Big 12 championship matchup will be reinstated in 2017 season

The Big 12 Conference announced that it will reinstate its football championship game, beginning with the 2017 season.

“The addition of a football championship game allows for a 13th data point for our teams under consideration for the College Football Playoff,” said Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby. “Work will begin on developing scheduling models and host site options.”

The Big 12 last staged a championship game in 2010. Six of the 15 contests in league history were rematches of a regular season game. The regular-season winner prevailed in the title game rematch in four of those six occurrences. On five occasions, the lower-ranked team defeated a higher-ranked opponent.

Along with the championship game announcement, the Conference also announced its generated revenue for member distribution for fiscal year 2015-16, with each member institution slated to receive $30.4 million, an increase of 20 percent over the previous year. All 10 league members will receive a full share. In addition to distributed revenue from the Conference, Big 12 schools also retain revenue from third-tier media rights deals. Since 2012, distributed revenue has increased over $117 million.

“I think it’s great,” said Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops. “In the end, probably the main two points, as everyone’s talked about — another data point and dollar figures. You know, $30 million more to the conference, or whatever percentage to the schools. So hey, let’s go.” Stoops has won seven out of eight Big 12 championship games.

The league could be split into two divisions with five teams each or two divisions with additional teams added to the Big 12. The other method would be to continue the round robin format and have the top two teams go to the championship.