The Big 12 announced on Friday that the conference’s football championship game starting in 2017 will be played between the top two teams in the league standings.
The league chose this format over splitting the 10 teams into divisions, which most people were expecting them to do.
“There are a number of advantages to matching our top two teams,” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a statement. “Given our round-robin, nine-game scheduling model, it is expected the Big 12 champion will be uniquely positioned for College Football Playoff consideration. I would argue there will be no path more difficult than our champion’s, where it will have played every team in the Conference, faced at least one Autonomy Conference non-conference opponent, and then plays in our championship game. The guaranteed No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup will be a great game for our fans, and it’s hard to imagine a stronger position for a conference champion.”
The Big 12 co-sponsored the legislation that made it is possible for leagues with less than 12 teams to play a championship game. This will put the conference on par with the rest of the Power 5 when it comes to creating data points for the CFP committee.
The Big 12 is expected to announce where the game will be played in the coming weeks. Kansas City, Arlington and San Antonio are rumored to be the sites being considered.