCF. They have had some very good recruiting classes. It is the second largest University in the country. It’s in a great location with a ton of football talent.

    • #218370
      1
      MacKidsAlumn
      Participant

      You need a good quality local high school football in your backyard to be a sleeping giant. The State of Utah outpunches its weight. Utah produces as many D1 players as Arizona, with half the population. Even with the transfer portal, you need local kids to provide depth, development, and continuity.

      Looking at the Big 12. Cincinnati jumps out with access to Ohio recruiting and Kentucky recruiting on the other side of the river. Houston and UCF have access to amazing recruiting grounds, even if they are the 3rd, 4th, and 5th options for local recruits.

      For me, Houston is the place that jumps out. Big city, amazing local recruits, Louisiana recruits just down the road. Lots of money and sponsors in Houston.

    • #218403
      PlainsUte
      Participant

      Wouldn’t call them a sleeping giant, but I’m expecting Kansas may surprise a few teams this year. A perennial doormat in football they now have a good coach in Liepold with several years of team building (he’s been there since ’21). They surprised some teams last year, definitely on an uptrend, but still a bit under the radar.

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