Based on the 2014 football season, it’s pretty clear that, if the Big 12 is going to become an annual player in a four-team college football playoff, two members need to be added to the conference to bring about a championship game. The committee obviously didn’t want any part of deciding the TCU-Baylor debate.
Even though Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby has spoken out against expansion, adding two teams seems to be an easy decision for most. However, the logistics are anything but.
First, there aren’t really any big name Division I schools available. The conference whiffed when Louisville was looking (and wanted in), which would have fit nicely with West Virginia’s addition.
Second, the programs that can be considered should be geographically vetted. Houston would seem to be a good fit, except for the glut of Texas teams already in the conference, but with West Virginia, it would make sense to favor more “Easterly” based schools. There are a couple of Florida programs to consider, however USF and UCF are a pretty good hike, even for the Mountaineers. Cincinnati would be alright, but who else do you bring along? Northern Illinois has been mentioned.
In the end though, would it matter drastically who joined as long as it resulted in a championship game?
Third, it might not need to happen after all, and this might be the most important consideration.
The new college football playoff was a wild success. I’ve said from day one that it won’t last long at four teams. Ideally, eight would be the perfect number, and it will likely expand to at least eight pretty quickly. Three extra games if you want to be the champs. Not much of a deal for the programs traditionally involved in this annual battle. Had the field been 8 teams in 2014, TCU and Baylor get in no problem, and the need for a Big 12 championship game goes “poof.”
After that, all we need to worry about is what the hell to call the Big 12…
– Cover Photo: Bob Bowlsby | Kevin Jairaj – USA TODAY Sports