Big 12 readies for return of football title game


Bob Bowlsby said Monday he soon expects to sign a contract extension to remain Big 12 commissioner through 2025.

Most glaringly, the Big 12 must fare much better in non-league play to increase the likelihood that its title game matches teams with playoff-worthy resumes. And this year the season will end on the Cowboys' playing field at AT&T Stadium with the return of the Big 12 Championship Game for the first time in seven years. The Sooners were part of the playoff in 2015, the league's only team so far to make it under the new format. For the first time since Oklahoma toppled Nebraska to win the 2010 Big XII, the conference is set to send two teams to a 13th game and the conference favorite is used to the spotlight. That is the perception some have of Big 12 football right now.

The Big 12 is in the middle of its two media days this evening. We had anticipated that we might, at some point, add a championship game.

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"I think he feels very good about the timing of moving away from the game, and I think he feels very good about Lincoln Riley coming in as his successor", Bowlsby said.

Data indicates "about 70 percent of the Division 1 football prospects make their decision before the 1st of October and really would like to get the recruitment process over", said Commissioner Bowlsby, but "there's still more to be done". Patterson also says he believes the playoff should be expanded from four teams to eight.

Still, Bowlsby is committed to the league's approach, saying that matching up the two best teams "gives us the best springboard" to ultimately emerge with a playoff berth.

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"One of the last teams we had at Iowa when I was there, we didn't have anybody on the team that was four-star recruits, but it's Chad Greenway who's recruited by South Dakota and Iowa and plays 13 years in the NFL; it's Bob Sanders, who was recruited by Kentucky State and Iowa and was the defensive player of the year in the National Football League".

Storylines abound. What's more, the conference title game is expected to bring each school $2 to $3 million in additional revenue. "I think we play at an exceedingly high level, and I think over the 12 years of the playoff, you'll see Big 12 teams in there". "I think it's an easy target, and I think it's a perception, not a reality". "It's about winning national championships".

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