Big 12 Expansion, Football Championship Game Discussions Progressing SlowlyBy Russell Westerholm, UniversityHerald Reporter
The lack of any major news coming out of the Big 12's annual meetings have some speculating the conference will once again decide to keep everything the way it is.
With football still reigning supreme in the Big 12, the two major topics the conference's leadership was supposed to discuss last week in Irving, Texas were expansion and a conference championship game. The NCAA Division I Council even paved the way for the Big 12 to implement a title game without adding two more teams.
University of Oklahoma President David Boren was among the loudest voices calling for this kind of shakeup, ESPN noted, but it seems all that did change last week was the Big 12's policy on such public remarks.
The Big 12 leadership reportedly agreed on a "unanimity" policy in which member schools' representatives would defer to commissioner Bob Bowlsby on these highly divisive matters. Following the Council's decision on conference title game requirements, Bowlsby only stated there would be a dialogue, but has not been committal either way.
Kirk Schulz, Kansas State University's president, did at least indicate discussions about these issues are not dead for the Big 12, ESPN reported.
"At some particular point, sort of like a family argument, is it better to do it in Applebee's or is it better to do it at home?" the Big 12 board chairman said. "I think we're at a point that we decided that when we have the family argument, we're going to do it at home with the door shut."
As USA Today noted, the Big 12 seems fine being complacent for the time being.
"We've got the No. 1 basketball league in the country," Bowlsby stated. "We had a team in the College Football Playoff. We had a team in the national championship game in volleyball."
But the Big 12's football problems are not dissolving. By 247 Sports' composite ranking, Texas had the best recruiting class in the cycle that just ended, finishing 11th overall thanks to a Herculean National Signing Day effort by coach Charlie Strong and his staff.
The conference's most recent champions (or co-champions), Baylor finished 17th, Oklahoma 20th, and TCU 23rd.
"We're doing a deep dive on all this stuff," Bowlsby said. "We're intent on making very intelligent, meaningful, reliable decisions."