As LetsGoDU reported recently, all the FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) members are meeting this week to address a Big 10 proposal (they are at it again!) for football members that would require each conference to have divisions and a division playoff in order to qualify for consideration for participation in national championship playoffs. This would require the Big 12 to expand from the current 10 teams to 12 teams, create divisions, and have a championship game to meet these requirements. If the legislation is passed this week, it is widely expected that that the Big 12 would add the University of Cincinnati and BYU. BYU is currently an independent in football and in the West Coast Conference for other sports, a potential landing spot for DU athletics.
According to SB Nation, a compromise has been worked behind the scenes to eliminate the divisional requirement, as long as there is a playoff between the top two teams in each conference. So, according to the article, “it is ‘likely’ that the Big Ten proposal will be amended to allow for a conference with round-robin scheduling to hold a football championship of its own, so long as that conference’s top two seeds compete in the game.”
That does not necessarily eliminate expansion for the Big 12 but it does not require it over the short-term. However, expansion for the Big 12 makes sense in the event a team(s) elects to leave the conference or simply, to expand the reach of the conference. Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas have been rumored at different times over the years for other conferences. However, all conference members signed a poison pill penalty that would be payable should a member elect to leave the Big 12. This penalty was agreed by all Big 12 conference members several years ago when there was a risk that the Big 12 would implode after Nebraska and Colorado exited the conference.
This proposal should be finalized this week.