DALLAS — Even as the Big 12 remains in a holding pattern, Commissioner Bob Bowlsby estimates a football conference championship game would generate $20 million and $30 million.
With membership at 10 teams, the league currently falls short of the NCAA’s championship game minimums of 12 teams and two six-team divisions. But that NCAA rule is likely to be deregulated soon, opening possibilities for the Big 12 to relaunch its championship game—or to do so after adding only an 11th member.
Asked how quickly the Big 12 could ramp up a title game, Bowlsby said it could be done inside of a year, meaning it could be in play for the 2016 season.
“We have a pretty good template for doing it,” he said.
As for expansion, Bowlsby admitted the pool of qualified programs is limited, though he joked that many schools “suggest they’re good candidates.”
In light of Oklahoma president David Boren’s summertime comments regarding the league’s need to grow, Bowlsby guessed that 50 percent of the Big 12’s presidents and athletics directors strongly favor expansion, while the other half seems satisfied with 10 schools.
The grab for television dollars lies at the center of expansion negotiations, though standard network and cable-delivery platforms might soon to be outdated.
Bowlsby joked that if the next five years of technological leaps match the previous five, “we might be watching the Super Bowl on the inside of our eyelids.”