A unique situation and problem manifested itself with the inception of the College Football Playoff. Witnessing the Ohio State Buckeyes take the final spot over the Baylor Bears or the TCU Horned Frogs, many assumed the lack of a league championship game was to blame.
Sitting on the onside looking in, the Big XII set forth a motion to reinstate a Conference Championship Game despite having 10 teams. The number fell two short of NCAA regulations and in January of this year, the motion passed. Although this does not mean the Big XII will automatically being hosting a title game, the option is firmly on the table.
However, the argument lost much of the steam in my opinion as the Oklahoma Sooners earned a bid in the second year of the CFP without playing a thirteenth game. Of course, this occurred before a vote granted the conference the ability to host a title game. Yet, a simulation run by the powers that be presented data detailing out the most likely scenario in which a Big XII team makes the playoff. Any guess as to what the simulations presented? Of course! By playing in a conference championship game.
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said data from Navigate Research indicates a football title game improves playoff chances by 4-5 percent.— Chuck Carlton (@ChuckCarltonDMN) May 2, 2016
Once again, here we sit staring at the possibility of conference realignment.
The Cincinnati area offers a handful of desirable aspects including a sizable market along with numerous viewers. Stacking up in terms of enrollment as well as academics with the current Big XII members, this seems like a no brainer. Throw in the fact that the Bearcats have actively labeled themselves as available, they do offer a bridge out to West Virginia connecting the midwest with the northeast.