Big 12 athletic directors did not recommend a proposal to add a conference championship game in football during Thursday’s meeting, making it unlikely that such a game would be added for the 2016 season, Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said.
Instead, Bowlsby said league administrators have enlisted a research firm to collect data on issues related to expansion and the most advantageous way, based on percentages, for Big 12 teams to consistently produce a participant in the College Football Playoff.
That data will be examined in detail at the league’s spring meetings, May 31-June 3, and Bowlsby stressed that administrators are “trying to take a deep dive” into all issues surrounding the league before making binding decisions.
No actions are expected on hot-button topics raised by Oklahoma President David Boren, a proponent of league expansion, a Big 12 network and a football championship game.
Adding a football championship game could be addressed at that point, Bowlsby said, although the short turnaround time makes implementation for the 2016 season “unlikely.”
League chief executives meet Friday, but Bowlsby said no actions are expected on hot-button topics raised last month by Oklahoma President David Boren, a proponent of league expansion, a Big 12 network and a conference championship game in football.
Bowlsby said he expects only “high-level discussions” among CEOs in regard to conference issues and downplayed Boren’s claim that the Big 12 is “disadvantaged” in its CFP efforts because it is the only Power 5 league without a football championship game.
“I think we’re enjoying substantial prosperity,” Bowlsby said, referring to league-record revenues disbursed in May ($23 million to $27 million per school) and recent success in basketball, volleyball and other sports.
Bowlsby acknowledged long-term revenue models for two leagues with successful conference networks, the Big Ten and SEC, show the Big 12 eventually falls behind on per capita revenues.
But adding a conference network to coexist with the ESPN-affiliated Longhorn Network, which pays Texas $15 million per year through 2031, would be “an enormously complex process,” Bowlsby said.
I’m not going to rule it out. But it’s not on the drawing board for the next two years. We’ll see. It was a great rivalry.
Texas athletic director Mike Perrin, on whether Longhorns will again play Texas A&M in football
Texas athletic director Mike Perrin made it clear there is little sentiment in Austin to tweak an LHN agreement that “has been a real success for us.” He also showed some degree of warmth to the idea of resuming the school’s dormant football rivalry with Texas A&M, but not immediately.
“I’m not going to rule it out,” Perrin said. “But it’s not on the drawing board for the next two years. We’ll see. It was a great rivalry.”