Friday, October 28, 2016

Big 12 championship game update

So, the Big 12 is finally making a change.

It kind of makes sense that they decided to not expand, with the structure of their title game.
Everyone else is expanding to get more TV money, but you may have noticed, but outside of the SEC signing with ESPN, there hasn't been much news on that front in awhile.  Quite simply, most fans do not have much appetite to pay extra money to watch college football, so there is a set amount of money.

Personally, I still think that signing BYU and either Cincinatti or Houston would have made sense due to the TV's it would have brought.  People don't talk about it, but adding BYU is damn near like adding Notre Dame.  Either of those schools bring a massive following due to their religious allegiance.

That ship has saled though, so the question is, how does the decision to add a title game align with a choice to stay at 10 schools?

Well, if you don't setup divisions, and have #1 play #2 for the title, you just differentiated yourself from the rest of the countries conferences.

The Big 12 may not always be as strong as the SEC, but they have two top 15 teams every year.  Most years, they have 2 in the top 10.  Giving those teams a chance to play each other is going to give them a better looking championship game than most of the other conferences.  There will be no weak division watering down the title game.  You know, like the SEC East losing to Bama every year. 

Here are the proposed matchups for the last few years

2015: 
#5 Oklahoma Sooners (11-2)               vs.               #20 Oklahoma State Cowboys (7-2)

OU's only regular season loss was in the Red River Shootout to Texas.  That loss in a rivaly game got them just outside of the title game.  What would one extra win over a ranked team have done?
This is a year that the game might have hurt them, if they lost.  After all, they did get into the playoffs, where they lost to Clemson by 20.

2014:
#7 Baylor Bears (11-2)                         vs.               #3 TCU Horned Frogs (12-1)

This was a year where this would have been the game everyone in the country was watching.  There is no way that the winner of this game is not in the championship series, and when you look at what these 2 teams did, you have to like their chances.

Baylor went toe to toe with a very good Michigan State Spartans team and TCU absolutely throttled Ole Miss.  Assuming TCU held court and won this one, and we could have had TCU vs. Oregon.  Most of the country thought they should be in anyway over the FSU team that got stomped in the Rose Bowl.

2013:
#13 Baylor Bears (11-2)                        vs.              #6 Oklahoma Sooners (11-2)

This was the year that Baylor exploded into the scene sitting to #6 in the BCS.  OU was #10 which may have been at tremendous boost at the end of the season.

FSU was the class of the country but Auburn got in on a fluke play.  In retrospect, the tiers proved that they belonged, but could the bad have jumped up 4 spots?  Probably not, but it was the win over Bama that catapulted Auburn in.  Oklahoma is not Alabama, but what if Baylor blew them out? 

Hmmmmmmmm

2012:
#12 Kansas State Wildcats (11-2)           vs.            #15 Oklahoma Sooners (10-3)

Looking at these rankings you would think that this was a down year for the Big 12.  The thing the AP rankings don't tell you is that KSU was #5 in the BCS at the end of the season.  Notre Dame and Bans started at the poll position and stayed there so it might not have mattered but what if they blew OU out?

2011:
#3 Oklahoma State Cowboys (12-1)     vs.               #15 Kansas State Wildcats (10-3)

This was the year that the SEC got both spots in the title game.  OSU knocked off OU and still got left out.  One more win over a ranked team would have likely pushed them over the edge for the BCS. 

It's true enough that making a kick in Ames would have put them in too, but this season should have been a blinking neon sign for the Big 12.



That is the years of our 5 where a title game would given a Big 12 team a legit shot to get in the title game, or playoff, in a year which they were left out.  I don't live the decision to not expand, but the addition of the title game is a very wide choice.  I would say it was a stroke genius, except they are about 5 years late......
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