OKLAHOMA CITY - The Big 12 wants the option to play a conference championship football game with only 10 members. That doesn't mean it will.
Speaking at a function for Oklahoma State's Spears School of Business, Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said it doesn't make good business sense right now for the Big 12 to have a championship game.
"Take a look at the attendance on the conference championship games this year and take a look at the TV ratings,'' Bowlsby said. "They aren't the kind of things that are going to invite you to take that up as a new business proposition.''
Bowlsby said late last month the league will seek permission from the NCAA to be able to hold a title game with 10 teams. Current NCAA rules require leagues to have at least 12 members to hold a football title game.
Bowlsby said Wednesday that proposal is intended to deregulate how conferences are allowed to determine a champion.
"If that includes a playoff between two high-ranked teams, that's fine,'' Bowlsby said. "If it requires a playoff between the winners of two divisions, that's fine. But it shouldn't have to be two six-team divisions. It could be two five-team divisions. It just seems like an obvious place where deregulation makes a lot of sense.''
The Big 12 hasn't had a title game the past two seasons. This past season, Kansas State and Oklahoma were co-champions, though K-State earned the league's BCS bid by beating Oklahoma head-to-head to break the tie.
Bowlsby also addressed the topic of football scheduling. Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said last week that Big Ten schools had agreed to no longer schedule FCS teams in the future. Big 12 schools have made no such agreement, although Bowlsby said he's discussed the issue of beefing up football (and basketball) schedules with league presidents and athletic directors.
With the new four-team playoff to decide the national championship coming in 2014, Bowlsby said it would behoove Big 12 schools to play stronger nonconference opponents.