Wednesday’s meetings produced very little changes for the College Football Playoff itself, but they could have far-reaching implications for one of the Power Five conferences.
In a major departure fro his wait-and-see stance, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby came out in favor of his conference holding a championship game should it receive approval from the NCAA.
“What we heard is if we don’t go to a championship game we’re at a disadvantage,” Bowlsby told reporters Wednesday evening.
This is a stark contrast from the last time Bowlsby went on the record on the subject back in December. “It’s easy to forget that if a couple of things go differently, we get two teams in, not none,” he said at the time. “We always knew somebody was going to be standing when the music stopped. Some of that is situational. I was proud of our ADs. We had a very businesslike session in New York and we talked a little bit about the tiebreaker, we talked about scheduling, we talked about nonconference schedules … and we’ll talk about it again.”
What changed his mind? Selection committee chairman and Arkansas athletics director Jeff Long.
Big 12’s Bob Bowlsby gets answer to his question: 13 data points (ie games) better than 12, according to selection committee chair Jeff Long
— Chuck Carlton (@ChuckCarltonDMN) April 29, 2015
CFP executive director Bill Hancock also admitted the 13th game – and its 59-0 result, undoubtedly – helped Ohio State edge Baylor. It’s a cruel twist of fate for the Big 12. Not once in its 15 years of staging title games did a Big 12 team play its way into a national title game through a 13th game, and its member teams played their way out of a championship appearance in 1996, 1998, 2001 and 2007. (Consider this a friendly nudge to consider the alternate idea we offered to you back in December, Mr. Bowlsby.)
Still, the Big 12 could be backed into a corner here.
“If we determine that we are indeed at a disadvantage in terms of access, I don’t know that we have much of a choice to respond to minimize that,” said Bowlsby.