Bob Bowlsby: Big 12 champion can still surpass Notre Dame


Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby appeared on the Dallas Morning News' "Upon Further Review" podcast this week and offered his most extensive commentary yet on the Big 12's College Football Playoff situation.

During his lengthy interview, Bowlsby made a case for why he believes a one-loss Big 12 champion can still finish ahead of Notre Dame for a playoff spot:

"One of the criteria is championships won, and Notre Dame hasn't won a championship, even if they beat Stanford and win out. We were very clear in the criteria going into the College Football Playoff that championships won was one of the things. Of course, because we had co-champions last year, it was generally believed -- and I think it's accurate -- that we were probably marked down for that. That and the fact we didn't have a 13th data point, and of course Notre Dame is not going to have that either. So I think there's every opportunity for a one-loss team from our league to move ahead of Notre Dame."

As for the Big Ten, Bowlsby offered praise for Iowa (he was, of course, athletic director there for 15 years) but did point out the Hawkeyes didn't have Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State or Penn State on their regular-season schedule this season. As for the threat of a Big Ten team finishing ahead of the Big 12's champion?

"I don't think you can keep an undefeated Iowa out," Bowlsby said. "But a once-beaten Michigan State as the Big Ten champion? That's certainly debatable."

As for his own league, Bowlsby punted when asked which Big 12 team has, in his opinion, the best shot to make the playoff if they win out. He did acknowledge, in the case of Oklahoma, a team is generally better off losing early in the season than late when it comes to playoff perception.

Bowlsby said he does not believe the committee is biased against the Big 12, but he thinks (or hopes) there's some "rethinking" going on about what's considered good defense in the high-scoring league. The commissioner also hit on the playoff's future, conference title games, the SEC vs. the Big 12, nonconference scheduling and plenty more in the podcast. Be sure to give it a listen.