BIG 12 FOOT­BALL Road is not what new­bies ex­pected

TCU, West Vir­ginia didn’t ex­actly tear up league in first at­tempt.

Austin American-Statesman - - C SPORTS - By Kevin Lyt­tle klyt­tle@states­ C CHOOS­ING THE TEAM

Imag­ine if West Vir­ginia’s of­fense could be com­bined with TCU’s de­fense. The Big 12 might have had a dy­namic new force. Or at least an­other Texas A&M, which went 10-2 and won a Heis­man Tro­phy.

But back in the real world, the Big 12 roll-out sea­sons for the Moun­taineers and Horned Frogs were an eter­nal strug­gle. They each served up half of a good team and took a lot more lumps in the land of big-boy foot­ball than they were ac­cus­tomed.

Both fin­ished 7-5, just 4-5 in the Big 12, and scratched their way to lower-tier bowl games coming up Satur­day.

The re­sults were par­tic­u­larly galling for West Vir­ginia, bring­ing with it an ex­pe­ri­enced 10-3 team that rang up 70 points in the Or­ange Bowl.

“It was a bit­ter pill to swal­low,” coach Dana Hol­gorsen said, “and a bit of an eye-opener for our fans. Were West Vir­ginia fans sur­prised by our record? That’s an un­der­state­ment. We’ve won a lot, the fans are used to that and, when it doesn’t hap­pen, it gets kinda bit­ter.

“The Big 12’s as deep as it’s ever been, and there’s not a lot of sep­a­ra­tion be­tween a large pack of teams. Once the con­fer­ence sea­son starts, ev­ery week is a sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenge. We were a few plays from

The 2012 All-Cen­tral Texas foot­ball team was drawn pri­mar­ily from high school play­ers within the five­county Austin met­ro­pol­i­tan area, which con­sists of Travis, Wil­liamson, Hays, Bas­trop and Cald­well coun­ties.

The Amer­i­canS­tates­man’s high school sports staff — re­porters Danny Davis and Rick Cantu and ed­i­torJames Wange­mann — re­viewed nominations from area coaches and stud­ied all­state and all-district teams to de­ter­mine the fi­nal se­lec­tions.

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