Big 12 Championship Game

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For the Big 12 men's basketball championship, see Big 12 Men's Basketball Tournament.
Big 12 Championship Game (defunct)
Sport Football
Conference Big 12 Conference
Played 1996–2010
Last contest 2010
Most championships Oklahoma Sooners (7)
TV partner(s) ABC
Official website Football
Dr. Pepper
Host stadiums
Host locations

The Big 12 Championship Game was a college football game held by the Big 12 Conference each year between 1996 and 2010. The championship game pitted the Big 12 North Division champion against the South Division champion in a game held after the regular season was completed.

The Big 12 South held an overall lead of 11–4 over the Big 12 North in the game.[1] In the first eight Big 12 championship games from 1996 to 2003, the divisions split four games each (with the north champion winning in every odd-numbered year and the south champion winning in every even-numbered year). However, the north division champion did not win after Kansas State's upset victory over Oklahoma in 2003.


The first championship game was played after the 1996 regular season, the first year of play for the Big 12 (which was created from the merger of the Big Eight Conference and four teams from the Southwest Conference). Like the SEC Championship Game (which has been played since 1992), the game matched the winners of the conference's two six-team divisions. The championship game was held at several sites within the Big 12 states, with Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, hosting more often than any other venue.

The 2008 Big 12 Championship Game was notable for the controversy over choosing the South Division representative. The Oklahoma Sooners, Texas Longhorns, and Texas Tech Red Raiders all finished with identical records and had each recorded a win and loss amongst one another. The Sooners earned a berth to the title game because they had the highest Bowl Championship Series ranking of the three at the time of selection. Oklahoma defeated the Missouri Tigers and earned a berth in the 2009 BCS National Championship Game.

From 2009 through 2013, the game was scheduled to be played at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.[2] During June 2010, however, Nebraska and Colorado announced that they would leave the Big 12 for other conferences in 2011. Because NCAA rules require that a conference have twelve members in order to stage a football championship game, the conference dropped the championship game following the 2010 season. During this time, Oklahoma and Texas have expressed that a conference title game hurts the chances of the conference to have a representative in the BCS National Championship Game, and now the newly-instituted College Football Playoff, beginning in 2014.[3]

In December 2014 after completing the first season under the new College Football Playoff, Baylor and TCU both finished the season with an 8—1 conference record and were declared co-champions by the conference despite Baylor's head to head win over TCU. When the selection committee met to set the teams for the first playoff both Baylor and TCU were overlooked in favor of teams that competed in and won their conferences championship game, leaving the Big 12 out of the playoffs.[4] This led to plenty of controversy over how the Big 12 determines its champion.

In April 2015, legislation that was developed by the ACC and the Big 12 to deregulate conference championship games was announced by NCAA officials as being expected to pass in time for the start of the 2016 season.[5] If the legislation passes it will allow conferences to chose the way that they determine their champion in whichever way they see fit. At this time, current NCAA rules state that you must have at least 12 teams and divisions with every team playing a round robin within its division to hold a Conference Championship Game. If this passes, it would allow the Big 12 to have a Conference Championship Game with only 10 teams. Following this news, Bob Bowlsby the Commissioner of the Big 12 stated that there is a chance that the conference could reinstate the Big 12 championship game starting with the 2016 season if deregulation passes.[6]


Year North Division South Division Site Attendance MVP
1996 #3 Nebraska 27 Texas 37 Trans World DomeSt. Louis, MO 63,109 RB DeAngelo Evans, Nebraska
1997 #2 Nebraska 54 #14 Texas A&M 15 AlamodomeSan Antonio, TX 64,824
1998 #2 Kansas State 33 #10 Texas A&M 36 Trans World Dome • St. Louis, MO 60,798
1999 #2 Nebraska 22 #12 Texas 6 Alamodome • San Antonio, TX 65,063
2000 #8 Kansas State 24 #1 Oklahoma 27 Arrowhead StadiumKansas City, MO 79,655
2001 #9 Colorado 39 #3 Texas 37 Texas StadiumIrving, TX 65,675
2002 #12 Colorado 7 #8 Oklahoma 29 Reliant StadiumHouston, TX 63,332
2003 #13 Kansas State 35 #1 Oklahoma 7 Arrowhead Stadium • Kansas City, MO 75,491 QB Ell Roberson, Kansas State
2004 Colorado 3 #2 Oklahoma 42 62,310
2005 Colorado 3 #2 Texas 70 Reliant Stadium • Houston, TX 71,107
2006 #19 Nebraska 7 #8 Oklahoma 21 Arrowhead Stadium • Kansas City, MO 80,031
2007 #1 Missouri 17 #9 Oklahoma 38 Alamodome • San Antonio, TX 62,585
2008 #19 Missouri 21 #4 Oklahoma 62 Arrowhead Stadium • Kansas City, MO 71,004
2009 #21 Nebraska 12 #3 Texas 13 Cowboys StadiumArlington, TX 76,211
2010 #13 Nebraska 20 #10 Oklahoma 23 78,802

Rankings are from the AP Poll.

Results by team[edit]

Appearances School Wins Losses PCT.
8 Oklahoma 7 1 .875
6 Nebraska 2 4 .333
5 Texas 3 2 .600
4 Colorado 1 3 .250
3 Kansas State 1 2 .333
2 Texas A&M 1 1 .500
2 Missouri 0 2 .000


  1. ^ The Big 12 South led the series 11–4 and outscored the Big 12 North 463-324 in the 15 years the game was held.
  2. ^ "Big 12 Conference Concludes Spring Meetings; Future Championship Sites Approved For Football, Basketball". The Big 12 Conference Official Athletic Site. May 24, 2007. Retrieved June 21, 2010. 
  3. ^ Carlton, Chuck; Sabin, Rainer (June 16, 2010). "UT coach Mack Brown not worried about lack of Big 12 title game". The Dallas Morning News. A. H. Belo. Archived from the original on 16 July 2010. Retrieved June 21, 2010. 
  4. ^ Rovell, Darren and Purdum, David (December 12, 2014). "Ohio State bumps TCU from CFP". ESPN. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Report: Conference title game deregulation expected by 2016". ESPN. April 8, 2015. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Bob Bowlsby: Having 13 games superior to having 12". ESPN. May 1, 2015. Retrieved May 4, 2015.