Carlton: Why Big 12 football coaches aren't thrilled about prospect of championship game in 10-team league
Several Big 12 coaches expressed reservations Tuesday about the possible return of a football title game with the current 10 members.
The Big 12 is expected to debate the potential for the return of a championship game, along with expansion and a conference television network, through its spring meetings beginning in late May in Dallas and possibly continuing into the summer.
"I don't know how a championship game when you're playing everybody would be that positive," Oklahoma's Bob Stoops said during a Big 12 coaches media teleconference Tuesday.
If the Big 12 had a title game last season, the Sooners would have faced Oklahoma State on consecutive weeks.
"I don't know what the interest TV-wise and from the public is for us to line up and play the same team the following week," Stoops said. "With 10 teams, I don't see it being that positive of an option. With 12 teams, it would be, but now you have to expand. And we'll see where that goes."
Stoops wasn't alone. Texas' Charlie Strong, Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy, West Virginia's Dana Holgorsen and TCU's Gary Patterson each backed the current system.
Texas Tech's Kliff Kingsbury and Kansas' David Beaty took a pass on the issue, and Kansas State's Bill Snyder -- long a championship game advocate -- missed the teleconference while attending a funeral.
"I like the way the system is set up now," Strong said.
Patterson defended the Big 12's strength of schedule in relation to other "power five" conferences. The Big 12 is the only power five league with a true round-robin schedule.
"Everybody wants to say you have to have expansion to have a better chance of playing for the national title," Patterson said. "They should try to play everybody every year. That's a tough situation."
The Big 12 title game disappeared after the 2010 season when the conference lost four members and went from 12 schools to 10 during realignment.
The conference commissioned analytics firm Navigate Research to work on the best statistical model for reaching the College Football Playoff. Last month, Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said research showed a title game and 13th data point does provide an advantage, according to the findings.
"It's the first time that we or anybody else has been able to quantify it," Bowlsby said. "But it's pretty clear. Our ADs looked at it, and looked at each other and were like, 'Wow, that's good to know.' It looks like it gives you a better chance even if you lose some."
Key Big 12 dates
May 2-4: Athletic directors, football coaches and basketball coaches meet in Phoenix
May 31-June 3: Spring meetings including athletic directors and the board of directors (presidents and chancellors) in Dallas
July 18-19: Big 12 football media days in Dallas