The Big 12 has data that says they should expand to 12 teams and host a conference title game to improve their chances of making the College Football Playoff.
Expansion news never ends with the Big 12 with the never-ending will they or won’t they add teams to get their league to 12.
The conference is taking its time and doing research to figure out what is the best path moving forward to help the league make sure they are not at a disadvantage with a 10-team league that plays nine conference game but also has no conference championship game.
Well, what every big time corporation does and they bring in consultants. The Big 12 did that and the results do say that the chances to make the College Football Playoff do increase by expanding.
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said data from Navigate Research indicates a football title game improves playoff chances by 4-5 percent.
— Chuck Carlton (@ChuckCarltonDMN) May 2, 2016
Bowlsby: data from the consultant league hired shows having 12 teams w/ an 8-game conference schedule is best league model for reaching CFP
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) May 2, 2016
Bowlsby also said that football championship game, possible expansion and TV network issues are “almost inseparable” in Big 12 discussions.
— Chuck Carlton (@ChuckCarltonDMN) May 2, 2016
An outside group they paid to tell them what basically everyone knows seems a bit silly, but if you have the money go for it, I guess.
Also, the consultant group has some juicy info that likely will not be made public, at least for the time being. There are spring meeting in Phoenix this week with the Big 12 and other leagues, so maybe after those meetings names will be named.
Navigate also has info for Big 12 on potential expansion candidates. Essentially compiling rankings w/ various factors for league to examine
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) May 3, 2016
While this is just one set of numbers, it does indicate that the Big 12’s best interest would be to add a pair of teams, reduce its league schedule and host a title game.
So, what is the hold up?
First off, there is money involved to ensure that the pay does not decrease in per school revenue. We know that will not change in the current deal, but future deals could actually show a decrease in the payout. However, the Big Ten current deal for just half of their rights show there is no slow down in paying for live sports.
The Big 12 is currently contractually obligated by their TV partners on a nine-game conference schedule, but that can be negotiated if dropped to eight. By going to eight but with two more teams would actually increase inventory.
Again, what is the hold up?
The schools actually have to vote on if they want to expand and we know that West Virginia and Oklahoma are pro-expansion, but it obviously takes more than two schools to get expansion to happen.
Per the Cincinnati Enquirer, the league just might have the votes to add teams.
It’s believed seven of the 10 schools favor expansion. But Big 12 bylaws call for a super majority vote of 75 percent (so at least eight schools) to make a major change. Texas is believed to be influencing Texas Tech’s and Texas Christian’s decisions to also be reluctant to expansion.
Texas Tech has long fallen in line with Texas. Both are public universities that have been in the same league together since 1956, when they were in the Southwest Conference. Texas and Texas Tech were founding members of the Big 12 in 1996.
TCU is believed to be following Texas’ lead because the conference’s power broker reportedly helped the Horned Frogs get into the Big 12 four years ago.
It is obvious that Texas rules the Big 12 and to say they are a major influencer to other schools would be an understatement.
If the Longhorns wanted to join the Pac-10 years ago they could have done so and help create the Pac-16, but they wanted to be the king of the conference in the Big 12 which included the formation of the Longhorn Network.
Assuming Texas Tech and TCU are following Texas’ lead — which is not a stretch by any means — it would take that the Longhorns want to add teams to the conference and possibly fold their precious network into a conference-wide channel.
The other option is for Texas Tech and TCU to vote on their own and not hitch their wagon to those in Austin.
In what could have been summed up in a much shorter article could have read that the Big 12’s chances increase with a 12-team league, eight conference games and a title game per a consulting firm, most of the schools wants to expand to 12 teams and Texas still runs the conference and can squash expansion.
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