Bob Bowlsby came right out and said it during his first Big 12 media days as commissioner.
“The best days for this conference are ahead.”
Following consecutive years of speculation about a possible disbanding of the Big 12, there were a total of two media questions related to conference realignment in Bowlsby’s opening press conference, and neither of them expressed concern with the Big 12’s future. As far as additions were concerned, Clemson and Florida State weren’t even brought up directly.
The interest was more geared toward the league’s new TV deal and the “Champions Bowl” with the SEC. But if you’re looking for answers on either, then you’re going to have to wait a little more.
Bowlsby said the conference’s TV package still isn’t finished, citing the “pushing and shoving” that occurs between multiple broadcast networks and each university official that make up the Big 12.
It’s a bit disappointing. I know I wasn’t the only one hoping to hear if the Big 12 had anything official. However, Bowlsby reiterated his confidence that the conference will have a 13-year grant of rights, as expected.
Likewise, details of the Champions Bowl are close to being finalized. The bidding for the hosting site should be sent out in the next two weeks and the TV deal for that game is also in the home stretch.
A few other nuggets from Bowlsby’s presser:
- Bowlsby continues to hammer the importance of the nine-game, round robin schedule of the Big 12. It provides the clearest path to a four-team playoff and Bowlsby said as much.
- On third-tier rights, and the Big 12 allows schools to handle those indvidicually, Bowlsby said he enjoys the model because of the flexibility it provides the conference.
- As far as playoffs are concerned, Bowlsby said details on selection process and revenue sharing should be much clearer in the next 60 days.