BYU Would Stabilize the Big XII

The Texas A&M Aggies aren’t going to the SEC after all. At least not yet. The real concern for the Big XII is not whether Texas A&M is staying or leaving. The SEC vote to decline an invite to the Aggies does little to stabilize the volatile Big XII. For all we know, the SEC could be delaying the invite to A&M until team number 14, or 15 and 16, can be chosen and persuaded to join. One thing is certain, the Big XII needs to stabilize itself, and there is an easy way to do that.

The fastest and easiest way for the Big XII to find stability is to bring in the Brigham Young Cougars. Inviting BYU serves two purposes. First, if Texas A&M does jump ship soon, then you already have your replacement school. Second, if BYU leaves independent status, then the threat of Texas going independent is gone.

Right now, the idea of Texas going independent is far fetched. The only way the Longhorns would try lone star football is if independence was a proven option. BYU is the case study for independence. If the Cougars are able to show everyone that independence is viable and show how to do it, then Texas might make the move. With BYU in the Big XII, the blueprint for succeeding as an independent will be incomplete. Texas will be content with its Longhorn network, and be happy its Olympic sports won’t have to play in Conference USA.

The Big XII should be prepared to make concessions to get BYU, including allowing BYU to keep its television deal with ESPN. Whatever the concessions are, they will be worth it. (Don't worry, BYU's desired concessions won't be overbearing, that isn't BYU's style.) Besides, individual television packages just might be the future of college athletics, and other schools in the Big XII would be wise to start exploring their own networks. Instead of $2 billion deals for entire conferences, each school will have its own $100-200 million deal.

The only question that remains is will BYU bite? The future as an independent is exciting. Although the surface has just been scratched, the possibilities seem endless. Nevertheless, BYU probably will bite at a Big XII invite, especially if concessions are made. BYU had one major goal and one major caveat when deciding to go independent. The Big XII would meet both.

The goal was to increase exposure to BYU. The caveat was to find a suitable home for Olympic sports. There is no debate about the caveat: the Big XII is a better home than the West Coast Conference (WCC). As for exposure, BYU would find increased exposure as a member of the Big XII. In the Big XII, if BYU is 10-0 in November they will be in the national championship conversation. The national championship picture is the lead college football story on every TV show and radio station in November. As an independent, if BYU is 10-0 in November they will be in the BCS buster conversation. BCS busting is exciting, but the national championship always gets more attention and coverage. The Olympic sports would bring more exposure as well. In the WCC, the basketball team would have to make a deep run in the NCAA tournament to generate the same exposure BYU would receive just for beating a number one ranked Kansas team.

Once again, the Big XII has dodged a bullet, but this is not a time for a sigh of relief. It is time to be proactive. If Big XII Commissioner Dan Beebe wants to keep his job, and the schools up north want to stay in a nationally relevant conference, then BYU needs to be invited now. Don’t risk dropping to 9 or 8 teams. Don’t risk Texas using the BYU blueprint to go independent. Get BYU on board. Make all the concessions necessary. This will lock up Texas for the long term. This will bring stability to the Big XII.

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at


  1. I want to see BYU as an independent for at least a couple of years. Being part of the Big 12 would be nice, but I think that BYU's position, as long as they continue to win, will be one of strength even if they don't join the Big 12 now. Plus, who knows what the college football landscape will look like in 2-5 years. Now that BYU is no longer being dragged down by the Mtn West, they are in a great position for whatever is going to happen - especially with the possibility of the formation of super conferences.

    I also really like the attitudes and similar values of WCC schools.

  2. Problem is you can't wait 2-5 years and still expect the BIG XII to be there. Frankly if there is no BIG XII, what options do BYU have in the future to be in a BCS conference? That is right, NONE!

    We will never be invited into the Pac-12 due to their feelings on our religion and other politics.

    We very may well succeed as a Indy, but why take the chance when we have a option to get the BIG XII invite we have always dreamed about? Sticking our noise up and trying to be to prideful will only kill us in the end. So if we get that BIG XII invite the rest of the country expects us to get, we better take it in a heartbeat.

    BYU-TV shouldn't be affected in BIG XII either as they are open to individual networks.

  3. I'm not sticking my nose up and being prideful. The fact that the Big 12 may not be there in 2-5 years is one of the reasons why we shouldn't go to the Big 12. BYU is now in charge of their own destiny and can negotiate (thanks to ESPN) from a position of strength if/when super conferences are formed rather than hang our hopes on a conference that appears to be sinking.

  4. Oceanographer- whether or not the Big XII dissolves in 2-5 years is irrelevant. You are now independent, and if the conference dissolved, would once again, be independent. Come on in with your BYUtv deal and double dip for $ by being in a conference. Really, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

  5. I think we do have something to lose if we pull out of the WCC after just 1 year and join the Big XII. We lose integrity in the eyes of the WCC, and would they take us back in a few years if the Big XII folds? Better to join the Big XII in football only and move other sports into the Big XII later once we can be assured of conference stability and uild a good relationship with the WCC; being open with them about the probability of an impending move out of the conference with a set timeline for withdrawal.

  6. The more that I think about it and if the Big 12 would let us keep the TV deals we have now, then I could easily accept BYU in the Big 12 in football only.

    However, I have a lot of respect for the WCC and I agree that the integrity of sticking with the WCC in our other sports is important. I think we owe it to the WCC for helping us. Plus, I love the idea of playing Gonzaga every year.

  7. The WCC is the sensitive side of it all. Assuming the Big XII has a solid plan in place, how do we walk away from the WCC so soon?

    I would be shocked if BYU didn't prepare the WCC up front for this. "We don't know of anything at this point, but I think you can understand that if something with one of the major conferences presents itself, we fully intend to move all our sports there."

    BYU has already done a lot of good will for the WCC, even without playing a single game. BYUtv has broadcated several WCC events. Of course the WCC won't like losing BYU after one year, but I think they would see this as a "better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all." The WCC would just go back to "status quo" from 2 years ago.


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