The Big 12 has voted unanimously to reintroduce a championship game in football. The change will take effect next season.
With this rule change, the Big 12 could still have nine conference games. In that format, the top two teams would meet at the end of the season in a championship game. In 2014, Baylor and TCU would have met. Last season, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State would have played a rematch just one week after Oklahoma won in Stillwater.
The Big 12 is also considering having two five team divisions. The winner of each division would meet at the end of the season in a championship game, similar to the Big 12 North and South format. It's unclear how the Big 12 would divide the divisions.
Bowlsby: Big 12 will "in all likelihood" go into two five-team divisions.— David Ubben (@davidubben) June 3, 2016
Bowlsby: "We could end up playing just like we're playing now and select our two highest teams."— David Ubben (@davidubben) June 3, 2016
Boren: The analytics on 13th data point helping Big 12 reach the playoff was "very, very convincing."— David Ubben (@davidubben) June 3, 2016
I am a proponent of this change if the league stays with its current schedule. Before the release of the Pepper Hamilton findings of fact, I had an article outlining why a division format was not desirable, but I view the no-division championship differently. In many seasons when the top two teams play in the championship game, the winner will have a strong shot at the playoff. However, with divisions, there will often be a spoiler who wins the weaker division, which could only cost the Big 12 a spot in the playoff. At some point, we'll have a longer article looking at the changes, but my first reaction is in support of the move. The league guarantees additional revenue with the game, and makes sure the "13th data point" argument is gone.
Boren says annual average value of football title game is estimated at $27-$28 million.— Chuck Carlton (@ChuckCarltonDMN) June 3, 2016