Big 12 is picking from three sites for conference title game

Tony Gutierrez/AP

Now that the Big 12 has decided it will not move its teams into two separate five-team divisions, the next order of business for the conference is deciding where it will play its league title game starting in 2017.

A Big 12 source told FOX Sports that the decision will come down to three bids between Dallas/Arlington; San Antonio; and Kansas City. Houston is not in the bidding the source said because of a scheduling conflict for the venue. Jerry World, the Dallas Cowboys stadium, is the favorite to land the game, the source said, because of its convenience — the location is most drivable for the most Big 12 fans. That’s also why Kansas City is the biggest long shot.

Earlier on Friday morning, the Big 12 announced the participating teams for its football championship game will be the two highest-placed teams in the conference standings.

“There are a number of advantages to matching our top two teams,” said commissioner Bob Bowlsby. “Given our round-robin, nine-game scheduling model, it is expected the Big 12 champion will be uniquely positioned for College Football Playoff consideration. I would argue there will be no path more difficult than our champion’s, where it will have played every team in the Conference, faced at least one Autonomy Conference non-conference opponent, and then plays in our championship game. The guaranteed No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup will be a great game for our fans, and it’s hard to imagine a stronger position for a conference champion.”

The Big 12 had co-sponsored legislation allowing conferences with fewer than 12 members to stage a championship game. With input from the league’s head football coaches, the athletics directors have moved forward with a 1 vs. 2 format. Beginning in 2017, the Big 12 football champion is assured to be on par with other league champions by having 13 data points for CFP selection committee evaluation.