Bowlsby emphasizes 'One True Champion'

When the Big 12 Conference unveiled its new branding initiative, the motto "One True Champion" was prominently displayed.

And as Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby took the stage at the conference's Media Day Monday morning, that point was reaffirmed multiple times - as opposed to some of the other conferences in which multiple divisions lead to teams not always playing everyone before being crowned a conference champion.

"The fact that we play everybody in our league is a nuance that is not going to be lost on the selection committee," Bowlsby said. "They will look very carefully at other leagues and when you're 7-1 in another league, it's not going to be 7-1 as a standalone number. It's 7-1 based on who you played, who you beat and also who you didn't play."

Bowlsby did admit that the Big 12 has considered the possibility of trying to set something up one day to allow the two best teams at the end of the year to play one another in a makeshift conference title game, but he does not believe that something like that needs to be implemented in order for the league to be represented well in the College Football Playoff. As far as he's concerned, the Big 12 should not have much of a problem getting teams in the mix for the four-team playoff under its current setup with the nine-game round-robin schedule.

"I like our path to the championship," he said. "Our champion has been decided on the last day of the season for about five years. So we have great competition at the end of the year."

Bowlsby says NCAA enforcement is broken

With college athletics changing rapidly with lawsuits and other things, Bowlsby set his sights on the NCAA's current enforcement standards as one of the things that truly need to be fixed in college sports.

"Enforcement is broken. The infractions committee hasn't had a hearing in almost a year," he said. "It's not an understatement to say that cheating pays presently. If you seek to conspire to certainly bend the rules, you can do it successfully and probably not get caught in most occasions."

Bowlsby said he did not think that is a problem in the Big 12, saying that all of the conference's coaches and programs are of high integrity, but for the handful of places where it might occur, the process of cheating has become so sophisticated that schools have been able to find ways to work around the rules while avoiding getting caught.

"It's easy to move money around. There are lots of people outside of universities that are handling things and they can't be compelled to testify even if they get caught," Bowlsby said. " I think the vast majority of people in intercollegiate athletics are of high integrity, they're doing it for the right reasons. But right now, if you want to cheat, you can do it and you can get away with it. And there are benefits for doing that.

"And that needs to change."

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