The Big 12 has been without a conference championship game for the last two seasons and now commissioner Bob Bowlsby has decided he wants that to change. No, don’t get too excited, loyal Big 12 fans, that doesn’t mean he wants to expand…yet.
Bowlsby said this week that the conference will seek approval from the NCAA to reinstate the game with only 10 teams in the conference. Current rules say that the conference must have at least 12 teams to have a title game. It has been an ongoing debate whether or not the Big 12 should actually expand back to 12 teams with the lucrative deals the schools are now getting because of TV contracts.
Bowlsby on Wednesday night:
I think it’s reasonable to say if you’re going to have a champion that you’re going to have to designate it in one fashion or another. But to say it has to be between 12 schools or that there has to be divisional play or there has to be a round-robin, we’re deregulating lots of things and that certainly is a candidate.
We are unconvinced at this point that larger is better.
One of the things we know is that the months of October and November in the football season are about as good of sports as you’re going to get. Every game is important and every weekend is something exciting. The month of September is not necessarily that way. It gives us a way to fortify our non-conference schedule in some important ways, too.
I have always been on the side of the fence that has 12 teams and a conference championship game. It is called the Big 12, after all. Bowlsby is still adamant in saying that the conference is happy with just having a 10-team set up at the moment. When you look at the other conferences, the PAC 12 in particular, they realigned away from 10 teams, and moved to the 12 team format. Bringing in a conference championship game, which they didn’t play before, giving them an edge when it comes to the post-season bowl selections.
Having a split title is not the way to do things, so I am all for bringing a championship game back to the Big 12. Now, if Bowlsby decided to take it a step further and expand back to 12 teams, I’d be even happier. But right now, I’ll take the common ground and just hope the NCAA approves the 10-team conference championship game.