|SI.com Conference Power Index: Big 12|
The Conference Power Index (CPI) is a compilation of each conference's rank (six points for first place, five points for second place, etc.) in the following categories: AP poll rankings, BCS record, other bowls record, nonconference RPI and NFL draft picks. AP poll and BCS record were weighted doubly. This study examined two five-year periods: 1) The 1998 season through the 2003 NFL draft; 2) The '03 season through the '08 NFL draft.
Missouri, Kansas could turn the tide
Besides the Big Ten, no conference experienced a more dramatic slide from 2003 to 2008 than the Big 12, which may come as a surprise to some considering the now-annual national prominence of league schools Oklahoma and Texas. The Sooners and Longhorns have each won national titles this decade while posting the two highest winning percentages (Oklahoma: .841, Texas: .833) among all BCS-conference teams.
The problems arose in the conference's North Division, where Nebraska, Kansas State and Colorado -- which won a combined four conference titles from 1996-2003 -- all took downward turns. After finishing first among all conferences with 43.3 percent of its teams in the final AP polls from 1998-02, the league dropped to fifth from '03-'07 with just 30 percent. The tide seems to be turning, however, as North upstarts Missouri and Kansas both finished last season in the top 10.