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State of the fan base: Big 12 Twitter edition

Welcome to the Big 12 internet, I will be your guide - put on this helmet

Over the course of a summer a lot can happen: summer flings, moving to new places, starting new jobs, getting that melanoma-filled tan you’ve always dreamed of - but not sports. Not really, at least. To battle this dry time in sports-coverage, the ever talented @Mr_AlbieShore and myself went undercover this year to inspect the state of the fan base for each Big 12 team by using a super intricate and delicate process of researching their interests (insulting them & watching what happened). Here’s a brief recap of the data collected:

DISCLAIMER: this is not the all-encompassing image of team’s fan bases, but it is their perceived image on social media... which is usually 99% fanatics with no filter. The majority of responses were given by Twitter users who had non-personal profile pictures.


Triggered level: moderate

What set them off: Any discussion of investigation

Common retaliation & notes: When Art Briles was head coach, Baylor fans were loud, brash, and rowdy, they were excited to finally be out of the basement and ready to let you know how great their team is. This summer (and since the Art Briles turmoil), Baylor fans have truly been quiet. They are back to the basement where they belong and only give golf claps on the social media landscape. However, if you bring up the investigation, they are on you like white on rice. Baylor fans have felt it is their duty to let us know that we do not know all the facts and will tell us just how wrong we are when it comes to the investigation. At the same time, some fans still feel like Briles has done nothing wrong and should be exonerated, therefore they deserve to remain in the basement.

Iowa State

Triggered level: high

What set them off: Trash talking Ames, Iowa or -simply- just talking to them.

Common retaliation & notes: “We beat you in (x) that one time, remember?.” The angry mob that is the Iowa State fan base is like a horde of bees; as soon as you get close to the hive and they see you’re not a bee... dead. It really doesn’t really matter what the reason of attack is; they swarm. Some of them will get good stings in and others will just fly aimlessly but it’s still a swarm of bees. Beware interaction!


Triggered level: non-existent

What set them off: N/A

Common retaliation & notes: “basketball.” Kansas Jayhawk fans are near non-existent on social media. It’s like trying to find an arctic fox for weeks in the tundra, and when you finally do, it spots you a half-mile away, barks, then flees the scene. Whether it’s from the lackluster performance of their football program or the overwhelming success of their basketball program Jayhawk fans have little desire to get involved/mettle with the peasantry.

Kansas State

Triggered level: low

What set them off: The day before a game, returning smack talk by an astounding 1:100 ratio (where for every 100 insults given, 1 may be returned)

Common retaliation & notes: “Alright,” “okay,” “¯\_(ツ)_/¯” ... Kansas State fans are a mirrored image of their athletic programs; straight-edged, by the book and stick to their game plan. They love their Wildcats but, to Tech fans at least, they’re fairly docile on the internet. Realists. I can appreciate it, but don’t push them too far just to see.


Triggered level: moderate to high

What set them off: Mayfield anything.

Common retaliation & notes: “you passed up on a Heisman winner,” “you are so in love with Baker,” and any variation. Oklahoma, athletically, has breathing room here so it’s understandable that their fans get a little excited. The contention against that is their tunnel vision narrative regarding ex-Texas Tech athletes turned Oklahoma stars. Oklahoma fans have an understandably limited context when it comes to Mayfield’s exit at Texas Tech, and despite the Tech fan base being done with him - OU fans find it easier to pretend that we aren’t. Steer clear unless teaming up to trash talk Texas.

Oklahoma State

Triggered level: high

What set them off: Accusing them of stealing Texas Tech traditions and imagery & claiming a rivalry

Common retaliation & notes: “Oklahoma State has 52 national championships.” While this seems like an impressive stat to stand on, it can be a bit misleading. Digging into the nitty-gritty we can unveil that 34 of these came from wrestling, 11 from golf and 4 from cross country (49). The two basketball championships happened in 1945 & 1946 and the baseball championship came in 1956. I’m 100% positive that none of the people responding in our research were near their existence for these championships. Keep that tidbit in your arsenal.


Triggered level: moderate

What set them off: Baseball rivalry

Common retaliation & notes: “82-27,” “Taco Tech,” AaronGreenTouchdown.gif. TCU fans are new here, thus what they like to do is spout out overused anecdotes that are decades old and bring up their recent victories over Tech to prove dominance. Except they haven’t been, since TCU joined the Big 12, both teams are 3-3 against one another and Tech leads the overall series 31-26-3. Being the only other school in the Big 12 that truly cares about baseball, the Spring is where the rivalry truly heats up. Once again, the Frogs will try to claim dominance in this aspect too, to which it’s only right for us Red Raiders to remind them that since TCU joined the Big 12, we have the same amount of conference championships and have been to the NCAA tournament the same amount of times. Silly Frogs, facts must not be their strong suit.


Triggered level: moderate to high (the high rank usually comes from non-alumni)

What set them off: Helping them realize Texas Tech has been overall better as of late

Common retaliation & notes: “Little brother Tech,” which sounds like a remedial insult, yet is the core of Texas fan’s mindset. Texas fans can be fairly sparse on twitter, especially during the summer, but they become quickly riled up during various seasons. Texas fans have a superiority complex to where they consistently think they have the moral and athletic high ground though recent history shows neither of which to be true. From Tom Herman mocking a teenager on the sideline to Texas’ back to back home losses to Tech, you would think it would humble them, but not those folks in Austin. The Longhorns’ greatest talking point is football, with four national titles (the last coming in 2005). Because of this, their fans have high expectations and it spills out in the worst ways. Most of their material against Tech comes from talking about their history, but lucky you - the present is so much sweeter!

West Virginia

Triggered level: low

What set them off: N/A

Common retaliation & notes: Cosigning on whatever another fan base is saying. Let’s be real here, West Virginia may be a part of the Big 12, but they’re not truly one of us. Because the university is so far away from the heartland and Texas where the rest of the Big 12 reside, the fan base gets forgotten about in the shuffle. Because Mountaineers have no material and are new here, they attempt to piggyback on other banter going on in the (real) Big 12. West Virginia fans are truly still stuck on their old Big East rivalries. They still hate Pitt, Syracuse, and Virginia Tech, and though the Big 12 and the media will try to force a bit of a rivalry between Tech and West Virginia, it must happen organically.

In summation: This has truly been a fun summer as we’ve waited for football season to get here, and riling up different fan bases with Red Raider nation by our side is a thrill you can’t get at Six Flags. In a short period of time, we’ll be able to do this on a weekly basis and include Ole Miss and Houston fans to the party (Sorry Lamar, I don’t even know if you have WiFi in Beaumont, nevertheless an online fan base). Make sure to use these notes through the season and thread cautiously, but still bring the intensity.