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Big 12 title game will help conference? Yeah, that worked before…

Part 1 in a series on the Big 12 and the College Football Playoff

Sometimes I wonder if I’m the only one that can remember even recent history, especially when it comes to sports.

For 15 years, the Big 12 Conference had its own championship game. And to hear the news articles and radio pundits back then, it was the worst idea in the history of sport. Now, all of a sudden, it’s stupid that the Big 12 DOESN’T have a championship game.

As one of my idols used to say when he had a radio show: “What the what?”

We’ve all placed blame for why neither of the Big 12’s co-champions, be it TCU or Baylor, was picked for a spot in the inaugural college football playoff, but probably the most asinine has to be that the lack of a title game influenced the voters and is thus why many are already saying that the Big 12 adding two more schools and restoring the title game is an inevitability. Ugh, weren’t we done with that?

The ironic thing is that the reason the Big 12 title game was so derided when it existed is because it was THE reason the conference kept being denied a spot in the BCS title game. Five times a team went into that game with some chance at playing for the national championship only to see it dashed by that team losing the conference title game.

Nebraska lost to Texas. Kansas State to Texas A&M. Texas to Colorado. Oklahoma to Kansas State. Missouri to Oklahoma.

It happened again and again, and given how loaded a reformed South Division would be for the Big 12 (Texas, Oklahoma, TCU and Baylor all together), it’s sure to happen again should they go back. People are only whining about the current situation because it’s the current situation. If a conference title game wrecks someone’s trip to the playoff just once, expect many of the same pundits to switch tunes and say once again that conference title games are a mistake.

Bottom line is, either situation can create a scenario where one or more schools might get denied a spot in this ridiculous pseudo-playoff system. And if the Big 12 not having a championship game DID influence the selection committee, well, that’s just one more reason, this was a half-assed system they put in place to try and appease the unappeasable that is those that follow college football.

Let’s see what the masses will say should, for example, TCU rides a perfect season to an easy spot in the playoff while Alabama gets denied a spot by Ole Miss upsetting them in the SEC title game in 2015.

There are other reasons why this shouldn’t happen. There’s little doubt the current schools don’t want their share of TV money going down, which would likely happen should they expand.

But there is another part of recent history that many people just keep ignoring as to why turning the Big 12 back into a “superconference” is a bad idea that could lead to the conference’s ruin. And we’ll touch on that next time.


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