The Big 12 lost another edition of the SEC vs Big 12 challenge after Saturday’s results. The conference was definitely weakened from the games that occurred on Saturday and will definitely face the repercussions in the upcoming AP rankings. The two biggest losses for the Big 12 being #4 Baylor losing to Alabama and #12 Kentucky upsetting the #5 Kansas. If both games would have gone the other way the Big 12 would have emerged victorious in the challenge. While these games don’t seem like much it does give an indicator of how good each conference is when they play these challenges. The Big 12 just haven’t fared well in recent SEC/Big 12 challenges as they have only won one out of the last 6. It brings up the question of whether the SEC is going to make that jump over the Big 12 this year.

The Big 12 has really become a top-tier conference in college basketball in recent years. A large part of that is due to Baylor and Kansas being elite programs and the Bears even winning the National Championship last year. But this year continues to look different.

The SEC on the other hand has continued to trend the wrong way in recent years. Last year when their blue blood program in Kentucky failed to make the NCAA Tournament. While the shortened season and COVID 19 definitely contributed to the losses, this was rock bottom for the SEC. This year they are definitely on the rise as Kentucky is back and the same teams that stepped up last year continue to play at a high level. This includes Arkansas and Tennessee who are both ranked this year. While Alabama has regressed from last year the upset over Baylor should help them get the boost they need to get back on track. Not to mention the big boost LSU has gotten this year from an 8 seed to a top 25 team.

On the other side the Big 12 has looked good at times this year, but not all the time. This weekend was another one of those cases where the Big 12 just did not look great at various times. When your top two teams go down it is understandable that your conference looks underwhelming. Although Baylor just doesn’t look like a top 5 team and there isn’t much depth in the conference. TCU is one team that could certainly change that they may have been playing recently. Their latest victim was an upset over #19 LSU. While early in the season I would have added Oklahoma as another one of these teams that could climb into the top 25, but they have just not been playing that well defensively down the stretch. Iowa State is hanging in the top 25 for now, but being 3-5 in the Big 12 will certainly not help their record look any better. There are fringe teams for the conference, but they need to improve and be consistent if they want to be in the above-average tier.

It is hard to compare the teams at the bottom of both conferences with the inconsistency that both sides have. When comparing the guys at the top it’s really a race between Kansas, Baylor, Texas, Texas Tech, Iowa State, TCU, and Oklahoma vs Auburn, Kentucky, Tennesse, LSU, Arkansas, Mississippi St., Alabama. While the SEC looks superior with the wins they had this weekend there are also wins like Oklahoma trouncing Arkansas earlier in the year. Although big picture these teams in the SEC have just looked better than the Big 12 has in recently. Auburn trounced Alabama in their latest matchup dropping 100 points against the Crimson Tide. 100 points. Let that sink in for a second because that is not something you see in college basketball every single day. The basketball gods seem like they want the torch to finally be passed from these two as the Big 12 just continues to look mediocre as they defeat each other in their round-robin-style play. While this is the analysis today next week could give us a completely different picture. This is college basketball where anything can happen every single game. Although right now the SEC is playing a whole lot better than the Big 12.

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