IRVING, Texas -- In a 10-team Big 12, the league's marquee game should annually, unquestionably be Oklahoma and Texas. The two programs have the past six Big 12 championships and also competed in the national title game six times in the past 10 years.
But without a Big 12 championship game to serve as a second nationally relevant contest, the Red River Rivalry being played on the first weekend of October, could cause the Big 12 title to be decided by Thanksgiving -- or earlier -- in favor of the team holding the tie break.
Though it's in the Big 12's interest to possibly move the game to December, commissioner Dan Beebe says he won't be touching the game's tradition of being hosted at the Texas State Fair for the better part of a century.
"The major consideration is to keep the traditions of the conference as well as we can, and the tradition of the game that game has been around the state fair of Texas," Beebe said. "I don't see that really being something we would want to mess with. It's just too important to those institutions, this region and so forth."
He'll leave that decision up to the schools, who may also look into whether leaving Fair Park is in the best interest of both schools. The game is contracted at through 2015, so at least until then, the matchup will remain at the Cotton Bowl during the fair.
"I don't think we can foreclose anything," Beebe said. "Institutions may change their minds, but I think we're looking at continuing what we've had traditionally in a lot of those relationships."
Without the fair and with the addition of cold weather, a move to December could also mean a move to Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, accompanied, possibly, by a much larger check.