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Berry Tramel

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Big 12 football: 11-team conference creates issues

by Berry Tramel Published: October 31, 2011

A couple of readers pointed out to me that my idea for an 11-team conference has some flaws. Primarily, the nine-game conference schedule, which in its true form is impossible. I wrote about a possible 11-team conference in my Monday column.

It’s mathematically impossible to play a nine-game conference schedule in an 11-team conference. However, you could play a nine-game schedule with the exclusion of one team playing just eight games. Iowa State, Baylor, whoever. You could rotate it. It would be absolutely goofy, yes, but no goofier than anything else going on.

When the Big Ten had 11 teams, it never played a nine-game conference schedule, for that reason.

I’m on record as disapproving of a 10-team league with no championship game. But I’ve got to say, I like the round-robin scheduling format in the current 10-team league. Not because of that stupid slogan — one true champion — but because it means more good games. The nine conference games eliminates a non-conference game, and non-conference games have become mostly humdrum. So the more conference games, the better. That’s why in an 11-team conference, I’d vote for a 10-game schedule. That would leave two non-conference games; schools could play a quality home-and-home series, plus a purchased victory. That would make six home games some years, seven other years, although for a school with an annual neutral-site game, it would be six at home every year. So that’s a financial question some would have to answer.

Mike Gundy long proposed an 11-game conference season, with no title game. We’ll never get there, but we’re closer this season than ever before, and we could get closer.

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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