As summer approaches questions are still swirling around the Big 12's next move. Will it be expansion or will it be to simply add a conference championship game to the end of the season? As a fan of Texas Tech and the Big 12 I want both.
Chuck Carlton, of the Dallas Morning News, wrote this week that Big 12 coaches are not too excited about a championship game with a ten team conference. You can read his article here at the Dallas Morning News.
Carlton's article mentions that Kingsbury declined to comment on the issue, but TCU's Patterson and OU's Stoops made their thoughts known
"I don't know what the interest TV-wise and from the public is for us to line up and play the same team the following week," Stoops said. "With 10 teams, I don't see it being that positive of an option. With 12 teams, it would be, but now you have to expand. And we'll see where that goes."
"Everybody wants to say you have to have expansion to have a better chance of playing for the national title," Patterson said. "They should try to play everybody every year. That's a tough situation."
Also this week Jimmy Burch of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that the Big 12 has consultants crunching numbers on the benefits of a conference championship game. You can read the Star-Telegram piece here. Up until this point in my life I did not know there were consultants analyzing the impact of conference championship games.
Here is what Big 12 Commissioner Bowlsby had to say:
"We've gotten some indication that playing a championship game probably gives us a slightly better chance of getting a team in the playoff," Bowlsby said at the end of a meeting between conference commissioners and CFP officials at the Four Seasons Resort.
"But it comes with some downside, too. The enthusiasm for a regular-season rematch is certainly lower than it would be for another kind of contest. Just because we get some indication that there's a slightly better chance of getting in if you have a championship game doesn't mean we're going to do it."
If you read the article it is pretty apparent that Bowlsby sees the benefit of playing a championship game, but knows he does not have the support from the schools while they are still a ten team conference.
After hearing what the coaches had to say the more likely move will be to expand and then add the championship game. So if that ends up being the case then the real questions revolve around expansion. Two teams? Four teams? The debate on which teams need to be added has been beaten to death and frankly there are only about 5 realistic options anyway.
I guess the only real question left to ask is, what are you waiting for Big 12?