WVU AD Lyons Talks Key Big 12 Issues

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For the second time this month, the Big 12 Conference met to discuss the future of its member institutions, this time in Irving, Texas.

Earlier in May, the coaches, athletic directors and presidents had a chance to look at the various issues concerning collegiate athletics and how they may impact the Big 12 as a whole.

Among those issues was the question of whether or not the conference wanted to pursue the implementation of a football championship game, something that currently is not possible due to the league playing with only 10 teams rather 12 or more.

The prevailing opinion was that one year’s results in the new playoff system did not constitute enough research to determine whether the move needed to be made or not, so the conference will stick with its current model until the NCAA legislation allows a closer look at a change.

“Assuming that the legislation is adopted by the NCAA membership, then we need to look at it,” Lyons said in a recent interview on The WVU Coaches Show. “There are pros and cons to having the championship and I just don’t want to hang the hat on just one season to say, well, we didn’t get TCU and Baylor in and that was the result of the championship game. I think we need to look at it a little bit further and I think the league felt that way as well.”

A topic of conversation that seems to exist in every conference meeting is that of expansion, something that the Big 12 would currently need to consider if the decision to add a title game were to be made without a change in legislation.

Lyons has been a part of those discussions and believes that if the right fit is there, it should be considered, but addition for the sake of addition would not benefit the league.

“There’s a presidential committee that’s kind of looking at that as well, but as athletic directors, we try to look at the bigger picture of what actual teams and partners we could bring in that would add value to the conference and that’s still being explored,” Lyons said.

“I’m in favor of expansion if it’s the right two teams to bring in,” he continued. “Obviously for us, it would be nice to have more of an eastern partner, but at the same time, I want to make sure it’s the right partner and from a revenue standpoint it doesn’t impact us negatively as well by bringing additional partners in.”

For now, the Big 12 will hang its hat on that slogan of One True Champion, something that became a bit of a laughing matter when the league declared TCU and Baylor as its co-champions in football before both teams were left on the outside looking in at the new playoff.

The tiebreaker, should one be needed, will be as simple as a head-to-head result. Baylor beat TCU last season, so the Bears would win the tiebreaker this year and represent the Big 12 as its regular season champion.

“We’re the only conference that plays a true round robin within that conference,” Lyons said. “We play all members of the Big 12 conference and the other nine teams we play head-to-head, where other conferences, they don’t do that. We are truly identifying our true champion now having the tiebreaker by everybody playing everybody within the conference. That’s important.”

See more of what Lyons had to say in his interview with The WVU Coaches Show above. 

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