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July 17, 2017
BOB BOWLSBY: Good morning. It's great to have you here in this new venue. I suspect that many of you have been here before. This is my first visit, and it certainly is spectacular. We appreciate the Cowboys organization allowing us to use this venue for this function, and we hope that it meets your needs.
I know Bob Burda and our staff have worked hard on this function, but the first time down the path is always a little bit of a challenge. So if there are things that you're encountering problems with that are in any way hampering your ability to do your work today, make sure and let us know because we want this to be just as good an experience as we possibly can. And thank you all for being here.
A year ago, we were in the midst of a fairly extensive process, and it was a long project. It was extensive in its breadth, and it was highly data driven, especially at the time that we got to Media Day. It was, in the end, I think, uniquely institutional in how it was resolved, but at the time we did Media Day last year, we were still in a deep dive from a data analysis standpoint.
My task was really to bring our presidents and our athletic directors -- presidents and chancellors and athletic directors -- along so we were all singing off the same sheet music by the time we got to the fall and the time we were really going to make some decisions. And I think that was really successful.
We had a couple of consultants that were very helpful to us. We went through it in a thoughtful manner. We were going to talk about whether or not to expand. We were going to talk about what our future media options were, and we were going to spend some time talking about whether we wanted to move back to a championship football game.
As you know, we had heard from the CFP Selection Committee that the fact that we didn't have that 13th data point, the championship game, two teams highly ranked matching up at the end of the season, even though we had had good matchups the year that TCU and Baylor were left out, we had the highest ranked matchup on Championship Saturday with Baylor and Kansas State.
So I think we've been responsive to what we heard from the CFP, and we have continued to gather information, and in the end, we got to October, and after a thoughtful process, our presidents and chancellors recommitted to the ten we had. But as you know, we also had committed to starting a championship game.
Since then, we've had a pretty good year. It's been an interesting year. I have to say that I was pleased to have at least a short period of time where I didn't have questions about what we were doing with composition or expansion or any of the other things that were part of the deep dive. We did two important forums last year, and I want to give credit to Bob Burda and Ken Luce for their leadership of them. We took on a number of topics over the years, and we really wanted to put people together that disagreed on issues, and from that get a deep dive on how we can go about solving some of these issues.
We've done six forums now, and we did two last year. I don't know how we could have taken on more difficult issues. We talked about race in intercollegiate athletics, and we talked about sexual assaults in intercollegiate athletics. Both of them were tremendous events that I really think are indicative of the depth of conversation that we really need in intercollegiate athletics around some of these topics. Too often we dance around it, and one of the things we pledged to ourselves was that we weren't going to do that. So this past year was a continuation of that.
We also did about 200 vignettes on young people in our conference and the impact that the college athletic scholarship has had on their lives. Our Champions For Life program has been a huge success. It's one that I think has reflected very well on the campuses and on the conference in general.
We also have enjoyed a fair amount of leadership at the national level, especially in the sport of football. But with Kirby Hocutt's leadership of the football selection committee, we certainly have a prominence at the end of the year that is important to our league and causes us to have good representation in the room.
And we also -- I've spent a lot of time on football oversight issues. As most of you are aware, we worked through the system a very substantial change package of recruiting changes. It is probably the most impactful set of recruiting changes in the sport of football in 25 years. So it was gratifying, but yet we have a lot of work left to do. There are a number of things that have been untended over a long period of time, and we need to continue to take a hard look at some of the things that have become traditions.
Relative to the conference, we also had a great year competitively. We won five National Championships. We had -- I think we finished in the top four in the country in 18 sports. But we're here to talk about football, and we didn't make the College Football Playoff. Obviously, that's the coin of the realm at this point.
I'll talk a little bit more about football later, but I think we ended up with a pretty good postseason when we haven't had a good postseason in a couple of previous occasions recently. But we've made a lot of improvement, and I think that, generally speaking, you'll hear positive things today.
We also last year had a record distribution. We distributed -- and it varies a little bit from institution to institution based upon how they did in some of our championships -- but we distributed a little over $34 million last year. That is about a 15 percent increase from the previous year. That also, I would remind you, doesn't include our third tier rights, which in the case of several of our schools are very substantial. So we felt like we really have continued to compete from a financial standpoint. Among the critical success factors for any conference is the ability to distribute money to its members, and I think that we've continued to keep pace there.
Relative to the autonomy process and the one that has played itself out over the last three years, I think the story is that student-athletes have made tremendous progress, and that's, obviously, as it should be. We have put in place new regulations on time demands and what it means to be a Division I student-athlete. We have worked very hard to bring some sanity to the commitment that's required and to bring some structure to the student-athlete life. We have put in place multi-year grants. We have implemented the full cost of attendance. We've implemented unlimited meals and unlimited snacks.
I mentioned the football recruiting process, which is very much student-athlete and family friendly, and that was very intentional. The early visits, the early signing dates, are substantial changes, and I would suggest that we still have a lot of work to do there. I think we need -- we have data that indicates that they're -- about 70 percent of the Division I football prospects make their decision before the 1st of October and really would like to get the recruitment process over with. Whether we can get earlier is anybody's guess. It took us years to get to the early signing date in December that we just adopted, but we're going to keep swinging the bat and see if we can get there because I think there's still more to be done.
We also had a substantial problem in our camps and clinics environment in the summer, and the new recruiting legislation went a long ways to clean that up, particularly regarding individuals associated with prospects and what they could do in the camp environment, what they could do in the recruiting environment, what they could do in terms of being hired on institutions. Previous to now, it's been almost unregulated, and it has contributed very significantly to the proliferation of college football staffs, which have grown exponentially over the last five years.
We still have much to do with the football oversight process. We are going to do a deep dive this year on preseason camp and what the schedule looks like there. We're also going to look at the year round calendar, including whether or not we can adopt a 14-week standardized season. While that may sound very good, it's difficult to do. It tends to push preseason camp earlier into July, which we really don't want to do if we can avoid it. It also is not the panacea that you may think it is because it sounds wonderful to have two byes during the course of the season, but there's going to be somebody that gets them in week 4 and week 9, and there's going to be somebody that gets a bye and a road game and a bye right in the middle of the season or real early in the season, real late in the season. It's very difficult to manage and so we're going to spend some time trying to think about getting it right.
We also have a number of initiatives that would be categorized as trying to make the game safer. We have done that in a number of different ways through helmet research and through officiating, the targeting rules. We are looking at a lot of information on what kind of repetitive-use issues there are in the sport of football and how we can mitigate those repetitive-use issues, the multiple times that student-athletes have helmet-to-helmet contact.
We've also looked at some situational things. As an example, we know that the incidence of injuries is much higher in the kicking game than it is in any other part of the game of football. So we are doing some experimentation and looking at ways that we can make it a safer game. I think that we'll make some progress there. I think that we are always going to do whatever it takes to try and make it safer, and some of that is safety in the off-season. As an example, our student-athletes in the sport of football, and really in all sports, spend an awful lot of time with strength and conditioning coaches. And the strength and conditioning coaches, any one of our head coaches will tell you, they're an enormously important part of any football program.
Having said that, there are two strength and conditioning organizations nationally. Neither of them have tremendously strong certification processes. We don't have any state certification on what happens with strength and conditioning coaches, what their academic preparation is, what their standards are, how often they have to be recertified and the like. It is -- the strength and conditioning profession is very much like the athletic trainer profession was 25 or 30 years ago. Now, through a variety of state licensure and training programs, the sports medicine profession is more akin to a true medical specialty than it is to a sports function.
So we're going to spend some time looking at strength and conditioning coaches and how they come to be strength and conditioning coaches, what they can do, how they're supervised, and the like. I think that all it will do is, once again, make it a safer environment for student-athletes because, when you look at the catastrophic occurrences that are happening in the sport, the deaths are happening during conditioning and off-season practice. Very few of them are happening during the season, during contact, during regular preparation.
We're always going to look at safety issues, and for the first time ever, all things football are reporting through football oversight, everything from the Bowls to the College Football Playoff, the American Football Coaches Association is very deeply engaged in assisting us. Gary Patterson, among our coaches, has been very actively involved in the AFCA leadership, and Todd Berry, the executive director, has been a member of the football oversight committee and really has done a tremendous job for us.
We still have some things we're going to do this next year. We're going to take a hard look at staff composition and staff duties. As you know, there has been a real proliferation. I mentioned it earlier. There's one staff out there that we saw that has 197 people that are involved directly in football, and it probably isn't who most of you think, and that, in all frankness, includes students as well. But it wasn't ten years ago that that number would have been a third of that.
So we're going to take a look at it. It may not be all about what we do with numerical head counts. I think there's a lot of things that we can control. We can control who's on the sideline. We can control who's in the press box. We can control how many headsets there are. We can control what gets done on game day. And in the end, I think that's what coaches would tell you they want is a fair chance to compete on game day.
So we're going to take a hard look at that during the course of this next year. I think -- I have one more year on the NCAA Council, and I stayed an extra year because I wanted to finish up some things with college football, but I will tell you I think the football coaches are the most engaged than I've ever seen them in my almost 40 years in the business. I think we've made some very substantial changes that are good for student-athletes and their families. So we need to make sure and continue that momentum and continue to have our guys involved.
Let me talk a little bit about upcoming Big 12 football. We came off last year with two Heisman Trophy finalists, neither of which won, but they were both in New York. We had a 4-2 Bowl record, and we played well in the postseason. We -- led by Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl, we got a pretty one-sided win there. We beat the representative from the Pac-12 by 30. We were 2-1 against the SEC in the postseason. I think that, by many measures, we had a really good postseason. And I mentioned that OU and Oklahoma State and K-State particularly delivered big victories.
What you may not remember is that the Big 12 was first in scoring defense in the postseason last year, first among all conferences in scoring defense. For a league that is reported to be singularly interested in offense, that probably speaks volumes.
We have outstanding players in our league who are getting tremendous coaching from a great group of coaches, and we have a terrific mix of new young guys and great veterans. But let me stop just for a minute and spend a little time giving credit to somebody that really deserves a lot of credit. Bob Stoops is not here for the first time in many, many years. We were together at a memorial service over the weekend and had a chance to visit a little bit, and I had the opportunity to tell him how much I have appreciated his work in the last five years that I've been around on behalf of the sport of football. Now, he's out there competing every day on the recruiting trails, he's fighting tooth and nail, like everybody is, to win games on Saturday. I think he feels very good about the timing of moving away from the game, and I think he feels very good about Lincoln Riley coming in as his successor.
But what I said to him was I have really been grateful for his care about the quality of the game of football. He has been a real leader among our coaches. He has been a voice of moderation. He has been a voice for change. He has been active in implementing change. He's been very innovative. The Big 12 is poorer for not having Bob Stoops any longer as a head coach in our league. He was a tremendous influence on his staff, on his players, on his university over a very long period of time, and he had tremendous football teams and tremendous football players. His legacy is extraordinary, and I would have been remiss to not recognize him today. I think he is tremendous in every way, and as much as we'll miss him on the field, we're really going to miss him in the meeting room, where he always was very thoughtful and very impactful with his colleagues.
I mentioned that we've got some young guys, some brand new guys coming in, and I don't think there's a league in the country that has three better new young head coaches than Tom Herman and Matt Rhule and Lincoln Riley. They are superstars, each one in their own right. Not surprisingly, Oklahoma State and OU and TCU are in everybody's top 15 preseason, and that's really because we also have great veterans in our league, and the Mike Gundys and the Gary Pattersons and the Bill Snyders have been doing it at a high level for a long, long time. My guess is that they're anxious to suit it up and match up against some of these new young guys.
I think the year is going to be very interesting. I think the preparations will be different, even though their systems are known. I think the balance in our league from top to bottom is truly remarkable. We've got 7 of 10 quarterbacks returning, and obviously, the sport gravitates to the quality of quarterbacks oftentimes.
But I think our league has the best depth. We're the only one playing a full round robin, full nine-game schedule, and we're the only one that guarantees our two best teams are going to play each other in the postseason. So I feel very good about what we are doing.
One of the things that I want to mention that -- I know Walt Anderson is here and Ed Stewart is here, and they've done the majority of the work on this project, but I think most of you are aware that we'll be implementing a remote replay command center this year, and it will be staffed up beginning with the first game, and we have high capacity to manage all of our games at the necessary times. We're excited about it, but I also think we have tremendous officiating on the field, and I want to give Walt credit for that. He does a great job of mentoring our officials. I don't believe we lost anybody to the NFL this year. So that's good because we have in the past lost some guys to the NFL little by little over time. But Walt does a great job. It's all about trying to have fair competition. We want to make sure that we never make a mistake, and replay at the stadium and replay on a command center basis are just ways we employ more tools to try and get it right.
So it's a new venture for us. It's one that I think will bear fruit, and obviously, we hope that we don't have to use it very often, but we'll be prepared if we do.
So having made those brief comments, let me stop and answer your questions.
Q. You mentioned the early signing period, that you'd like to see it even earlier. What's an ideal timeline for you?
BOB BOWLSBY: That's a great question, and I don't know that I'm the right one to ask that. We had trouble even getting 50 percent support for an early signing date. This time around, it was adopted really without much fanfare.
I'm not sure that a signing date is exactly what we need in today's environment. I have asked coaches, athletic directors, conference commissioners repeatedly over the last 12 months why we have a signing date. It seems to me that, if we have 70 percent of the student-athletes, the prospects that want to commit relatively early, that one date is not all that important. The only answer I've ever gotten is because we've always had a signing date.
I think you could end up with a signing window where you say, okay, we're going to do visits in April, May, and June, we're going to go to camp. If you want to get the recruiting process over, the institution can issue a letter of intent. You've got 14 days to sign it. And maybe the window runs from October 1st to November 15th, or maybe it runs from September 1st to November 1st, and you get it over before the postseason. I don't know why there can't be a window where you offer the scholarship. If the student-athlete wants to conclude the recruitment process and the institution knows they'd like to make a decision, they go ahead and do it.
Right now one of the most troubling statistics that I have heard is that the average FBS institution makes 233 oral offers. Now, nobody can sign more than 25. We just passed a rule that you can't oversign any longer. So there's a lot of disingenuousness in the system, and I think we need to try to clean that up as much as we possibly can. It seems to me that maybe a signing window might be the answer to it, but we have a lot more work to do on it, and I wouldn't presume to say how it's going to turn out at this point.
Q. I know the conference decided to withhold payouts to Baylor after their scandal, but I'm wondering if there's any momentum among conference leaders as it relates to player conduct rules, anything that would apply conference-wide to all schools and all athletes.
BOB BOWLSBY: I don't know about among the conferences or at the NCAA level. I have not heard a lot of discussion about that although -- there's much written about it, and I think it's an interesting challenge, but when you get into the details of it, trying to manage it is really difficult.
An awful lot of the information about juvenile offenders, when you're talking about incoming freshmen, is not available, so you're really relying almost solely on media accounts. But in the case of the Big 12, we adopted a policy that requires each of our institutions to do a due diligence process outside of their athletics program, and it needs to go all the way to the leadership of the institution.
The theory behind that is that, left to their own devices -- you know, it isn't an assistant football coach that's making a decision on whether the violation or the incident rises to the level of concern that the student-athlete shouldn't be recruited. Instead, it's gone through the head coach, through the athletic department and the AD and to student affairs and the president's office.
So as a conference, we've said that you can take who you want, but we expect to you have gone through a very thorough due diligence process before you do that. And if they get to the end of it and the president and the board and people in leadership positions make a decision, then I think we have to abide by that.
Q. I wanted to get your thoughts on -- without getting too specific on the case, when you hear a beloved alumnus such as Chris Spielman sues his university for use of his name, image, and likeness in a revenue venture that the school, Ohio State, has put together, your impressions of that, your thoughts on that as commissioner with your background as an athletic director, also roles of the NCAA you've served. How far down the rabbit hole does this thing go?
BOB BOWLSBY: Well, it's a great question, John. I think it goes down a fairly deep rabbit hole, and it's probably got some side roads and side rabbit holes as well. I don't presume to know all the details of what's going on there, and so I don't want to comment on that specifically. But I think the O'Bannon court case certainly delved deeply into this but didn't entirely address this issue.
I think there can be a distinction drawn between use of a likeness in a celebratory way versus use of a likeness that is generating revenue for a private entity or even for the school. I think that it's understandable why a student-athlete would assert some rights to that image. It's also understandable why a picture of a student-athlete in their uniform might be considered an appropriate part of archives and a celebration. You could see it for some reasons on street pole banners and the like.
I don't think there's a great answer to it. It will be interesting to see how it plays out. As has been noted in the coverage of it, it is filed in a jurisdiction that is very different than the 9th Circuit on the West Coast. So the applicability of some of the things that were decided in the O'Bannon case, some of it may pertain, and some of it may not. I think it will be a very interesting process and one that is not likely to be resolved quickly.
But it also raises an interesting parallel with all the concussion lawsuits because right now the concussion lawsuits are all being filed against the NCAA and against the conferences. Now, I think it's almost impossible to assert that institutions wouldn't have had a hand in whether there was -- there were concussive events that created lifetime problems. So it's almost significant by its absence that the institutions are not being named in these suits. I think what it speaks to is the difficulty that student-athletes have going back to their school that they love and saying, I have CTE now that I'm 55 years old, and it's your fault, and I want to name you in the lawsuit.
In this case, they did; in the concussion lawsuits, for the most part, the institutions are not named. So it will be interesting to see how the whole thing plays itself out. But it's a great question.
Q. You laid out the case for Big 12 football with the Bowl record and the defensive stats. Bringing back the conference championship game this year, does this speak to the perception of Big 12 football versus the quality of Big 12 football?
BOB BOWLSBY: Well, you know, I think our perception is somewhat a product of not being in the playoff two out of the three years. I mean, that's a really short window.
As most of you remember, the ACC was, I believe, 2-13 in the BCS era, and now they're on top of the heap. So I don't -- I really -- it gets a little tiresome because I know we play at a very high level, and I know that top to bottom we're the best in the country in terms of balance. And I know that the method by which we conduct our championships and conduct our regular season is the most difficult because you never miss anybody.
Since we went to ten members, last year was the first time anybody went through the season undefeated in the conference season. So as I say, it gets a little tiresome because I know we play at a very high level.
One of the last teams we had at Iowa when I was there, we didn't have anybody on the team that was four star recruits, but it's Chad Greenway who's recruited by South Dakota and Iowa and plays 13 years in the NFL. It's Bob Sanders, who was recruited by Kentucky State and Iowa and was the defensive player of the year in the National Football League. Those guys didn't have any stars by their names.
So I know our guys are recruiting. I know they're coaching them up. I think we've got a tremendous balance of quality veterans and quality new guys. I think it's an easy target, and I think it's a perception, not a reality. I think we play at an exceedingly high level, and I think over the 12 years of the playoff, you'll see Big 12 teams in there.
But make no mistake. It's not about making the playoff. It's about winning National Championships. That's what we want to do.
Q. With the NCAA working group looking at transfers, permission to contact graduate transfers, does the league have a stance on that? Have you received any sort of feedback on that?
BOB BOWLSBY: They've only had one meeting, I believe. They may have had a conference call. I hate to put a target on her back, but Dru Hancock on our staff is on that transfer working group.
You know, the issue of transfers is a very difficult one. We don't have a position on it. In fact, the conference doesn't have a vote, per se. Our ten members have votes, but we don't cast a ballot. Some of our student-athletes do, but the conference office doesn't have a vote, per se.
I'll get a chance to deal with it in football oversight a little bit as it pertains to football. But some of the things that are real issues in football are not issues in wrestling or tennis or volleyball. Some of the things that are issues in those sports are not issues elsewhere. So we -- I think the transfer working group will cast a broad net, and they'll paint with a broad brush as long as they can. I think there's a growing belief that intercollegiate athletics is an undergraduate undertaking and that maybe that's the bedrock that we ought to stand on. But it's going to be at least a year-long project, and it's too early at this point to see how it turns out.
We're looking at this as a clean sheet of paper. I think we have the opportunity to remake it, and that's the manner in which we ought to be looking at it.
Q. Bob, where does the conference stand now on Baylor's attempt to clean up its act and how it pertains to the NCAA investigation there?
BOB BOWLSBY: I don't have any comment on the second part of it, Kirk, because we're not involved in the NCAA portion of it. We are involved in a verification process with them, with Mack Rhoades, since the day he got there, he's been engaged on the task. Matt Rhule has come in and done terrific work on the culture of the Baylor football program. President Livingstone, I've met with several times. I have been very impressed with her values and leadership and the things that she's going to do.
It is obviously a very complex situation, and because of the lawsuits, it is -- it will have some effect on the time frame of our verification process, but we are moving forward with it. We continue to withhold the 25 percent of their revenue distribution, and we'll continue to do that as long as this is a pending matter. But we could not have gotten any better cooperation from the three people I just mentioned than we have gotten. That would also include Chris Holmes, their general counsel.
We have a lot of people engaged against this process. We have a subcommittee of our board that's working on it, and I haven't the slightest doubt that we'll get through it in an expedient way. But it isn't going to be over in the next month. It's just got a longer tail than that. But I want to reiterate: We could not have had any better cooperation and any better engagement from the president, the athletic director, the head football coach, and general counsel and anybody else we've dealt with down there. They are working very hard to get it right.
Q. As far as adding the championship game, you were the one true champion conference and settled it on the field. How much of this is about revenue and the estimated 2 to 3 million per school this will generate, and how much is about Jeff Long saying the 13th data point, as you said, in a very small sample size. Because there's obviously some peril with a rematch that you could end up knocking out your best team.
BOB BOWLSBY: For the record, 33 of the championship games have been rematches. So the rematch is not aberrational. It happens very regularly. And ours is going to be a rematch. But I can tell you that it was -- the decision was made 100 percent on our ability to optimize the likelihood of getting a team into the CFP. The finances of it were -- I don't ever recall them being discussed. I think our board was mindful that there was more revenue available because it was embedded in our contracts. We had anticipated that we might, at some point in time, add a championship game back.
But the decision was made 100 percent based upon our ability to compete at the national level. And based -- and we relied in large measure on our intuition and some data that we saw that indicated that playing a championship game and having that 13th data point would, in fact, deliver that advantage.
Q. Ten years from now, other than attending games, actually physically attending games, how will fans be able to watch national college football games?
BOB BOWLSBY: Man, if I knew that, I wouldn't be here. The pace of change is so extraordinarily fast. I was shocked a week or ten days ago to learn that the iPhone is only ten years old. I mean, smartphones -- think how smartphones have changed our lives. I'd venture a guess that, except for maybe a couple of curmudgeons in the room that I can identify, that everybody's got a smartphone. It's the way we do business. If you don't respond to an e-mail by the end of a business day, people think you're rude. I mean, it's changes everything.
The migration to mobile distribution is extraordinary. I watched a 60 Minutes segment on artificial intelligence and the things that computers can teach themselves to do. It's just astonishing, and anybody that tells you they know what it's going to look like ten years from now is delusional. Anybody that tells you they know what it's going to look like three years from now is delusional. The number of platforms, the number of distribution mechanisms -- the one thing I will tell you, and this I believe, is that the best reality TV available is live sports. It's destination viewing, and people want to watch it in real time, and as long as that's the case, it doesn't matter how they consume it. Live sports will be really valuable.
Does that have an effect on whether we have bigger venues or smaller venues? Well, I think you look, and the trend is towards smaller football stadiums, smaller basketball venues because more people are consuming away from the venue. And I think we need to be concerned about that. I think it's a particular concern relative to students and the people that are going to be tomorrow's generation of viewers and tomorrow's generation of donors and supporters of sports.
But how it's going to be distributed? I mean, we may be watching the Super Bowl on the insides of our eyelids before too long. I wish I knew that answer, but I think the best thing we can do is partner with people that are on the cutting edge and ride along as they answer those questions.
Q. The restored Big 12 title game is going to be in AT&T Stadium, which is a vast venue, going back to what you were just talking about, and a number of the conference members are pretty far away. Is there any concern about attendance and the possible visuals of a stadium that big not being entirely full?
BOB BOWLSBY: No, actually not. I think our teams travel very well. We, of course, have four members in the state. We wanted to put it on the biggest stage that we could put it on, and I think that's why we wanted to do this event in the Star. This is an extraordinary facility. The Jones family and the Cowboys organization has had unbelievable vision and unbelievable success.
The other thing is, for the reasons you noted, DFW is probably the easiest place to travel to, one of the easiest in the whole country. It's centrally located. We've got great airports. We've got lots of airline flights. It's centrally located for our schools. So we fully expect that this will be a tough ticket, and we know that it's going to be a -- the only matchup between 1 and 2 in any of the leagues. It's the only one that's guaranteed that way.
Q. You mentioned that you obviously have to have a rematch of some kind in the Big 12 Championship Game, but how much do you worry about a quick rematch when it follows up one or two weeks from the regular season? Is there anything that you as a conference can do to kind of avoid that?
BOB BOWLSBY: Well, I think we need to strike a balance in terms of trying to have a fair schedule and being able to perhaps mitigate the likelihood of that, although I don't think that's a negative. I think you could have a great game on the last week of the season and another great game between the same two teams the next week.
I think it's important that our best teams are the two that contest the championship game. That gives us the best springboard. Is there a possibility that a different team would win? Yeah, there sure is. There are a number of tiebreak situations where you could find yourself with a great matchup, you could find yourself with a less compelling matchup.
But generally speaking, playing a full round robin and having our two best teams play each other on the last day of the season is a good thing and a right way to conduct our championship.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports