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Big 12’s strength needs to show to silence championship game criticism

Bob Bowlsby

The Big 12 should either be forced to play a conference championship or every other conference should quit feeling threatened by the conference’s lack of a championship game, depending on whom you ask. The debate is one that may not have a definitive answer and should be one to pay attention to during the dawn of the College Football Playoff era.

Since dropping in membership from 12 to 10 after multiple realignment changes in recent years, the conference lost the ability to play a conference championship game under NCAA guidelines. The conference’s membership has been in unison in its stance by saying the Big 12 is perfectly fine not playing a conference championship game and selling the idea of a true conference champion with a nine-game conference schedule that pits every school against one another. While the ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC will host conference championship games this season, the Big 12 is hoping the overall quality of depth in the conference will be enough to convince the playoff’s selection committee to strongly consider the Big 12 champion for the four-team playoff.

“The only thing that you really have to do after adopting ‘One True Champion’ as your moniker is you have to go out and win some games,” Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a story from the Associated Press. “We want to win national championships.”

Will the non-existence of a conference championship game continue in the Big 12 in the long run? Odds are it will change at some point, whether by expansion or receiving permission from the NCAA to hold a game with 10 members. The idea has been discussed and once it is determined having a championship game gives playoff candidates an edge over a Big 12 contender, the push from the Big 12 membership to return to a championship game will be vocal. I have thought that for a while, and Stewart Mandel of FOXSports.com today agreed with that premise in his mailbag post today.

“Certainly if that happens you can count on the Big 12 bringing back its championship game as soon as possible,” Mandel said when asked about this very topic.

If you are wondering just how much of a big deal this conversation can be, you need to look back to the end of the wild 2007 season.

Ohio State, in 2007, ended its regular season ranked fifth in the country after beating rival No. 24 Michigan 14-3 in the final game of the season. With no conference championship game at the time, Ohio State was sitting on the outside looking in on the BCS Championship race with no more opportunities to make a dent. As it turned out, not having to play a 13th game may have served Ohio State well. In the time since Ohio State wrapped up its 2007 regular season, everything that needed to happen for the Buckeyes to play for the BCS championship seemed to fall into place.

A week after Ohio State edged Michigan, top-ranked LSU lost a shootout against Arkansas, knocking the Tigers out of the pole position for the BCS Championship Game. West Virginia, the following week needing a win to likely clinch a spot in the BCS Championship Game, was upset by Backyard Brawl rival Pittsburgh, 13-9. That same day saw Missouri playing for the Big 12 championship needing a win to clinch a spot in the BCS Championship game. The Tigers lost to Oklahoma. In the SEC Championship Game, LSU was given a chance to get back in the hunt with a win against Tennessee. Ranked fifth in the AP poll, LSU beat the Vols by a touchdown. LSU and Ohio State advanced to the BCS Championship Game as a result of all of this madness.On this day the college football world saw the benefits and risks of playing a conference championship game, as well as the benefit of not playing one (Ohio State).

Should the Big 12 bring back a conference championship game? Feel free to leave your opinions in the comments below.

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19 Responses to “Big 12’s strength needs to show to silence championship game criticism”
  1. patbocam says: Aug 6, 2014 6:35 PM

    The big 12 is big scared. Go Baylor???

  2. thefiesty1 says: Aug 6, 2014 6:37 PM

    Just realign and add two schools and have a championship game if they want to continue to be a member of the big five. If not, join the others with no chance of competing with the PAC, SEC, B1G and even the lowly ACC.

  3. 8to80texansblog says: Aug 6, 2014 6:40 PM

    If being off the same week as other schools are playing conference championship games is the problem, then shouldn’t the Big 12 just extend their schedule 1 week so they are playing their 12th games that same week?

  4. 8to80texansblog says: Aug 6, 2014 6:42 PM

    thefiesty1 says:
    Aug 6, 2014 6:37 PM
    Just realign and add two schools and have a championship game if they want to continue to be a member of the big five. If not, join the others with no chance of competing with the PAC, SEC, B1G and even the lowly ACC.
    ____________

    Wow… is this a longhorn fan actually admitting the weakness of the Big 12?

  5. brownsmakemecrazy says: Aug 6, 2014 7:08 PM

    Im amuzed by the comment “hoping for the overall quality of depth of the conference is enough” for the playoff. Whos any good? Jokelahoma, Baylor, and Texas are avg at best.

  6. musketmaniac says: Aug 6, 2014 7:52 PM

    History has shown the conference championship games knock teams out of the National title not put them in.

  7. thefiesty1 says: Aug 6, 2014 8:19 PM

    8to80….. I’ve always been a proponent of a championship game. Only DeLoss was against it because he was afraid that UT wouldn’t make it to the CCG every year. It’s the major moneymaker of the season. Why wait?

  8. 8to80texansblog says: Aug 6, 2014 8:25 PM

    @musketmaniac

    Tell that to the 2008 Gators. They were a 1 loss team going into the SEC title game against an undefeated Alabama game. Without that game, Bama wins the conference and goes to the national title game… and interestingly enough… also beats Ohio St.

  9. coachbeck says: Aug 6, 2014 8:49 PM

    Add Cincinnati and South Florida.

    12 teams. Plus strengthening Midwest ties and getting a piece of the southeast to have your games pumped into.

  10. drummerhoff says: Aug 6, 2014 9:50 PM

    I don’t remember it going down that way in 2007. I thought Ohio State was in the BCS game before all the madness started? LSU’s loss to AR to create a path for WV. When WV & MO lost, LSU got back in. OSU held the # 2 and # 1 ranked spots the entire time.

  11. longtallsam says: Aug 6, 2014 11:30 PM

    thefiesty1 says: Aug 6, 2014 6:37 PM

    Just realign and add two schools and have a championship game if they want to continue to be a member of the big five. If not, join the others with no chance of competing with the PAC, SEC, B1G and even the lowly ACC.

    Uh…who won the National Championship last year? And beat the Big10 in another BCS game. “Lowly ACC” is a thing of the past, jack! My guess is the ACC will win another NC before the Big 12 does.

  12. bigdinla says: Aug 7, 2014 12:38 AM

    @longtallsam,
    Having one good team does not refute his lowly ACC comment.

  13. kombayn says: Aug 7, 2014 5:13 AM

    The Big 12 should add Central & South Florida. But I won’t be shocked if Big 12 gets left out of the College Football Playoff, which sucks for them right now.

  14. mtneerndixie says: Aug 7, 2014 10:07 AM

    How about the Big 12 play a weak ooc game during championship week? That makes everyone even…9 league games and 4 ooc games. What’s the difference? BTW the only teams in the other leagues to play 13 games are the two meeting in the CCG. Don’t act so concerned Jimbo.

  15. musketmaniac says: Aug 7, 2014 1:38 PM

    8to80, So what your saying is that sec conference championship game cost Alabama a chance at the national title.

  16. amosalanzostagg says: Aug 10, 2014 9:47 PM

    Yawn,

    The SWC is boring.

  17. amosalanzostagg says: Aug 11, 2014 11:41 PM

    Yeah, since the NCAA laughed their asses off when Deloss, er Bowlsby requested a “waiver” from the NCAA to have a ten team league have a conference championship game, the Big 12 has nothing left to sell. When you have Kansas, Iowa State, TCU and WVU as lower end dwellers in the Big 12, OSU, TT and KSU as the median, and OU,Baylor and Texas as your “leaders”, all you have is a regional conference much akin to the Old Big Eight or SWC.

    Two dominant schools and the rest along for the ride.

    NO conference network, and the SEC is now really starting to pillage the state of Texas for players across the board.

    Add the introduction of the SEC network where expected first year revenues are expected to exceed $611 million dollars, ($42 million per school) and you can see why Texas A&M and Missouri left.

    $42 million for A&M and $15 million for the LHN annually, and the longhorns call the Aggies dumb?

    The SEC has the right Texas team.

    RTR

  18. 8to80texansblog says: Aug 12, 2014 10:15 AM

    musketmaniac says:
    Aug 7, 2014 1:38 PM

    8to80, So what your saying is that sec conference championship game cost Alabama a chance at the national title.
    __________________

    Yes…. Had there been no SEC Title game, Bama surely would have finished the season in the top 2 as an undefeated team in the SEC.

    I’m a huge proponent of CCGs especially in conferences without a round robin schedule. But to say they only help teams is a bit preposterous.

  19. 8to80texansblog says: Aug 12, 2014 12:11 PM

    Took me a second but I see the faulty logic.

    I guess I see what you’re saying. But though the CCG knocked Bama out of the NCG… it did put Florida in and had that game not happened, Florida would not have gotten a shot at the national title.

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