Photo via Hunter Cooke,

FRISCO – Bob Bowlsby kicked off Big 12 Media Days with some strong remarks on the state of the Big 12. There’s been a lot of talk on the state of the Big 12, on whether the conference was failing or simply putting out an inferior product on the field.

He answered, “It’s not about making the (College Football) Playoffs. It’s about winning National Championships. That’s what we want to do.”

It’s a strong statement from the head of a conference that hasn’t won a National Championship since Vince Young’s heroics in the 2006 Rose Bowl and hasn’t made the national championship game since Oklahoma and Texas lost in back to back years in 2010 and 2009.

The Big 12 is also breaking in three brand new head coaches in Matt Rhule, Tom Herman, and Lincoln Riley. Bowlsby was very complimentary of the three, declaring them some of the best new coaches in the nation. The new coaches have arguably the three biggest shoes in the conference to fill. Rhule steps in at Baylor, which has debatably been one of the flagship programs in the conference in recent years. No one needs to be reminded about the prestige of Texas. In a similar vein, no one needs to be reminded about how much of the conference’s water Oklahoma has carried for the past ten years.

A lot was also made of the conference’s Round Robin style of play, and of the new Conference Championship game that will debut this year. A fact that continues to astonish, the Big 12 went 4-2 in bowl games last year, a far better record than it pulled in recent years. The bowl record combined with the new extra game might be enough to push the conference into the playoff rounds more often.

“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…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,” Bowlsby said.

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