The Times West Virginian

Sports

November 28, 2012

Snyder still favors Big 12 title game

MANHATTAN, Kan. — Kansas State coach Bill Snyder still believes the Big 12 should ultimately expand to at least 12 teams, creating two divisions and a conference championship game.

Snyder said Tuesday that “there are a number of programs in our conference who have and would profit from that type of system,” pointing out that teams with multiple losses would generate more interest late in the season by still having a chance to play for a championship.

“You walk out here and you walk through the lobby and you see a trophy case here, and if we didn’t have divisions that would probably be a single trophy case,” Snyder said. “We had a chance to play for division championships, and then conference championships, and that was positive.”

The 73-year-old Snyder has seen the Big 12 go through a dramatic series of changes since he took over the once-downtrodden Kansas State program in the late 1980s. When the old Southwest Conference disintegrated, the Big Eight expanded by four teams to become the Big 12, and played a conference title game every year from 1996-2010.

The game has cut both ways for the Wildcats: They were in position to play for a national championship in 1998 before losing to Texas A&M in double-overtime, but managed to win the Big 12 title and earn a Fiesta Bowl berth in 2003 by upsetting then-No. 1 Oklahoma.

The league has undergone even more change the past couple of years, with longtime member Colorado leaving for the Pac-12 and Nebraska heading to the Big Ten, and with Missouri and Texas A&M joining the Southeastern Conference beginning this season.

The league picked up West Virginia and TCU to remain at 10 teams, and locked up broadcast rights to stabilize a league not long ago on the brink of extinction.

The conference realignment merry-go-round has been spinning again in recent weeks. Maryland is leaving the ACC and Rutgers the Big East to establish a 14-team Big Ten, while Tulane announced Tuesday it would join the Big East, with East Carolina joining as a football-only member.

That’s left the Big 12 in a precarious position: Stand pat with 10 teams or expand to 12 or more, thereby re-establishing its lucrative conference championship game.

“You look at the North Division,” Snyder said, referring to the old six-team division of the Big 12. “I would suggest there are probably four schools that profited by that system. It gave teams opportunities. When I first came back, we were 6-6, not a very good team, but the last game of the season we were playing for a division championship. That has some meaning.”

Provides some drama, too.

Rather than playing a single winner-take-all game on Saturday, two games will be played with title implications: TCU plays No. 12 Oklahoma early in the day before the Wildcats finish up the regular season against No. 23 Texas at night.

TCU can essentially make Kansas State’s game irrelevant by beating the Sooners, because the Wildcats would be assured of at least a share of the title and, through tiebreakers, the league’s automatic BCS bowl berth. And if the Sooners and Wildcats both win, they’ll share the trophy.

“I don’t know that K-State’s game is irrelevant. That’s a bit strong,” Kansas State athletic director John Currie told The Associated Press. “I mean, it matters from a national ranking standpoint, from an individual award standpoint. It’s certainly going to matter to the 50,000 people out here, and the University of Texas, where their season is and where it can go.

“I don’t disagree that you can make an argument against that, but the bottom line is we have four teams playing Saturday, in two different games, that determines the conference race.”

Currie said the Big 12’s athletic directors regularly discuss the merits of expanding to 12 or more teams, but at the moment, league officials appear content to remain at 10.

“Certainly coach Snyder has been up front with his perspective, and I don’t disagree with his perspective, and we talk about those types of opportunities,” he said. “Right now, I believe we continue to discuss the landscape of the league and see where it goes.”

Currie said there are undeniable benefits to having fewer teams: more opportunities to play on television, fewer ways to split revenue, and a deeper conference from top to bottom.

The Big 12 already has nine schools that are bowl eligible.

“It’s a tough deal, but our fans, what have they seen? Everybody in the Big 12 can beat everybody, and that’s not the case in other conferences, where there are games that are just completely non-competitive,” Curry said. “There’s no weak sister in the Big 12. Everybody is really good. And who wins at the end for that? Our fans and our television partners.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • EFHS Softball - CB.jpg East can’t overcome No. 7 Lincoln, falls, 4-0

    Thunder clouds weren’t the only thing looming over the East Fairmont (6-6) softball team Monday when the Lady Bees hosed No. 7 Lincoln. Joining the ominous clouds was a sense of urgency for energy that never showed up as Lincoln was able to shut out East Fairmont, 4-0.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gyorko, Padres agree to extension

    Jedd Gyorko, who hasn’t hit much of anything with a .178 start on this season, hit the jackpot on Monday, signing a six-year contract extension with the San Diego Padres for $35 million with a one-year club option at $13 million.

    April 15, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Spring game showed defense has improved

    From Dana Holgorsen’s viewpoint, which was standing right behind the offense, West Virginia’s Gold-Blue Spring Game on Saturday was a rousing success for it showed very little of what the Mountaineers will be in this coming season, probably not even showcasing the man who will direct the offense in the quarterback position.

    April 15, 2014

  • WVU signs guard; Adrian arrested for DUI

    There was something good and something bad for West Virginia men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins this past weekend as Kansas junior college player Tarik Phillip committed to play for the Mountaineers but rising sophomore Nathan Adrian was charged with Under 21 DUI after he was stopped at 1:20 a.m. Sunday for an expired registration sticker.

    April 15, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN- Most plays good, some not so good in Gold-Blue scrimmage

    There appeared to be a fine mixture of plays, most good with some not so good, in last Saturday’s West Virginia University’s Gold-Blue football scrimmage.

    April 15, 2014

  • APTOPIX Masters Golf_time.jpg Bubba wins another green jacket at Augusta

    Bubba Watson’s second Masters title was nothing like the green jacket he won two years ago.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Experience counts on Sunday in the Masters

    There’s a reason no rookie has won the Masters in the 35 years since Fuzzy Zoeller pulled it off.
    And that’s a big reason Bubba Watson is now the proud owner of two green jackets.

    April 14, 2014

  • FSHS #20-UHS  #1, 6-TS.jpg Kesling’s bat powers Polar Bears

    When Fairmont Senior’s Johnny Kesling stepped into the batter’s box this past week, it was game over.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Garrison still proving he can carry the ball

    The running back raves from the West Virginia coaching this spring have been directly mostly toward Wendell Smallwood, and rest assured he earned every one of them with his versatility, but it was a reborn running back who well may have taken the biggest jump up the depth chart.

    April 14, 2014

  • WVU baseball drops seventh straight game

    One’s athletic skills are tested on a daily basis but every so often other aspects of an athlete’s makeup are tested, often far more important aspects in the game of life.

    April 14, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos