Even without 12 members in the conference, the Big 12 could have the return of the conference title game after last year’s events of Oklahoma getting snubbed from a BCS game and watching Northern Illinois make it instead.
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby will ask the NCAA this week if the conference would be able to hold the game.
“I think it’s reasonable to say if you’re going to have a champion that you’re going to have to designate it in one fashion or another,” Bowlsby said during the Iowa State vs. Oklahoma State game last night in an article on NBCSports.com. “But to say it has to be between 12 schools or that there has to be divisional play or there has to be a round-robin, we’re deregulating lots of things and that certainly is a candidate.”
Both Kansas State and Oklahoma finished with 8-1 records in the conference last year, with the Wildcats winning the tiebreaker because of their early head-to-head matchup in week four. Two years ago, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State played for the conference title in a pseudo-Big 12 championship game in the last week of the regular season. The Cowboys dominated the Sooners after getting upset by Iowa State in their last game.
After seeing what happened with Northern Illinois in their MAC championship game, I can see why Bowlsby wants to add the championship game back. Should the conference be split into divisions? It could, but one of the southern schools will have to move up into the northern division, or possibly you could spin a west/east version of the divisions. The best way to make a championship game would just be to leave the divisions out and just have the top two teams play.
Either way, it’s fair to bring it back. Oklahoma shouldn’t have been penalized for losing a game all the way back in week four, and getting snubbed from a BCS game was wrong especially when looking at Northern Illinois’ resume this past season.
Brian Spaen is the lead editor of Clones Confidential. Get more Cyclones coverage by following us on Twitter.