Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby was singing a new tune on Wednesday regarding the conference’s championship game, or lack thereof. A few quick thoughts on what looks like a half-baked idea.
*It's been one year. How anyone can draw hard conclusions from a season's worth of results is beyond me.
*Fundamentally, a championship game has no place in a league with a round-robin schedule. You’d think this goes without saying. It’s as useless as a thesaurus in Les Miles’ office.
*On a related note, proponents argued that the advent of the College Football Playoff wouldn’t impact college football’s regular season. This shows just how misguided they were.
If two teams are guaranteed to run it back every year in a title game, it’s hard to see how that doesn’t devalue the regular season, at least for the Big 12. With the playoff now dominating the conversation in college football, I’d anticipate more decisions coming down the pike that tamper with the best regular season in sports in favor of playoff positioning.
*And building off that point, what does this mean for the Red River Shootout? Assume Oklahoma and Texas get their acts back together. It knocks a little luster off their annual October meeting in the Cotton Bowl if it’s viewed as just a precursor to round two.
*Framing has contributed to this entire fiasco.
The notion that the Big 12 either has an easier path to the playoff or a less taxing schedule without a conference title game just doesn’t hold up. Every Big 12 team save Baylor played 10 regular season games against Power 5 opponents. That’s the same number as the champs of the SEC and Big Ten.
So if the Big 12 does go ahead with this plan, it’s winner will likely play 11 of 13 games against Power 5 competition every year. Bowlsby better sell that point hard for the sake of ensuring a league member is in the tournament way more often than not.
*If we’re to accept that 13 games > 12 games, does that necessitate that the selection committee’s bar for teams that only play 12 games must be extraordinarily high.
For example, say a team from the SEC West is 11-1, but it doesn’t win its division and only plays 12 regular season games. How should the committee view that squad relative to other candidates that played 13 games?
*Maybe some kind of development in the upcoming season will knock some sense into the conference shot callers.
*I don't think this changes anything related to conference expansion, so let's nip that in the bud.
*Yes, this absolutely falls under the Big 12 heading of "everything's amazing and nobody's happy."