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Bowlsby: No expansion for Big 12

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said Monday that he doesn't expect his conference will seek expansion anytime soon.

Bowlsby, who met with reporters at halftime of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, said his schools' presidents and chancellors prefer for the conference to remain at 10 teams for the foreseeable future.

"Ten is what we are and I think the status quo with all 10 schools committed and with grants of rights for all our media, we're distributing the largest amount of money per school of any of the leagues right now and I don't think any of our members want to change that," Bowlsby said. "Competitively, we think that having everybody play everybody is the right way to determine a champion, even if you do sometimes have a tie."

Bowlsby reiterated the sentiment he expressed earlier this month in New York City, saying that while it's easy to consider a conference championship game might have helped this season, when the Big 12 was shut out of the College Football Playoff, that there is a lot more to consider than simply football when adding teams to the league.

"There are just so many other elements to consider when you're talking about expansion and I just don't think there's anybody in our league that is contemplating expansion as a way to enhance our opportunity to get into the postseason in football," Bowlsby said. "If we ever do think about it, there are certainly going to be a lot more considerations than just two six-team divisions."

The conference is seeking to deregulate the FBS rule that requires leagues to have at least 12 teams and two separate divisions in order to stage a conference championship game. He said there hasn't been any noticeable resistance to that effort yet, that he expects the process to play out within the next six months and that the ACC is also seeking to have the rule removed.

"John Swofford and I have socialized it among the 10 FBS commissioners and there have been a few questions and there hasn't been any significant opposition to it," Bowlsby said.

Bowlsby added that even if the rule is stricken down, it doesn't necessarily mean the Big 12 will automatically add a conference title game.

"We could certainly take our two highest-ranked teams and have them play again but one of those teams would have won during the regular season," Bolwsby said. "You have to question whether or not it's fair to have to have that same team beat the other team again in order to get past it. I could capably argue either side of that. We think the rule ought to be deregulated but whether or not we would have a [conference championship game] once we get there, I don't know."

Bowlsby also mentioned that he is likely to consider a current Big 12 athletic director to take the College Football Playoff selection committee spot vacated by West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck, who recently accepted the position of executive vice president of regulatory affairs with the NCAA.

"It will come from among our ADs," Bowlsby said. "I expect while that may not be an absolute, that's the way we view it and I expect that I'll select from among our sitting ADs."