The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

May 17, 2012

HERTZEL COLUMN: Work never done for Big 12 boss

(Continued)

MORGANTOWN —

They would bring with them, too, a piece of Florida … a football-made state packed with potential television viewers and nice place for school fans and administrators to grab a quickie football season vacation.
In truth, at first glance, there seems to be few drawbacks to Florida State’s arrival, should the factions at the school pushing an exit from the ACC win out.
But there are numerous reasons to approach this with caution, if you are the Big 12.
To begin with, Bowlsby is not in favor of expansion at this time, telling USA Today that “college athletics would be well served by some period of smooth water and not all of the angst and disorganization that goes with moves from one league to another.”
But, knowing that the television take would grow significantly by adding such a commodity as FSU and another ACC team, he understands it can’t be ignored.
“I think the topic of expansion will be on every agenda going forward. But it’s on every other conference’s agenda going forward, too,” Bowlsby said in the USA Today story.
So why the caution?
The Big 12 is currently in a very comfortable situation. With a 10-team conference it can play a nine-game league schedule that produces a true champion, one that has played every other school in the league.
What’s more, without a title game, should it produce an undefeated regular-season champ, maybe even a No. 1 team, it doesn’t risk the prestige that comes from that by possibly being beaten in a conference championship game.
In basketball, too, a 10-team conference allows a true round-robin schedule where 18 games are played, a home-and-home pair of games against each conference opponent.
Adding to the intrigue is the political undercurrent that always exists in Big 12 decisions and that is that Texas stands against expansion and Oklahoma in favor of it … the two big dogs fighting over almost every bone that is put out before them.

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