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Bob Bowlsby on Big 12

(Sports Day
FRISCO -- The Big 12's national reputation has taken a bit of a hit over the past few years. The criticisms usually circle back around to the conference's defenses and the fact it is the only Power Five conference to miss the College Football Playoff in two of the first three seasons. Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby admitted he gets tired of hearing that same criticism year-in and year-out. "It gets a little tiresome because I know we play at a very high level," Bowlsby said, "and I know that top to bottom we're the best in the country in terms of balance. 

 "I think we've got a tremendous balance of quality veterans and quality new guys. I think it's an easy target, and I think it's a perception, not a reality. 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. But make no mistake. It's not about making the playoff. It's about winning national championships. That's what we want to do." 

One thing the Big 12 has done to help its playoff case in December is reintroduce the Big 12 championship game, which will be played at AT&T Stadium this year. Unlike other conferences in which the winners of two divisions face in the championship game, the Big 12's will feature the two teams with the best conference records. 

Given the conference's round-robin format, it sets up a chance that a team that lost to another during the regular season beats that team in the championship game. 

"I think it's important that our best teams are the two that contest the championship game. That gives us the best springboard. Is there a possibility that a different team would win? Yeah, there sure is," Bowlsby allowed. "There are a number of tiebreak situations where you could find yourself with a great matchup, you could find yourself with a less compelling matchup. But generally speaking, playing a full round robin and having our two best teams play each other on the last day of the season is a good thing and a right way to conduct our championship."

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