The Big 12 has been in the news latterly because the conference is scheduled to make a decision on whether it will expand or not. According to experts and online college football sportsbook, expansion will improve the conference’s chances of making the college football playoffs every year. Even if they don’t expand, the conference is going to improve its chances of making the playoffs by playing a conference championship game.
The Big 12 announced that it was bringing back its conference championship game during the 2017 season whether it expands or not. On Friday, Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said that the university presidents and chancellors voted to approve the reimplementation of a championship game after three days of meetings last week.
However, they were unable to come to a resolution regarding their conference expansion plans.
When asked about the expansion plans, Bowlsby said they have plenty of options to consider. He said that the university presidents and chancellors saw some compelling data and had good discussions about the championship game, but there are still some questions they have to consider when it comes to adding new teams.
The conference is still trying to decide whether adding new schools will be beneficial to the conference or dilute it.
The Big 12 stopped having its conference championship game after the 2010 season, when Nebraska, Missouri, Colorado, and Texas A&M left the conference. The conference added TCU and West Virginia to become a 10-team conference, but haven’t played a conference title game since because NCAA rules required conferences to have 12 members before they can host a championship game.
After the 2014 season, in which the Big 12 was left out of the college football playoffs because they had two one-loss teams that were named co-champions, the NCAA approved the conference’s request to have a championship game despite not having the required 12 member schools.
However, last year, Oklahoma made it to the college football playoffs despite not having a conference championship game.
The NCAA’s decision to allow the conference to play a championship game was welcome news, but Big 12 still hasn’t decided how they plan to organize the championship game. According to Bowlsby, they still have a lot of details to work out.
The conference has hired analysts to help them figure out if playing a championship game is going to increase the conference’s chances of making the college football playoffs, and if the revenue the championship game will generate is worth it. In both cases, the analysts said yes.
Oklahoma President David Boren said, “The presentation as the commissioner said our consultants on the value of the championship game both in terms of providing a 13th-data point (game) to help our chances of getting into the football playoffs was very, very convincing.
Boren also said the financial implications of the championship game means more revenue distribution for each member school, which makes having the game worth it.
With teams like Baylor and TCU, who were among the best in the conference for the past two seasons, expected to have down years, it makes a lot of sense for the conference to have a championship game because it will boost the winner’s chances of making the college football playoffs.