Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby told ESPN he’s admittedly concerned and confused about Ohio State and Washington being selected to the College Football Playoff.
The commissioner told ESPN he was looking for clarity, saying, “Obviously I acknowledge the difficulty of the task, but I’m not sure what I advise my members right now, because we’ve been telling them that nonconference schedules matter, and one of the four has an exceedingly weak nonconference schedule.”
Bowlsby went on to tell ESPN, “And we’ve been telling them the 13th data point matters, and we added a conference championship game because of that. We’ve always heard that conference championships matter and division championships matter, and now it’s confusing.”
There were plenty of confused folks on Twitter as well:
2014 Ohio State: 13th data point, conference championships matter
2016: Ohio State: Conference champs don’t matter as much, only one factor
— Carson Cunningham (@KOCOCarson) December 4, 2016
Washington got in with a nonconference schedule ranking 127th in the FBS, while Ohio State did not win its conference or even its division. But, the Buckeyes are the No. 3 team in this year’s playoff.
In 2014 TCU fell from No. 3 to No. 6 in the final rankings, which led to the Big 12 deciding to add a conference championship game. The vote was made in June and begins in 2017. Since the conference never expanded, the conference championship game will be a rematch every year.
Bowlsby did admit they probably didn’t have a possible participant in this year’s field, but he wants to know how he should be advising his members going forward.