Conference Realignment: The Perfect Scenario for BYU

Conference Realignment: The Perfect Scenario for BYU

by Daniel Olsen

With Texas and Oklahoma reportedly looking to leave the Big 12 for the SEC, conference realignment could be happening sooner than expected. It’s time to see how that could affect each of the three in-state schools. Here are some scenarios for BYU.

Scenario One: Stay in Independence

There are mixed feelings on whether this is sustainable. The answer is yes and no. BYU makes a substantial amount in its TV deal with ESPN. That’s more than they could make in a G5 conference but not as much as they could make in a P5 conference. If they can continue to look for other ways to create revenue, their goal could be to become the Notre Dame of the West.

This could lead to intriguing matchups every year. The beauty of being an Independent is that they can literally play any time, any team, any place. In the 2021 season alone, they will play schools from the following conferences:

PAC-12 (5)

Mountain West (2)

Big 12 (1)

ACC: (1)

Sun Belt (1)

American (1)

Big Sky (1)

Scenario Two: Big 12 Time

This could be a fun scenario as well. It would be more fun though if Oklahoma and Texas were still in the mix. The drop-off in revenue and overall talent is considerable without the cash cow of Texas and the recent dominance of the Sooners.

BYU would likely join one to three other schools to creat either a ten or 12 team conference. While not geographically ideal, it is the best cultural fit. The Big 12 seems to be more accepting of religious schools such as Baylor and TCU.

The best model for the Big 12 would be to bring in the following: a proven P5 school and former Big 12 member such as Nebraska or Colorado, BYU, and Texas schools such as SMU and Houston to keep their blueprint in the alone Star State.

Scenario Three: Create a new Conference

It’s time to get weird. There have been countless realignment ideas. Some go as far as having a true American conference with schools from East to West. For the sake of saving travel miles, it would be better to compose a conference of the best 12 teams in the West. Here is a proposed PAC-Mountain conference consisting of the best teams mostly in the PAC-12 and Mountain West Conference.

Mountain Division

BYU

Utah

Utah State

Boise State

Air Force

Colorado State

Pacific Division

USC

Oregon

Washington

San Diego State

Stanford

UCLA

The PAC-12 would say good bye to the Arizona schools, Colorado (possible reunion with the Big 12), California and cellar-dwellers in Washington State and Oregon State. They would welcome some of the better Mountain West teams. This way, the bottom feeders of the Mountain West and PÁC-12 can work together to form what would be some kind of G5 conference. It is better to create a conference full of successful teams than keep the dead weight holding them back from getting to the next level.

Scenario Four: Join a G5

This seems most unlikely because of the hit the Cougars would take financially. If somehow in conference realignment, a G5 becomes more desirable than one of the bottom P5 schools, then it could make sense. The Mountain West has some work to do to make the leap. With proven recent success, the American could make the most sense for BYU. While it doesn’t make sense geographically, the Cougars would be joining a conference that has a blueprint in Texas. They would also be in the same conference as UCF and Cincinnati, two teams that have recently secured the G5 bid for the New Years Six Bowl games.

Most Likely: Stay Independent

Unless a P5 or new super conference comes calling, BYU should stay put. Change isn’t always the best. Conference realignment has hurt their rival Utah State Aggies at times. With the Big 12 being less desirable in terms of competition and the G5 conferences being less desirable financially, it would take a miraculous formation of the best teams in America to convince BYU to join a conference.

Featured image via BYU Photo

One thought on “Conference Realignment: The Perfect Scenario for BYU

  1. I think the BIG10 will skewer your proposed Pac12-Mt. West merger by picking off four of the following six Pac12 teams (USC, UCLA, Stanford, Cal, Oregon, Washington). Ideally, I think the BIG would prefer USC and UCLA from the Pac12, and Virginia and North Carolina from the ACC to join them in an 18-team super-conference divided into three divisions, but we know that the ACC schools are locked in place for the next 15 odd years with their ridiculous ESPN contract – brilliant legal minds notwithstanding. Is any of the above comes to be, then the viable question for BYU and maybe Boise State is to join with the remaining Big12 and Pac12 schools informing their own mega-conference. Considering the basketball pedigree of Kansas, Arizona, and Oregon, and the large geographical footprint, one would think this conference would be a major player when television contracts are being finalized. I do think Nebraska (a national name brand that has not lived up to it’s billing against Big10 competition) should move to the Big12 in any event and the Big12 could give them the one and a half share that they offered to Texas and Oklahoma recently as an extra inducement to give up the heftier paydays brought by Big10 membership. No doubt Nebraska longs for those heady days of Tom Osbourne when it competed yearly for national championships in the only sport that matters. What a shame for the U. of Houston that Osbourne’s family refused to move to Houston (after his time in Congress) when Osbourne was set to take over the UH program and return in to national prominence.

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