DALLAS — Bob Bowlsby has come a long way from being skeptical about the future of the Big 12 Conference.
Bowlsby was Stanford's athletic director the past two summers when the Big 12 seemed to be on the brink of collapsing, something that was clearly on his mind when first approached about becoming the league's new commissioner. His perception has changed since taking the job and now being the Big 12 leader full-time for almost six weeks.
"I think the best days of this conference are ahead," Bowlsby said Monday at the start of Big 12 football media days. "I came into this process skeptical, (that) would probably be a fair way to portray it. ... I think we have a stability that is far better than perhaps the public perception."
The Big 12 is in a unique situation this season of having three teams coming off conference championships. Along with defending Big 12 champ Oklahoma State, both newcomers, TCU and West Virginia, won their respective leagues last season.
While not finished yet, Bowlsby said details are being worked out on a new 13-year television contract for the league.
There is also the planned New Year's Day bowl game starting in 2014 that will match the Big 12 and SEC champions.
"In addition to the strength and the revenue that is derived from a major media contract, we really are headed for a period of stability," Bowlsby said.
Things are so good that expansion beyond the current 10 members seems unlikely for now.