SBD/July 5, 2012/Colleges

Bowlsby Discusses Conference's New Additions, Big 12 Future

Bowlsby likes the stability of the current Big 12 members but won't rule out expanding
Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby is “bullish on the conference's growth opportunities,” according to Tim Griffin of the SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS. Bowlsby in an appearance to welcome TCU into the conference discussed his role and the conference's future in a recent Q&A: 

Q: You received a very warm welcome here in one of your first public appearances at TCU. How does it feel to be the Big 12's new commissioner?
Bowlsby: I think TCU is a tremendous addition to the league and especially to have a member who's right here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. It's exciting. You can feel the enthusiasm in the area.

Q: How will West Virginia's arrival benefit the conference?
Bowlsby: I think the cachet that West Virginia brings with their East Coast influence is significant. It's helped us get into media markets we otherwise probably wouldn't be getting into. And I think because of TCU's prominence in football the last few years, it's helped, too. They are a national brand at this point. And every indication is that it will continue.

Q: Many observers had the Big 12 facing extinction after its losses in recent years. What does it symbolically mean bringing two new teams moving forward?
Bowlsby: It's not the finish line but the starting line for us. We've got a lot of things moving forward. ... It's a day for celebration, but it's also a day to envision the future and think about what the Big 12 can be moving forward. Certainly the addition of TCU and West Virginia are a big part of our future. We're excited what the next years will hold for us. We really have some terrific opportunities in front of us.

Q: What are your thoughts on future Big 12 expansion?
Bowlsby: I like our position now. I like the teams we have. I like the stability of the league. I think we need to be the hardest fraternity to get into. But if there is somebody out there that adds real value to the Big 12, we ought to also think about that.

Q: What are your thoughts on the new college football tournament?
Bowlsby: The seeded four-team playoff will be absolutely terrific. We're going to capture back New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. College football will be preeminent on those two days with six great football games. I'm very excited about what has happened with the BCS, which will be probably known as the national championship series going forward (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 7/5).
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