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Leaving Room for the Imagination is Part of What Makes the Big 12 Great

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There’s been much chatter over the last few weeks about a revamped Big 12. I think the entire thing is pretty silly and really enjoy the Big 12 as it is. My reasons for that are myriad, but I did think of a final one.

Max Olson of ESPN wrote recently on why a Big 12 title game (that the Big 12 is currently lobbying the NCAA to receive a waiver for) might not help the conference. Or, how it hasn’t in years gone by.

It was an interesting (and smart) post. Following the leader doesn’t always get you where you want to go. Here’s how Olson ended it.

The Big 12 title game featured a team with a shot at playing for the national title 11 times. Those teams went 6-5. But based on these results, we do know a Big 12 championship game can hurt the conference almost as often as it helps.

What I thought of when he wrote that is how adamant everyone is about how much a 13th game helps you in the eyes of the CFP committee. Maybe it does, but isn’t the unknown quantity often more tantalizing than what’s been laid bare before you?

I mean, isn’t that the entire premise behind why every college football fan is excited about the 2015 season right now?

When another member of the CFP committee noted recently that he would be adhering to the “eye test” (™ Kirk Herbstreit), it made me wonder if a 13th game actually wouldn’t be more helpful.[1. Again, the real issue here is that nontraditional teams (i.e Baylor, OSU and TCU) are winning the conference.]

When great teams play each other (take the Big 10 title game for example), you sort of know what you have there after the game is over. Maybe the Big 10 title game is a terrible example. But let’s say it was Texas (and not Baylor) last year that was 11-1 and scoring more than DiCaprio late in the season. Let’s say Texas ended the season with three pretty mediocre teams like OSU, Texas Tech and Kansas State and scored 140 points on them.

At that point, how easy would it be for the committee to say “man, Texas can play some ball, how much fun would it be to pit them against Oregon and see what would happen?”

Maybe I’m wrong in that, but it would sure be easier for me to do that with a Texas team that banged out 140 points over its final 12 quarters than if it’d just struggled to a 12-7 Big 12 title win over TCU (or whoever). And the more folks continue to go with the eye test, the more true this becomes.

Nobody will ever be able to get inside the minds of the committee members, and maybe I’m completely off on this one, but it seems like you want to zig when others are zagging and, as a fan of the Big 12, pray that the Florida States and Ohio States of the world bite off more than they can chew in early December.

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