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The Big Ten is blocking the Big 12's championship game effort, could spark new conference realignment

This effort ran into some trouble.

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Big 12 has been hoping to get championship game rules deregulated, allowing it to add a championship game even with only 10 members and no divisions. However, thanks to a last-minute amendment filed by the Big Ten, the deregulation effort could fail, as commissioner Bob Bowlsby told ESPN:

"We're trying to work our way through it, but I'm less certain of the outcome than I was before," Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby told on Sunday, just hours after Oklahoma slid into the College Football Playoff at No. 4. "We don't think we ought to be forced into adding schools in order to have a championship game, but it could end up that way."

This is an unexpected development after the deregulation effort looked like a sure thing. If the Big Ten succeeds in blocking the Big 12's efforts, then conferences will need to have two divisions to have a conference championship game. Bowlsby said the Big 12 doesn't want to have two five-team divisions.

"We don't want to play two five-team divisions then have the potential of everyone else has the two best teams in one division," Bowlsby said. "We don't think we ought to be forced into that sort of thing."

Since the Big 12 does want a conference championship game, this could spark a new round of conference realignment. The Big 12 will need to add two members if it wants to have a championship game without deregulation, meaning some Group of Five teams have renewed hope for a power conference invite. However, any talk of conference realignment at this point is preliminary.


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