BYU Athletic Director Tom Holmoe Speaks About Big XII

Brigham Young Cougars Athletic Director Tom Holmoe spoke to the media on Saturday (October 15, 2011) about BYU being a candidate to join the Big XII conference. In previous statements issued by the BYU Athletics Department, BYU had given no hints to anything that might be happening behind the scenes. This time, Holmoe was much more open, and what he said should make everyone more comfortable.

I know last week I posted a piece entitled Final Thoughts on BYU and the Big XII, but that was before Holmoe made these remarks. With some new, legitimate information out there, I felt compelled to comment on it.

As reported by Dick Harmon in the Deseret News, the high points of Holmoe’s remarks were the following:
  1. BYU has not been invited to join the Big XII.
  2. BYU has been talking privately with the Big XII.
  3. BYU sees accepting an invitation from the Big XII as a no brainer.
  4. BYU aspires to play college football at the highest level.
I find Holmoe’s words comforting. While an announcement that BYU was joining the Big XII would be more comforting, the information provided by Holmoe is reassuring, nonetheless. I feel good about BYU’s chances of being team 11 or team 12 in the Big XII. When that will be is anyone’s guess.

My guess (read: a new idea I had this weekend) is that the Big XII had as its number one goal to stabilize at 10 teams for the duration of the existing television contract with ABC/ESPN. Every school was expecting a larger payout when Colorado and Nebraska left the conference. Going back to 12 right now would decrease each schools anticipated revenue. Adding BYU, or waiting 27 months to add Louisville, West Virginia, or any of the current Big East teams would complicate the existing television contracts. That is where TCU came in.

BYU has BYU-TV and its contract with ESPN that complicates the matter. The Big XII would be only 9 teams for a year or two while waiting for the Big East school(s) to come. TCU provided the Big XII with an immediate replacement for Texas A&M that wouldn’t complicate the major revenue source for the conference.

At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Big XII waits until 2016 to move back to 12 teams. However, they are working with certain schools to be ready to make that jump earlier if moves by other conferences necessitate it.

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