Ten members for now, with a round robin schedule, but that isn’t stopping the Big 12 from making a big move. On Friday, the Big 12 announced plans to bring back its football championship game in 2017, regardless of whether the conference expands from its current 10 members.
Data consultants hired by the league have argued that the Big 12’s current format has diminished its opportunity of putting a team in the College Football Playoff.
The league failed to make the playoff in 2014, although Oklahoma did make the CFP last year despite not playing on the final weekend of the regular season.
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said a championship game could net the league an additional $27-28 million in revenue a year.
“It positions us in a very good place,” Bowlsby added. “If we’re playing a full round robin and a championship game our means of determining a champion is the strongest of all conferences.
What about divisions? Will it be broken up into two five-team divisions?
“In all likelihood,” Bowlsby said. “We’ve looked at some models with two five-team divisions. You can continue to play a full round-robin.”
As for where the game will be held, Bowlsby said the league will go through a bidding process. The final two title games of the 12-team league were played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Tex. Previously, title games were held in Kansas City, Houston, San Antonio and St. Louis.
The first championship game will be televised by Fox and will be on that network in odd number years, ESPN will carry the game in 2018 and in even number years.
As expected, there was no resolution from the conference on the topic of expansion.
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