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The Big 12 might split into 2 divisions. Here's one OK proposal and some dumb ones.

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Something like idea No. 2 is the tolerable one.

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Hi, the Big 12 is re-adding a conference championship despite having 10 teams who all already play each other.

Some 12- and 14-team conferences wind up with rematches in their title games, but those are far from guaranteed. The Big 12 is all about new things.

The reason for such a thing? It's complicated and involves many technical aspects, some of which are difficult to understand without a nuanced analysis. This is perhaps the most thorough explanation, complex as it is:

Thanks!

The conference is also talking about splitting its 10 teams into two divisions. [Update: On July 18, commissioner Bob Bowlsby said he supports such a thing.] The alternative would be to just use the two teams with the best conference records, who definitely already played each other, as noted. If there was a tie, the Big 12 could just fall back on its tiebreakers. It has those now!

All the teams already play each other (ICYMI), so I can only think of one very specific reason for doing divisions, which we'll get into below. Let's try to solve this bizarre problem.

1. Strict geography

Going strict North and South gives us a group that wants to stay and a group that's often rumored to be headed elsewhere.

Big 12 North Pac-16 Southeast
Iowa State Baylor
Kansas Oklahoma
Kansas State TCU
Oklahoma State Texas
West Virginia Texas Tech

Hmmm. North and South didn't work too well before. Let's try East and West.

Big East SEC West West
Iowa State Baylor
Kansas Oklahoma
Kansas State TCU
Oklahoma State Texas
West Virginia Texas Tech

Ah. That's the same.

2. A modified version of that, to avoid a specific rematch

Something like this is a relatively fine idea.

Big 12 North Texas and West Virginia
Iowa State Baylor
Kansas TCU
Kansas State Texas
Oklahoma Texas Tech
Oklahoma State West Virginia

Last year, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State decided the conference title in their annual season-closing rivalry. With a conference title game, they could've met again one week later to do the same thing all over again.

Putting them in the same division would help ensure the guaranteed rematch isn't of a matchup that happened seven days prior. And it doesn't really matter which division WVU is in, since it's a mighty voyage away from every other team in the conference anyway.

The Big 12's other major rivalries would either be contained within divisions or earlier in the year (the Sooners and Longhorns play every October).

Note: the good idea involves lumping these two states together:

3. Let's scrap geography. If they're all playing each other (they are), that doesn't really matter much anyway.

I looked at each team's average SRS rating since joining the conference, and split them up evenly according to that. Any tweaks you'd make here for total parity? Is this idea actually the fine idea?

Big 12 A Big 12 B
Baylor Kansas
Iowa State TCU
Kansas State Texas
Oklahoma Texas Tech
Oklahoma State West Virginia

Interlude: If the Big 12 does divisions, one logical plan (just add a protected cross-division rivalry for nine games a year) includes Iowa State-Kansas twice a year

4. But does each division have its own identity?

Well ...

Football Basketball
Baylor Kansas
Kansas State Iowa State?
Oklahoma
Oklahoma State
TCU
Texas
Texas Tech
West Virginia

... there are a few ways to try for that ...

Whataburger Burnt Ends Tudor's Corn
Baylor Kansas West Virginia Iowa State
Oklahoma Kansas State
Oklahoma State
TCU
Texas
Texas Tech

... but I feel like we're dancing around the right answer here.

5. Whatever. I know. Just do it.

Texas Texas' Associates
Texas Baylor
Iowa State
Kansas
Kansas State
Oklahoma
Oklahoma State
TCU
Texas Tech
West Virginia

Yep.

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