Berry Tramel explores ten reasons for the Big 12’s apparent decline in this piece. From the point of view of somebody who thinks playing a round robin schedule is the best way for a conference to determine its champion, for me, this sucks to read:
… The 10-school format makes for a great regular season, but it comes at a two-fold cost. The nine-game conference schedule makes it difficult for a team to go through the conference unscathed, and no conference championship game puts the Big 12 at a decided disadvantage with its four chief competitors, all of whom play that 13th game.
Playoff expansion will force the regular season to become ever more cookie cutter, as conferences will have little choice but to mold themselves into vehicles that have the best chance of delivering their teams to the postseason. And given that no matter what they do, there are still only so many slots, it’s pretty obvious where things are headed.