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Big 12 Announces How Championship Game Participants Will Be Decided

The Big 12 has announced how it will determine the participants for its football title game.

In a statement released Friday, the Big 12 has announced that it will not split its 10 teams into two divisions - as had been debated. Instead, starting in 2017, the two best teams in the league will play for the conference title in a championship game at a neutral site. In short, No. 1 will play No. 2 for the league title.

As a reminder, the Big 12 "co-sponsored" legislation that allows conferences with less than 12 members to hold conference title games. It's a move meant to allow the league to stay on-par with the other four power conferences regarding total games played.

Here's the official statement from league commissioner Bob Bowlsby.

“There are a number of advantages to matching our top two teams,” said Commissioner Bob Bowlsby. “Given our round-robin, nine-game scheduling model, it is expected the Big 12 champion will be uniquely positioned for College Football Playoff consideration. I would argue there will be no path more difficult than our champion’s, where it will have played every team in the Conference, faced at least one Autonomy Conference non-conference opponent, and then plays in our championship game. The guaranteed No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup will be a great game for our fans, and it’s hard to imagine a stronger position for a conference champion.”

ESPN's Brett McMurphy says that Arlington, Texas is the favorite to land the first title game in 2017.

The first title game will be played in 2017.