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Bevo’s Daily Roundup: Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby on thinking behind 12-team playoff model

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Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby sat down with the folks at 247Sports to discuss proposed 12-team College Football Playoff model that will likely go into effect in the coming years.

In Bowlsby’s words: “When you began to overlay a need or a belief that more teams needed to participate, I think we all acknowledge four is clearly superior to all of the predecessors — the Alliance and the BCS and all of the others — and I think that the human selection process is clearly superior to the computers or the blended polls and those kinds of things. Those are all things that we looked deeply at and just determined that we had really done some things right on it.”

He continued, “On the other hand, when you look at eight, and if you believe that there’s an opportunity, or perhaps a necessity, to provide more participation opportunities, all of a sudden you get to the point where you say, ‘Well, are we going to have six automatic qualifiers and two at larges?’ That just didn’t seem like it was enough.”

“You could certainly look at it and say, ‘Well, the A-five has brought most of the value to the College Football Playoff, let’s go with the five A-fives and three at larges or maybe five and the highest ranked group of five.’ It didn’t seem right that we would have automatic qualifications. This needs to be an eat what you kill environment and needs to be based on strength of schedule and the like. And so we pretty well got ourselves to the point where we wanted to value conference championships, and that’s evident in the model. But we also wanted to make sure that those who had earned it had a crack at getting into the playoff, and so eight just didn’t seem like enough and 16 seemed like too many.”

“The more we began to delve into it, the more viable it became, and the more we liked the structure and how it could be set up. The real magic in 12, is that the four highest ranked conference champions, if they play all the way to the national championship game, they’re only going to play one more game than they would have played otherwise. The only way that you get some of the big numbers that have been noted is if you’re a low seed, and you’ve lost in your conference championship game, and you play all the way to the championship game. That is fairly unlikely to happen, but it will happen some years.”

“So 12 just seemed like the right balance of access and valuing of conference championships, and we’re looking at ways particularly to enhance the regular season.”

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