College Football Playoff drives debate over Big 12's future

Would a conference title game help the Big 12 avoid missing the playoff as it did in 2014? USA TODAY Sports, AP Photo

In spite of heightened speculation about potential Big 12 expansion, conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby says he is not receiving phone calls or emails from schools wanting to join the conference.

"They know I'm not going to have those conversations," he said, "so they're not bothering to contact me."

"Their business is their business," said American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco, who doesn't shy away from the fact some of the schools in his league could be top targets should the Big 12 decide to expand. "All we'll do is monitor things. We'll make sure we're prepared, but we'll be very deliberate regardless of what happens."

Not even the most powerful people in the Big 12, though, know what's going to happen by late summer, the most likely timeline for the school presidents to make any decision on the Big 12's postseason format.

"It's truly too close to call," one Big 12 official said about the likelihood of a championship game. "I think there is just as many not sure as there are supportive."

After two days of annual spring meetings in Phoenix, Big 12 coaches, athletic directors and presidents now have a plethora of data -- numbers based on only two years of the College Football Playoff -- to help determine whether they should add a championship game with the current 10 teams, expand and have divisions, or keep things the same.

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