The consensus line of thinking went that, because the Big 12 doesn’t hold a conference championship game, it very likely cost the league a spot in the inaugural College Football Playoff. A subset of that line of thinking was that the conference did even more damage to its chances by not declaring, ahem, “One True Champion.”
Moving forward, it appears the conference is set to ensure the latter never happens again.
While nothing is official as of yet, commissioner Bob Bowlsby appears fairly confident that his bosses will adopt a tie-breaker procedure that would allow the league to present to the CFP committee, ahem, “One True Champion.” Athletic directors from the conference will meet in Kansas City this Thursday, and Bowlsby believes that what is likely a vast majority of conference members are in favor of declaring one champ when it comes to football.
“We probably don’t want to be different in more than one way than the other conferences.” Bowlsby told Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News. “We need to have some other way to determine a champion.”
As every member of the 10-school Big 12 plays each other in conference play, the tiebreaker would be very straightforward: if two teams are tied for the top spot at the end of the season, the team that won the head-to-head matchup would officially be declared as the conference’s One True Champion. The procedure utilized in the event of a three-way tie wasn’t detailed — here’s what it is currently — although overall record/CFP rankings as well as head-to-head matchups would have to be a part of the equation if the conference’s eyes are on a potential playoff spot.
Last year, Baylor and TCU both finished at 8-1 in conference play and 11-1 overall. Based on Baylor’s 61-58 win over TCU, and if the proposed two-team tiebreaker would’ve been in play, the Bears would’ve been presented to the committee as the conference’s champion.
Whether that would’ve helped BU take the spot awarded to eventual champion Ohio State is an unknown; what is known is that it would’ve given the conference a hell of a lot stronger argument for playoff inclusion than the cop-out that was the naming of co-champions. Well, that and beefing up the pastry-like non-conference portion of the Bears’ schedule.