Playoff-needy Big 12 has 3 new coaches, new media days venue
By STEPHEN HAWKINS
July 17, 2017 at 12:26 a.m.
FRISCO — When the Big 12 kicks off its football media days today, commissioner Bob Bowlsby will be able to tout a winning record in bowl games last season and the still-growing revenue for the league's 10 schools.
Three new head coaches will take the podium at a new venue for the annual two-day midsummer gathering, which will be held about 4 1/2 months before the Big 12 plays its first conference championship game since 2010.
What the league really needs this season is to get a team into the College Football Playoff.
There are still many outsiders with negative perceptions of the smallest Power Five league, which hasn't won a national championship since Texas with Vince Young a dozen seasons ago and has had only one playoff team in the first three years of that final-four format.
"We had a pretty good postseason despite not being in the CFP playoff. Obviously, that's where we want to be," said Bowlsby, who recently marked his five-year anniversary leading the league. "It's a high-stakes game of musical chairs. There are at least five suitors and only four seats. ... We know we need to be in more. It's as simple as that."
Bowlsby still doesn't agree with those lingering perceptions from outside the league — and says there are no questions that the Big 12 has good teams, players and coaches — but he did acknowledge feeling "a sense of urgency" in regards to the playoff.
Oklahoma's David Boren, the only one of the Big 12 presidents who has been in his position since the league's inception two decades ago, was asked during the spring meetings the importance of the CFP when judging the league's success.
"It would be foolish to say it's not important," said Boren, whose Sooners made it to the playoff two years ago.