Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said Monday that the conference won't add schools just for the purpose of being able to hold a championship game.
The Big 12 cannot hold a conference championship game because it only has 10 member schools, and NCAA by-laws mandate that a conference must have at least 12 schools to do so. The lack of a Big 12 conference championship game -- as well as inferior non-conference schedules -- has been widely cited as a factor that contributed to keeping both Baylor and TCU out of the inaugural College Football Playoff.
Baylor finished No. 5 and will face No. 8 Michigan State in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic on New Year's Day. TCU finished No. 6 in the rankings and will face No. 9 Ole Miss in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl on Dec. 31. Baylor beat TCU 61-58 on Oct. 11 after erasing a 21-point deficit in the final 11 minutes.
Without a conference championship game, Baylor and TCU were deemed co-champions after their final regular-season games. Entering the season's final weekend, Bowlsby had said he wouldn't pick one conference champion even if Baylor and TCU ended up 11-1, as they ultimately did.
Yet, appearing on the Dan Patrick Show on Monday, Bowlsby said if he were part of the College Football Playoff committee, he would've voted TCU and not Baylor for the fourth playoff spot.
"The only reason I say this is anything between our two schools -- they had a better chance of staying in [the final four],” Bowlsby said. “It seemed like they were better positioned to have a chance to stay there.”
Asked why the conference named Baylor and TCU co-champions, Bowlsby said, "That has been our rule and it’s not something we can change during the season."
- Mike Fiammetta