Category Archives: Big 12 Football

Jim Delany opens a new front.

And unlike some of his other crusades, this one might leave a mark.

Delany pointed out that, starting with the 2016 season, Big Ten football schedules will move from eight to nine conference games and will mandate one Power 5 non-conference opponent. The other two non-conference opponents must be Football Bowl Subdivision schools.

In other words, no Jacksonville State (at Auburn Sept. 12) or Charleston Southern (at Alabama Nov. 21) or anyone else from the Football Championship Subdivision.

A year from now, the Big Ten will be the only Power 5 conference with all of these rugged scheduling components: Nine league games, at least one Power-5 non-conference opponent, all 12 regular-season games against FBS schools and a conference championship game.

“We think it’s what our fans want,” Delany said. “We think it’s what our players want. And we think it’s what the College Football Playoff committee wants.”

Not necessarily in that order, of course.  And if you don’t think this is a sales pitch served to the selection committee that will be honed and repeated ad nauseam, with a side of sneer at the Big 12’s and the SEC’s scheduling, think again.

“I’m not sure that people have paid as much attention to the (College Football Playoff) guidelines for selection of teams,” Delany said. “There are about eight paragraphs that deal with the issue of when resumes look similar, similar record, similar resumes. Conference champions are going to get the first tiebreaker consideration. And strength of schedule is going to get the second.

“So if you start looking at schedules that have FCS teams that have some 20 fewer scholarships, I think that’s a consideration. I think, if you’re playing more conference games and you’re in a strong conference that, typically, is going to give you a stronger strength of schedule resume. I think winning a conference championship game gives you an advantage.”

If they weren’t paying attention before, Big Jim will make sure they’re paying attention now.

Will the SEC react?  Probably not in the short run, anyway.  But let’s see what happens after the first time the conference doesn’t have a representative in a four-team playoff field.


UPDATE:  It may be what the fans, the players and the selection committee wants, but…

Eh, don’t sweat it, fellas.  It’s nothing that can’t be fixed with a bigger playoff field.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Big 12 Football, Big Ten Football, SEC Football

Going Big

Interesting report in the Omaha World-Herald that claims back in 2010, when Texas was jerking the Big 12 around with its (then) Pac-10 flirtation, five teams from that conference (Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas A&M, Kansas and Iowa State) approached the Big Ten as a group about coming on board.

The stumbling block?  I’m sure you can guess it had something to do with money.

The feedback from Big Ten school officials was positive, both sources said. The sticking point was devising a revenue-sharing plan to satisfy all. It would have taken at least three to four years for that many incoming schools to hit the financial payoffs sought for moving.

Considering the level of anti-Texas motivation on one side and Delany’s ego on the other, you have to figure it must have been a lot of jack.

Just another reason to wonder what the long-term health of the Big 12 is going to be.


Filed under Big 12 Football, Big Ten Football

When a regular season feature becomes a bug

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.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Big 12 Football, College 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.


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.


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

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!


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.


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.


Filed under Big 12 Football