Big 12 feels system is right to get a team in the College Football Playoff

May 31, 2017

IRVING, Texas - Day One of the Big 12 spring meeting concluded without any firm word on the Championship Game, but did include glowing assurances that the conference is on the right path to getting a team in the College Football Playoff.

“We know our model is working,” TCU athletics director Chris Del Conte said. “Our overall perception of our conference is healthy. It’s amazing to me the value of the Big 12.”

Commissioner Bob Bowlsby is not bothered by the conference’s apparent lagging in national perception on account of the Big 12 being at the caboose of the Power 5 Conferences in NFL Draft selections (“That goes in cycles.”) and is pleased with where the league has positioned itself for next year’s CFP Committee.

“It’s a high-stakes game of musical chairs with five suitors and only four seats,” Bowlsby said. “We know we have to win (non-conference) games. But in the end, we’re ensuring that our two best teams are playing in the final.”

Bowlsby and Del Conte think the Big 12 resume that will include that Championship winner, combined with a nine-game round-robin schedule and additional Power 5 non-conference game will make it hard for the committee to overlook the Big 12 once again.

In reiterating how the Big 12’s 10-team round-robin model works so well, Del Conte pointed to the conference getting six of 10 men’s basketball teams in the NCAA Tournament (not including his TCU program winning the NIT title); and more recently seven of the league’s nine baseball schools being selected for the NCAAs.

Additionally, a Big 12 Network was discussed again, or at least discussions pertaining to the evolving media landscape. One thing for sure, a Big 12 Network will not be coming into your home via a traditional cable or satellite package.

“The linear TV network is obsolete technology,” Bowlsby said, noting that the Big 12 not being tied in a traditional television contract now puts the league in the driver’s seat in negotiating what’s ahead in the digital world. “I absolutely think it’s an advantage.”

Added Del Conte, “Young people are still watching our games. There’s not declining viewership, just in how it’s consumed. It’s growing by leaps and bounds. It’s beyond encouraging.”

Revenue distribution is expected to be announced Friday with the Big 12 CEOs (Chancellors and Presidents) meet at the Four Seasons Resort in Irving, Texas.


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