Bowlsby feels good about Big 12 despite negative perceptions

Big 12 Conference bolstering its financial viability

The Big 12 ended this past season with three teams in the final AP poll, and went 4-2 in the postseason, but Bowlsby said he is still surprised to see that the public perception of the conference not quite where he would like for it to be.

There has been argument about the game knocking out a potential national title contender. That game, Bowlsby and the 10 schools hope, will provide the extra boost for the conference to help push the league's best team into the playoff system.

Bowlsby says he feels good about what the Big 12 is doing and he defended the league against negative perceptions. And this year the season will end on the Cowboys' playing field at AT&T Stadium with the return of the Big 12 Championship Game for the first time in seven years. As a whole, no team from the league last season beat a nonconference team that finished in the top 25.

Pivoting back to that shiny new 13 data point, Bowlsby said the decision to revive the Big 12 title game was "made 100 percent on our ability to optimize the likelihood of getting a team into the CFP".

Coaches from TCU, Kansas, Texas Tech, Iowa State, and Oklahoma spoke on day one.

Bowlsby has been Big 12 commissioner since 2012. Scheduling them is easy.

Another scenario the Big 12 needs to confront is that its competitive balance could backfire.

More important, in Bowlsby's eyes, is having the two best teams during the regular season going to Arlington to face each other in December.

But it's clear there is no formula that guarantees a berth.

"What you may not remember is that the Big 12 was first in scoring defense in the postseason previous year, first among all conferences in scoring defense", he said Monday.

In the three years since the creation of the College Football Playoff, the Big 12 has had just once participant - Oklahoma - that coming during year two of the playoffs in 2015. "And he had tremendous football teams and tremendous football players", Bowlsby said. It was a move to maximize the league's chances of landing a team in the CFP.

"We had heard from the [College Football Playoff] Selection Committee that the fact that we didn't have that 13th data point, the championship game, hurt us", Bowlsby said on Monday in Dallas to kick off Big 12 media days in Frisco, Texas. "Obviously, that's the coin of the realm".

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