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Big 12 Will Consider Conference Championship Game, Expansion At Annual Meeting


The Big 12's members are gearing up for an annual meeting that could possibly lay the groundwork for the conference's immediate and distant future.

According to ESPN, the subject of this year's Big 12 meetings in Irvine, Texas later this week will be making major decisions that will not only change the conference's identity, but also alter its future. But whereas the conference has baulked at major decision before, that may not be the case this time.

David Boren, the president of the University of Oklahoma, told The Tulsa World earlier this month he wants the Sooners to shake its perceived "little brother" status. He also stated he wants to see a "comprehensive reform" take place, one involving more than just the implementation of a conference title game.

"I'm hoping that the idea of the playoff (championship) game will not be considered in isolation," Boren told the newspaper. "I hope it will be part of a comprehensive reform of the conference. I really think this is an opportunity to do that."

Earlier this month, the NCAA Division I Council passed a proposal allowing conferences to have a title game with 10 members, as the rule previously required 12. Despite its name, the Big 12 has 10 members, and was pleased to have the option of not having to expand to have a title game.

However, adding two teams will probably be part of the Big 12's meetings this week. ESPN's Jake Trotter pointed out West Virginia President Gordon Gee has publicly supported expansion for the Big 12.

In the College Football Playoff era, now two years in, the Big 12 has shown signs of falling behind. In the first year, it was left out of the playoff and the lack of a conference championship game appeared to be a factor. Now in this year's recruiting cycle, Big 12 members' incoming classes are not stacking up.

By 247 Sports' composite rankings, Baylor has the highest rated class at 15th overall, followed by TCU 19th, Oklahoma 22nd, and Texas 33rd.

"There are plenty of reasons the Big 12 is having its butt handed to it in recruiting," Mike Farrell, national recruiting director for, told The Dallas Morning News. "It all started with the decline of Texas and conference realignment. Those two hurt the Big 12."

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