Big 12 commish says league feels good at 10 teams
GRAPEVINE, Texas (AP) -- Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby says the 10-team league feels good about where it is right now while still keeping an eye on what is happening with other conferences across the country.
"We continue to watch the landscape," Bowlsby said Wednesday at the NCAA convention. "Until we're persuaded that larger is better, we feel pretty good about right where we are."
The league's athletic directors have a regular meeting later this month in Dallas. Bowlsby said part of their discussions will include the advantages of staying with their membership, plus the advantages and disadvantages of possibly adding to that.
"If you get bigger, do you have to get to 16? Do you get all the benefits at 14? Do you get them at 12?" Bowlsby said. "I just think there's a real shortage of empirical evidence that can guide our decisions."
But what if it became evident that the league needed to try to add schools?
"We could be proactive," Bowlsby said. "I think there are some ways we could."
Bowlsby, who became the Big 12 commissioner last May, didn't elaborate on how.
The Big 12 has undergone significant changes to get to its 10-team configuration.
Nebraska and Colorado reduced the league from 12 members when they left after the 2010-11 school year. When Texas A&M and Missouri officially became SEC members last summer, they were replaced by TCU and West Virginia.
In September, the Big 12 announced a new $2.6 billion, 13-year deal with ESPN and Fox Sports. That agreement also allows the Big 12 to retain the media rights and accompanying revenue of any school that leaves the conference.
Another possible topic when the Big 12 ADs meet will be to determine if there would be the desire for the league to have a championship game again in football - "We haven't talked much about it," Bowlsby said.
NCAA rules allow only leagues with at least 12 teams to have championship games, but that could change.
"In a period of deregulation, does it make sense that the association is describing the manner in which we create our champion?" Bowlsby said, adding it wasn't his league that initially asked for reconsideration of that rule.
"There was some thought the reason they were asking is because we want to play a 13th regular-season game, which is not accurate," he said. "We don't have any intention of doing that."