clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Big 12 has a Baylor-TCU mess. Let's fix it by expanding to 12 teams RIGHT NOW

New, comments

Potential co-champions Baylor and TCU could hurt each other's Playoff cases by not playing in a league title game. The only solution is to do something ridiculous and against all the rules.

TCU ranks No. 4 in this week's new College Football Playoff top 25. Baylor ranks No. 7. This is despite Baylor beating TCU earlier in the year, with the divide due to the Frogs' superior out-of-conference schedule and better loss -- TCU beat a decent Minnesota and lost to a top-10 team, while Baylor beat nobody in particular and lost to four-loss West Virginia.

As the debate rages, the Big 12 stepped forward to offer no clarity at all. If each finishes the season 11-1, as is becoming likely-ish, the conference will award Baylor the #OneTrueChampion stamp, but TCU will also officially be a champion. The Playoff committee would be under no obligation to give either preference, though Baylor's head-to-head win would gain importance if the Bears beat current No. 13 Kansas State.

This would all be moot if the 10-team Big 12 was like every other power conference and had a season-ending conference title game. If Baylor and TCU played in the same division, an 11-1 Baylor would represent that division. If they were on opposite sides, they'd get a rematch, and the winner would advance.

But NCAA rules forbid leagues with fewer than 12 teams from having championships. While we stare down a scenario that could encourage the Big 12 to expand in the future (something it regularly denies it wants to do), the possibility of an elite power conference having an 11-1 champ (even if it's one of two 11-1 champs) locked out of the Playoff requires drastic measures.

The Big 12 must expand to 12 teams immediately, as in before Saturday, even though that is completely impossible for like 900 different reasons. Listen. They said landing on the moon was impossible, and we did that even without rockets powered by Trevone Boykin's legs.

Expanding during a season would be super against NCAA rules.

Where's your Southwest Conference spirit? We're adding two teams to accommodate The Man. We're not gonna bend over backwards to do everything by the book, here.

Any totally impossible additions would have to rework their schedules.

We'll just rearrange things so that they can play Kansas and Iowa State a few times. Nothing better going on for those two.

Who gets the absolutely inconceivable invites?

The smart thing would be to add Cincinnati, a consistent program and an east-of-the-Mississippi rival for West Virginia. This would mean expanding before Thursday, since Cincy has a game scheduled. That's fine. And maybe we add UCF to open up Florida recruiting or a moneymaker like BYU.

NAH. Let's just go with the silliest idea and give the Big 12 the two best mid-majors right now: Marshall and Colorado State. That would give WVU an even better rival! And lock down the state of West Virginia's media markets forever! And replace Colorado, which left a few years ago for the Pac-12, with an even better version of Colorado!

We'll immediately split into divisions as follows:

South Conference record Overall record North Conference record Overall record
Baylor 5-1 8-1 Kansas State 5-1 7-2
TCU 5-1 8-1 West Virginia 4-3 6-4
Texas 4-3 5-5 Kansas 1-5 3-6
Oklahoma 3-3 6-3 Marshall 0-0 9-0
Oklahoma State 3-3 5-4 Colorado State 0-0 9-1
Texas Tech 1-5 3-6 Iowa State 0-6 2-7

That would likely set up Baylor and Kansas State playing two weeks in a row, but that's fine. Whatever it takes to award #OneTrueChampion is what we'll do.