IRVING, Texas — Big 12 presidents and chancellors came to one agreement Friday: While working through the possibility of a football championship game, expansion and a league-wide television network, they are going to defer comments to Commissioner Bob Bowlsby.
The four-hour meeting of the Big 12's board of directors came about a week after outspoken Oklahoma President David Boren again publicly raised questions about the state of the league, and a day after the league's athletic directors met.
Kansas State President Kirk Schulz, the board chairman, said while there are differing viewpoints among the leaders of the 10 schools, he insisted there are more similarities than differences on their visions for the conference.
Schulz said he has had several conversations with fellow Big 12 leaders making sure everybody is moving in the same direction. At the same time, he said it is important that the conference be able to speak with a single voice while working through the issues.
"At some particular point, sort of like a family argument, is it better to do it in Applebee's or is it better to do it at home?" Schulz said. "I think we're at a point that we decided today that when we have the family argument, we're going to do it at home with the door shut."
Boren has said he believes expansion is crucial and that the Big 12 is disadvantaged as a 10-member league without a championship game or a network. He has said those three big issues should be deal with at the same time.
But after Friday's meeting, Boren deferred to Bowlsby and Schulz. Like the ADs on Thursday, the board took no votes or formal action.
Still, all the leaders have plenty of data to analyze and consider before the spring meetings May 31-June 3 at a hotel not far from the conference office. But there is no certainty any of those big three issues will be settled then.
"We've put a wobbly stake in the ground for about that time frame, but it's four months out, and I hesitate to forecast it right now," Bowlsby said. "But aspirationally, we see ourselves having access to the data we need and feel that we can have had the conversations we need to have to begin thinking about those things in the interrelated ways in which they need to be thought about."
Bowlsby reiterated, though, that a lot of conversations have to take place and a lot of entities need to be involved in those.
Boren is part of a subcommittee that has been reviewing expansion possibilities for the past year. That subcommittee made no report to the board Friday.
The NCAA last month approved legislation that would allow the Big 12 to hold a championship game, but the league is unlikely to have one this year.
Big 12 champion Oklahoma made it into the latest College Football Playoff after 2014 co-champions Baylor and TCU were snubbed for the first edition of the four-team playoff.