Big 12 mailbag: Championship game format, West Virginia's playoff chances

Finebaum blasts Big 12's decision to not split into divisions (0:58)

Paul Finebaum explains why he is strongly not in favor the Big 12 not splitting into divisions but rather match the top two teams in the conference standings. (0:58)

In this week's Big 12 Twitter mailbag, we discuss the conference's decision to play a championship game without divisions, where West Virginia's playoff chances stand and the best Big 12-themed Halloween costumes.

On to the 'bag:

Trotter: I understand why the Big 12 decided what it did Friday. On the surface, it makes sense to guarantee that your two best teams will play in the championship game. But I favored the conference going to divisions for three reasons. (1) It would've punctuated divisional matchups (Bedlam, Texas-Texas Tech, Baylor-TCU) late in the season; those games would've meant more, and in turn, the Big 12 could've scheduled around the clunky potential of a late-season rematch. (2) It would've made a Red River rematch mathematically more likely, provided Texas and Oklahoma were pitted in opposite divisions; a rematch obviously is still possible, but in division form, OU and Texas would've had to beat out four teams to get to the championship game instead of eight they have to now. (3) The divisional format would've protected the regular-season champ to some degree. Chances are, the Big 12 is never going to get two teams into the College Football Playoff. Now, the regular-season champ -- and in most years, the Big 12's only playoff hopeful -- is going to have to play a tougher 13th game than it might have had the Big 12 gone to divisions.

Trotter: West Virginia doesn't have nearly the margin of error that Ohio State does. The Big Ten is perceived to be the stronger league, and Ohio State's victory in Norman, Oklahoma, trumps anything West Virginia accomplished in the non-conference, even though the Mountaineers delivered a couple of decent wins (Missouri, BYU).

Trotter: Sugar-free, although I've gotten into the cranberry-flavored Red Bull a little bit lately. I'm mostly a black-coffee guy. But as Dana Holgorsen will attest, sometimes you need something with a little more punch.

Trotter: OU has given up at least 40 points in four of its past five games. This trend didn't just begin with Texas Tech. The Sooners have major defensive problems.

Trotter: Patrick Mahomes is no worse than top eight, alongside Lamar Jackson, Jake Browning, Deshaun Watson, J.T. Barrett, Baker Mayfield, Greg Ward Jr. and Jalen Hurts. Jackson is clearly No. 1. After that, Mahomes stacks up well with any of those other six quarterbacks. Wins will be the only thing that keeps him from keeping to New York.

Trotter: I think the chances are pretty good. I had one scout tell me earlier this month that Joe Mixon was the Big 12's top pro prospect for the 2017 draft, even though the scout said he might not go in the first round due to off-the-field reasons. If that video gets released, it will do nothing but hurt his draft stock. For that reason, I imagine Mixon would want to sign his first pro contract as soon as possible.

Trotter: I'll have to think about that. My wife wouldn't be happy if I burned our living-room couch.

Trotter: I'm on record predicting Cal coach Sonny Dykes, who not only has ties to Baylor athletic director Mack Rhoades but is also a Texas guy who many believe wants to return to coaching in the Lone Star State. Dykes makes a lot of sense. He's not under the Art Briles umbrella yet has an offensive philosophy that would mesh at Baylor.

Trotter: Not sure either of these two will ever be outdone: