Saturday, October 22, 2016

Big 12 “One True Champion” Campaign Falling on Deaf Ears?

With the release of the most recent college playoff poll Tuesday night one thing is clear, the Big 12 does not control its own destiny on the national stage. Despite Baylor manhandling Oklahoma ten days ago and TCU squeaking by Kansas this past weekend both dropped in the poll this week falling one spot respectively. Though this should be concerning for the Big 12 Conference the future looks even more bleak.

TCU’s remaining schedule does not include the who’s who of the Big 12. Texas is 6-5 and would not be considered a “quality” win for the Frogs. After the Longhorns TCU will face Iowa St to finish out the season. With strength of schedule obviously playing a large part in how the playoff committee ranks teams TCU does not have much of an argument moving forward.

Baylor’s schedule poses a little more strength than TCU’s but is still not as strong as the teams ranked above them. The Bears have Oklahoma St, Texas Tech, and Kansas St remaining on their schedule. Depending on how the rest of the season plays out for both that December 6th matchup in Waco versus the Wildcats may have HUGE implications for the Big 12 Conference. Kansas St’s 26-20 win over WVU in Morgantown Thursday night increased the Wildcats resume.

The problem is simple, the Conference needs a conference championship game. Although the Big 12 has gone to great lengths to promote “One True Champion” the fact is the entire conference will be sitting home while the SEC, ACC, PAC12, and B1G, will be playing conference championship games. What muddies the waters even more is that there could potentially be a two way tie at the top. And in a effort not to upset either school Bowlsby has announced that he will name both Baylor and TCU co-champions, seems to null and void the whole “One True Champion” campaign doesn’t it? With conference championships presumably playing large roles in the playoff selection process this could hurt the Big 12’s chance’s of getting the nod.

Is expansion the answer? The simple response is no. The only teams the Big 12 could bring into the conference would not increase strength of schedule, they also would not be financially sound investments either. The Big 12 may be better suited to petition the NCAA for a conference championship game with 10 teams. They could keep the round robin schedule while still playing a conference championship game that would be beneficial for multiple reasons. The game would increase per team revenue for the conference and more importantly would allow two teams in the conference play one more marque game. This game could ultimately be the determining factor as to whether the conference sees a seat at the playoffs.

On a side note, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby has recently come out against the growing calls for an 8 team playoff. If the field were expanded to 8 this season both TCU and Baylor would firmly  have the inside track.

after voting whether you think the Big 12 should implement a conference championship game give us your thoughts on the situation here.

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