Category Archives: Big 12 Football

“A roomful of geniuses”

Bob Bowlsby admits he’s on the verge of going medieval on the Big 12’s round robin schedule if the conference gets shut out of the CFP for the second year in a row.  That generates a “remain calm, all is well” response from Bill Hancock, of all people.

Of course, if the Big 12 does go ahead and adopt a conference championship game after this season, I fully expect Hancock to praise the move as making the CFP that much stronger.  ‘Cause that’s just how he rolls.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Big 12 Football

This is how fever dreams get started.

Oklahoma blogger takes Finebaum tweet of a speculative comment by Colin Cowherd (boy, talk about instant credibility) and runs with it.

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Filed under Big 12 Football, SEC Football, The Blogosphere

“It’s officially in the system.”

And so, one more step on the road to marginalizing the regular season is taken.

A formal proposal for the deregulation of conference championship games, which would allow the Big 12 to have a championship game as early as 2016, was advanced to the NCAA Council this week and is expected to be approved in January, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby told ESPN.com.

Before you chide me for having a case of the vapors about it, consider this:  the Big 12, a ten-school conference which plays a round robin conference schedule – the best way to decide a conference champion, in my humble opinion – is going to tack on a conference championship game.  Why?

One day, guys like Bowlsby are going to wake up and wonder where all the interest in the college football regular season went.  And then they’ll go out and add another round to the national playoffs.  More brackets!

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UPDATE:  If you’re having trouble answering my question – and I’m not sure why you would – let Oklahoma President David Boren fill in the blanks for you.

“…When we look at football playoffs and our conference is bumping up against conferences with 12 or 14 members, I believe that we are psychologically disadvantaged because we are a smaller conference.”  [Emphasis added.]

“Psychologically disadvantaged”.  Jeebus, these guys are too much.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Big 12 Football, The NCAA

Enhancing the stadium experience

As it used to go in the old Guinness commercials, “Brilliant!”

It’s almost as if they want the fans to stay home and watch on TV.

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Filed under Big 12 Football

Thursday morning buffet

Plenty of nibbles this morning:

  • Big 12, this “One True Champion” stuff isn’t nearly as hard as you’re making it.
  • Steve Patterson continues the rebranding:  “Forty-five years ago China and the U.S. were at war. What opened the door? Ping pong? The same people that are going what the heck are you doing in Dubai were the same people who said why are you playing ping pong in China?”
  • NCAA to coaches:  sure, we’ll get you notice so you can’t complain about that, but input?  Naaaah.
  • Jerry Hinnen’s SEC East post-spring wrap up is here.
  • And here’s the one for the SEC West.
  • Athlon’s SEC head coach rankings list is, well… a little different.
  • So how good a job did Dan Mullen do with his 2011 recruiting class?  This writer wonders if it was the most underrated class ever.
  • Along those lines, check out this post at Team Speed Kills about program rebuilding.

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Filed under Big 12 Football, Recruiting, SEC Football, Texas Is Just Better Than You Are., The NCAA

“Do our strengths outweigh our weaknesses? I don’t think we know right now.”

When last we heard from the intrepid Bob Bowlsby, Jeff Long had spooked him into a state of panic over the Big 12’s lack of a conference championship game – something totally unnecessary for a conference with a round robin schedule, unless you really want to make your best team beat your second-best team twice in the same season for kicks:

“What we heard is if we don’t go to a championship game we’re at a disadvantage,” Bowlsby said. “All things being equal, 13 games are better than 12 games. That’s what we heard. So that gives us clear enough direction that we’re coming in at least at a modest disadvantage. We need to do whatever we can to mitigate that.”

Upon further review, Bowlsby mitigated, alright.  He mitigated into full retreat.

“I think we all believe that one year is not a long enough trial to draw any conclusions,” Bowlsby said. “We may find ourselves in better shape than some other conferences as a result of our model rather than in spite of our model.”

Bowlsby met with league athletic directors Tuesday morning and coaches Tuesday afternoon during the league’s spring meetings.

He was probably reminded of the times a conference title game screwed the Big 12 over during the BCS era.  Or heard this pearl of wisdom from Gary Patterson:  “The less games I play, the better off I am.”

So was he guilty of rushing to judgment?  Well, sure.  But that doesn’t make him a bad guy.

When asked if he overreacted to Long’s interpretation, Bowlsby said, “Maybe I did. I’m not immune to that.”

And he’s paid hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to run a major college athletics conference.  What a country.

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Filed under Big 12 Football

Bob Bowlsby, thinking inside the box

Nothing about this surprises me.

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby entered the College Football Playoff meetings this week seeking definitive answers on how much a 13th game helped Ohio State get picked over Baylor and TCU. Bowlsby ended Wednesday with as close of a statement as he has ever made that the Big 12 will add a conference championship game.

Bowlsby wouldn’t definitively say the Big 12 will add a championship game in 2016 if a new NCAA rule allows 10-team members to do so. But given the knowledge he has now, Bowlsby said, “I surmise we would probably move in that direction.”

Bowlsby said he was told this week by CFP selection committee chairman Jeff Long that 13 data points are better than 12. Ohio State blew out Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game on the final week last season while Baylor and TCU won their final regular-season games in round-robin play.

“What we heard is if we don’t go to a championship game we’re at a disadvantage,” Bowlsby said. “All things being equal, 13 games are better than 12 games. That’s what we heard. So that gives us clear enough direction that we’re coming in at least at a modest disadvantage. We need to do whatever we can to mitigate that.”

This is a dumbass move on a number of levels.  First, and most significantly, the Big 12 plays a round robin conference schedule.  It doesn’t need a playoff to determine a true champion; the regular season takes care of that.

Second, it’s like these guys have the shortest memories on the planet.

The Big 12 played a conference championship game from 1996 to 2010 and was hurt in the BCS era more than any conference by having a national contender lose that game.

And if there’s any cosmic justice, or if the football gods have a perverse sense of humor, that’s exactly what’ll happen in the first Big 12 championship game.

Along those lines, it ought to be a concern when Jim Delany gives you advice that makes sense.

However, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany cautioned that conference championship games “cut both ways” – sometimes helping a league’s best team and sometimes costing it with an upset loss.

One of the lessons learned from the Bowl Championship Series Era was that the constant alterations to that ill-fated system eroded public confidence.

“We probably made some mistakes by tweaking, to be honest,” Delany said.

Of course, it’s only fair to note that Bowlsby is probably working from a lower bar in terms of public confidence than the BCS was at the start.

Now, this isn’t totally the fault of the Big 12.  Jeff Long’s hands have some dirt on them, too.

Bowlsby said he was convinced after the commissioners met with selection committee chairman Jeff Long, the Arkansas athletic director, that the Big 12’s champion might need to play a 13th game — a conference championship game — in order to be seen on equal footing with other playoff contenders. (Reached by phone later, Long declined an interview request.)

Again, never mind that the Big 12’s selection of its conference champion doesn’t require a championship game.  It’s all about the data points for the selection committee.

But Bowlsby still is playing the hand he’s dealt here.  His coaches like soft non-conference schedules.  His presidents like cutting the revenue pie into just ten pieces.  And a championship game will enlarge that pie a little more.  It’s a win-win.  Until the league’s best team loses.

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UPDATE:  Bill Connelly elaborates on the history repeating aspect of what’s coming.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Big 12 Football