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Kansas State's Bill Snyder prefers five-team divisions, Big 12 title game

by Berry Tramel Modified: June 21, 2010 at 9:44 am •  Published: June 21, 2010
"It works in our favor.”

The proposed full round-robin, with teams playing a nine-game conference schedule, is appealing on some fronts.

"For some schools, that should be the priority,” Snyder said. "I certainly understand that. If you're a Texas or an Oklahoma, then you're going to favor a round-robin schedule. If you're a Kansas State, you're not.”

And here's why. A Kansas State, a Missouri, an OSU, will be hard-pressed to achieve a championship in a round-robin schedule. That likely would require victories over both OU and Texas. No one ever has beaten both Bob Stoops and Mack Brown in the same season.

But with divisional play, teams need only a knockout punch. A one-shot chance at OU or UT.

"We're in a different situation than a Texas or an Oklahoma,” Snyder said. "Having a North Division gives us an opportunity to compete for a championship which might be few and far between if we didn't have a conference championship game.”

Moving to the North certainly would enhance OSU's title hopes. The Cowboys would give up a game in Texas every other year but could make up for it with a trip to Arlington.

Would Tech and A&M, OSU's competitive peers, endorse the Cowboys' move north? Perhaps not. And they would have a point.

Ideally, a conference with divisions would have two of relatively equal might. That's why losing Nebraska was such a blow; the Huskers represented the best chance for a northern uprising.

Another problem: conference inventory. With the networks agreeing to pay the Big 12 the same money for 10 teams as it was paying for 12, television needs as many quality matchups as possible. A nine-game conference schedule helps.

But so does a conference championship game.

Even members of college football's Flat Earth Society — the Big Ten and Pac-10 — have expanded in part to stage conference championship games.

If the Big 12 doesn't stage a conference title game in 2011, it would join the Big East as the lone BCS leagues without one.

Maybe there are other holes in Snyder's plan I haven't considered. But five-team divisions are worthy of discussion.

Berry Tramel: 405-760-8080; Berry Tramel can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.

Blog: Billy Snyder speaks

by Berry Tramel
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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