Big 12 boss seeks se­lec­tion clar­ity

The Denver Post - - SPORTS -

Big 12 com­mis­sioner Bob Bowlsby would like some clar­ity from Col­lege Foot­ball Play­off of­fi­cials on the im­por­tance of con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship games and strength of sched­ule, he said Sun­day af­ter the se­lec­tion com­mit­tee gave Ohio State (11-1) the No. 3 seed for the na­tional semi­fi­nals de­spite the Buck­eyes not win­ning the Big Ten’s East Di­vi­sion or their con­fer­ence ti­tle.

“Ob­vi­ously I ac­knowl­edge the dif­fi­culty of the task, but I’m not sure what I ad­vise my mem­bers right now, be­cause we’ve been telling them that non­con­fer­ence sched­ules mat­ter, and one of the four (semi­fi­nal­ists) has an ex­ceed­ingly weak non­con­fer­ence sched­ule,” Bowlsby said, re­fer­ring to No. 4 seed Wash­ing­ton, which has wins over Rut­gers, Idaho and FCS mem­ber Port­land State. “And we’ve been telling them the 13th data point mat­ters, and we added a con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship game (next year) be­cause of that. We’ve al­ways heard that con­fer­ence cham­pi­onships mat­ter and di­vi­sion cham­pi­onships mat­ter, and now it’s con­fus­ing.”

Bowlsby added: “I’ll have some ques­tions to ask when the time is right.”

In 2014, af­ter Big 12 mem­ber TCU dropped from No. 3 to No. 6 in the fi­nal rank­ings for the first year of the play­off, the Big 12 went through more than a year of dis­cus­sions and de­bates and even hired data con­sul­tants to help de­ter­mine whether it needed to add a con­fer­ence ti­tle game to best po­si­tion the league for the play­off. The Big 12 de­cided in June to bring back its ti­tle game in 2017 and an­nounced in Oc­to­ber that the game would match the league’s top-two teams against each other in­stead of go­ing to di­vi­sions.

At that time, Bowlsby said: “Given our round-robin, nine-game sched­ul­ing model, it’s ex­pected the Big 12 cham­pion will be uniquely po­si­tioned for Col­lege Foot­ball Play­off con­sid­er­a­tion.” Now he’s not so sure.

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