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:
Mountain West (2)
Big 12 (1)
Sun Belt (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.
San Diego State
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