The Big 12 is not only the best conference in college football, but also one of the most injury-prone conferences in sports.
That’s according to a new report by ESPN that compares the Big East to the ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC.
The league’s injury toll has jumped to 624 on average per season over the last decade, and is projected to grow to 1,093 in 2024, the same year the league will have to expand its membership to 30 teams.
The Big Ten is the league’s worst at 716 injuries per season, the ACC is second at 564, the Big 12 ranks third at 473, the SEC is fourth at 435, the Pac-10 ranks fifth at 413, the conference that currently holds the Big Ten title is ninth at 412, and the Big Eight is 11th at 410.
The latest injury-related injury data, from the US Anti-Doping Agency, is available here.
ESPN’s Jeff Borzello wrote the article in partnership with the Big 10 Network, which includes ESPN’s Big Ten Network, and was based on research done by a team of doctors who work for the conference.
The doctors interviewed 10 members of the Big 9 medical staff.
Among the Big 8’s top-10 injury-injuries per game in recent seasons: The Big 8 has the most on-field injury problems per game at 571, followed by the ACC (441), the Big XII (409), the ACC and Big Ten (383).
Big 12 head coach Bob Stoops has been a vocal critic of the league and his staff for the past two seasons, calling the league a “deathtrap” and an “attempt to kill the Big West.”
According to Borzellos analysis, the league was the 10th-most injured conference in the country in 2014-15.
This year, the injury toll is projected at 1,075 on average, up from 1,004 the year before.
The Big 12 was ranked as the 12th-worst conference by ESPN, behind only the Big South, South Carolina and Georgia.