The other night I was thinking about the implications of playing in a no-divisions, everyone plays everyone else conference starting (likely) next year. In all likelihood, any team that hopes to win this new conference will either have to win at Texas, or at Oklahoma... except for those two teams. Is this fair?
The Red River Shootout has a long and storied history. Traditions are one of the best things about college football. And we all know that UT and OU now run the show. But the fact is, both of those teams get the luxury of playing what is traditionally the most difficult team on their schedule at a neutral site every year. Meanwhile, the other 8 teams in the conference do not get the same luxury.
The Big Ten, Pac 10, and Big East all currently play some form of a round-robin schedule for football. As far as I know, none of those games are played at neutral sites. So this doesn't seem like a problem that has been addressed before. You could argue that OU/UT already have this same advantage in the current 12-team conference, but they still have to go out and win the Big 12 championship game (which hasn't been difficult for them recently, but in the past, the game was known for its wild upsets).
After everything the rest of the conference gave up to keep Texas and Gang around, is it time they reciprocated by giving up the neutrality of the Red River Shootout? Could they modify the current setup so that the "home" team each year gets 75% of the tickets instead of 50%?
Or should we embrace the neutral site game? Obviously, KU has played in a very successful neutral site game for several years now for the Border War. As fans we complain about not getting a shot at Misery in Lawrence any more, but you can't argue that the game in Arrowhead hasn't been profitable for both schools, and produced great games from a neutral perspective.
So what if the conference decided to expand the neutral site games so that every team in the conference has one each season? K-State and Iowa State played in Arrowhead last year--why not make that permanent? Here's how I foresee it working out:
UT/OU- Dallas Cowboys Stadium
OSU/Baylor- Cotton Bowl
ATM/TT- Houston Reliant Center or Alamo Dome
Obviously, OSU/Baylor/ATM/TT would have to be sorted out as far as opponents and locations. But in a round-robin format, it just doesn't seem fair to me that certain teams have one less true road game a year than others. So what solution do you think is best? Or is there really no problem here at all?
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