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Big 12 vs The World

Big 12 Expansion Could Improve Playoff Chances By 10-15 Percent

40,000 simulations say that conference expansion would boost the Big 12’s Playoff hopes 10-15%

Getty Images - Peter G Aiken

Ten to fifteen percent. That’s how much the Big 12’s chances at making the College Football Playoff would increase should the conference expand to 12 or more teams. That is, according to Navigate Research.

While 10-15% may not seem like a whole heck of a lot, it is significantly higher than the 4-5% Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby quoted to the press yesterday. According to CBS, that figure only included the addition of a conference championship game, though.

Navigate was hired by the Big 12 to provide analytics so that the conference could best position themselves for the future. Somehow they were able to quantify the unquantifiable by running 40,000 simulations while accounting for things like scheduling, different potential members, size of conference, a championship game and more.

How Navigate’s report will affect the conference’s will to remain at 10 teams is yet to be seen.  However, it should turn some heads at the very least.

“This will probably persuade some people one way or the other,” Bowlsby told the press yesterday

Whatever the conference’s decision may be, Bowlsby doesn’t want the issue to linger.

“The good news is the last time we added members we didn’t have the same urgency,” Bowlsby said. “I just think we need to act expediently.”

The conference might want to act right away, but the decision isn’t that easy. Regardless of whom to add, there’s other concerns like an eight or nine game conference schedule and whether or not it makes sense financially. On the later, the conference might be between a rock and a hard place.

“If we do nothing, we’ll fall behind the SEC and the Big Ten in terms of [revenue],” Bowlsby said. “We may be every bit as competitive as we are today, but we’ll fall behind financially.”

However, adding two additional teams would also lesson everyone’s slice of the current TV contracts’ pie. While the conference would earn more overall, each member would receive less than they do now. Are Big 12 members willing to take a financial hit for long-term stability? Especially, when the Big Ten just inked a blockbuster new deal, and they are already behind what SEC members are pulling in?

The next couple of months should be fun.

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