Big 12 Championship Game is the right answer for all teams

LAWRENCE, KS - NOVEMBER 21: Wendell Smallwood
LAWRENCE, KS - NOVEMBER 21: Wendell Smallwood /

There is a first time for everything and West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen feels the Big 12 Conference got it right.

It took some time, but by developing a conference title game to be played at the end of the year, the Big 12 is right on par with the rest of the Power 5 conferences. Playing a championship game may or may not help a certain team’s chances of making it into the College Football Playoff, but the payoff could be great.

The landscape of postseason college football has always been highlighted by a litany of bowl games. There are more than ever before, but there has been a weird importance and non-importance placed on New Years Day games.

Now, the hottest thing is Championship Saturday. The conference championship games highlight this slate of games on a Saturday in early December. The Big 12 will get a piece of that pie for the first time this season.

Dana Holgorsen who has been around the Big 12 even longer than his six-year tenure with the WVU football team, has seen how every team in the league is affected by postseason potential. He feels that the Big 12 Championship Game is the right answer for all teams.

Holgorsen addressed the topic during his weekly teleconference with reporters. highlighted Holgorsen’s comments to reflect his positive assessment of the first-year Big 12 title game.

"“I think it’s very positive that the Big 12 is having a championship game and I feel like we’ve needed one since I’ve been in the league the last five years,” he said. “That Championship Saturday needs to be a championship game. That’s positive and I think it’s going to be really good for the conference to have their best two teams playing that Saturday, and the guaranteed two best teams playing that Saturday.”"

Having the Big 12 Championship Game isn’t so much an audition for the College Football Playoff as it is a way to fit in with the rest of the Power 5 leagues. The Big 12 is a bit of an outlier anyway because of its lack of teams. With only 10 teams, the Big 12 does not have tiers or divisions.

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The conference has supposedly had opportunities to expand, but the Big 12 chose to stay pat with the 10 teams in the current lineup. When TCU and WVU came aboard, the conference looked stronger than ever, even without its former powers Colorado and Nebraska.

Times have changed mightily since then, back in 2012. Texas is no longer the class of the conference and Oklahoma State has emerged as the new top threat, alongside Oklahoma. West Virginia has yet to live up to its high expectations after winning the Orange Bowl over Clemson and TCU has showed some flashes of brilliance over the years.

No matter which two teams meet up in the eventual Big 12 Conference Championship Game, they would have already faced each other in the regular season. This is no longer a case of “one true champion” but a matter of finding the definite true champion.

Also in matters of playing the same team twice, teams could face each other in consecutive weeks. That’s a real possibility this year as the Mountaineers close out the regular season against Oklahoma. If WVU and the Sooners remain at the top of the conference, they would play each other the following week in the title game.

"“The only concern from the coaches is if that matchup happens,” Holgorsen said in a story. “If we had to play Oklahoma two weeks in a row it would be tough, but it’s reality and it’s happened in other conferences as well. The biggest thing is if you knew you were going to play that team (again), and that game really didn’t count so to speak, but I don’t know. We’ll cross that bridge if we’re in that position.”"

One fix to that real possibility is having a non-conference opponent fill out the final week of the season by moving the normal conference slate of games up a week to begin at the early part of September.

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That could be a uniform change across all of college football. It’s not a problem yet, but it is an issue facing the Big 12 as it enters a new world of Championship Saturday.