Big 12 to keep 8-game schedule, championship game

Updated: May 25, 2006, 6:10 PM ET
Associated Press

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The Big 12 Conference is sticking to its eight-game conference football schedule and will continue playing a championship game with a $800,000 payout for both teams.

The league's athletic directors and football coaches rejected a plan to go to nine conference games and ditch the title game at its annual spring meeting that concluded Thursday.

"The coaches were united in not wanting to change," commissioner Kevin Weiberg said. "There was a consensus that what we have now works well."

The traditional Colorado-Nebraska and Texas-Texas A&M games on the Friday following Thanksgiving, however, are in jeopardy.

Weiberg said the conference is considering using Thanksgiving weekend as part of the Big 12's regular football schedule with a full slate of games played that Saturday.

"We will continue to explore everyone playing on Thanksgiving weekend," Weiberg said. "Using that weekend could create some scheduling flexibility for earlier in the season."

Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn opposes the move and said he will lobby to keep the Buffaloes-Cornhuskers game on the day after Thanksgiving.

The league also decided to stick with its 16-game conference slate in men's and women's basketball but formed a task force to look into changing postseason tournament dates so championship games aren't played on Sunday.

"We will have a better sense of the format by January 2007 so that we can move forward with our television partners," Weiberg said.

Nebraska was awarded the 2007 outdoor track and field championship and Colorado the 2008 event.

Weiberg also said the conference expects to distribute $102.5 million to its member schools for the fiscal year.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press