Bob Bowlsby was in Stillwater on Wednesday for Oklahoma State's game against Iowa State, but turned a whole lot of heads when he told the Associated Press of the Big 12's plans to continue to move toward re-instituting the Big 12 Championship game. The Big 12 will seek a waiver from the NCAA to hold a title game with just 10 teams in the league.
"At a time when lots of deregulation is taking place, it seems a little bit odd that the NCAA would be describing how we determine our champions," Bowlsby said Wednesday night, when he watched the Iowa State-Oklahoma State men's basketball game.
"I think it's reasonable to say if you're going to have a champion that you're going to have to designate it in one fashion or another. But to say it has to be between 12 schools or that there has to be divisional play or there has to be a round-robin, we're deregulating lots of things and that certainly is a candidate."
Bowlsby's news is surprising considering it never came up in his meetings with the media during this week's Big 12 athletic directors' meetings.
Reports leaked out this month that Bowlsby had planned to explore the waiver, but this latest news makes it clear that he's serious about bringing back the Big 12 title game, which hasn't been played since Oklahoma beat Nebraska in 2010. Oklahoma State won the outright title in Stillwater in 2011, and Kansas State shared the 2012 title with Oklahoma after both teams went 8-1 in Big 12 play this season.
More on this later today.