Gridiron on the Plains: Possible Big 12 Conference Championship Game in 2016; Quarterback Battle to Last to Summer

There is some movement to the thought that the NCAA will deregulate how a conference champion is determined, which would then possibly permit the Big 12 to have a conference championship game with only 10 teams. Plus, we consider if the Texas Tech quarterback battle will last through the summer.

Photo via Charles Henry @ Flickr.

Conference Title Game Restrictions Relaxed with Possible Big 12 Championship Game in 2016. CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodds is reporting that legislation allowing for the deregulation of conference championship games is going to be relaxed in 2016, which means that the Big 12 won’t *have* to have a championship game. Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby, who is also the chairman of the NCAA Football Oversight Committee, gave some detail about the new deregulation:

“But because the ACC has persisted in saying, ‘We’re not sure what we’ll do,’ there’s probably a little bit of a shadow over it. In the end, I don’t think it’ll be able to hold it up. We’ll probably have it in place for ‘16.”

That oversight committee would vet the legislation and pass on any recommendations to the NCAA Council for final approval. The new oversight committees in all sports are meant to streamline the rules-making process.

“This isn’t really changing the rule, it’s deregulating,” Bowlsby said. “It’s moving a little bit slow, but I don’t think it’s not stalled in any way.”

A couple of things to note here, which is that Dodds goes into some pretty good detail here about how the commissioners have taken away from the coaches some of the rule changes that they think need to be made.  Bowlsby says that the NFL owners make the rules, not the coaches, and that’s how it appears to be leaning here.  Bowlsby may want to be careful about making comparisons to the NFL in some respects, but then again, the NFL is a non-profit entity as well.

Dodds also writes that with Bowlsby in charge of the football oversight committee, that he’s as close to a football commissioner as you’ll see

As noted by Chris Ross at Land Grant Gauntlet, this could lead to a conference championship game as previously, the rules prohibited a conference with only 10 teams from playing a championship game and with the “deregulation” this could happen as early as 2016.

Remaining Undediced. The ESPN blog bros opine as to which position battles will go into the summer months and Mas Olson says that the quarterback position battle will go into the spring:

Mahomes will continue to be the guy who gets the No. 1 reps, I think, because Tech still isn’t able to throw Webb into true live reps yet in an effort to ensure he completely heals from his shoulder injury and stays that way. But by limiting Webb — who did not play in Tech’s Midland spring scrimmage — it’s difficult to reach a conclusion about who’s best suited to lead this offense.

What it will all come down to, in the end, is which quarterback does a better job of avoiding turnovers. Mahomes’ ability to make plays in the zone-read game does add another dimension to the Red Raiders’ offense. Even if Webb ends up being the starter, Mahomes is still going to play a lot, I think, in packages well tailored to his talents.

But there’s no sense in naming the No. 1 guy this month. Tech has had a rough run lately of losing backup quarterbacks — both scholarship guys and walk-ons — who didn’t want to sit and wait. By naming a winner and a loser right now, you’re just going to make that No. 2 QB wonder whether the grass is greener elsewhere.

Keep in mind that Olson is in Lubbock right now and so he might have a bit more insight and I think this is where most of us are leaning in that Patrick Mahomes appears to be “the guy” but there’s still an opportunity for Davis Webb because, why not.


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