The Big 12 Needs BYU

That’s right, the Big 12 needs BYU. Sure, BYU needs the Big 12 as well, but there’s no question the Big 12 takes a major step forward by adding the Cougars to the conference.

In the wake of the Committee’s announcement of the first-ever College Football Playoff, it’s clear to all that the Big 12 needs a Conference Championship game, which means it needs two more teams.

TCU was ranked no. 3 before beating Iowa State 55-3. The Horned Frogs are now no. 6 somehow. Baylor was no. 6 before beating no. 9 Kansas State 38-27. The Bears are now no. 5–nothing more than a nice gesture by the Committee to finally acknowledge Baylor’s head-to-head victory over TCU.

So what happened? TCU was 3rd and won by 52. Baylor was 6th and beat a top 10 team by 11. How could they both be left out of the Playoff? Ohio State played a legitimate Conference Championship game against an overrated, yet ranked Wisconsin team and won 59-0, making the decision easy for the Committee–take the team with the extra win and a true conference championship to it’s name–that’s how.

Had TCU and Baylor played in a rematch on a neutral field for pure Big 12 supremacy, I can guarantee you the winner would have been in the playoff over Ohio State. But the Big 12 only has 10 teams (ironic isn’t it?) and the NCAA requires conferences to have 12+ teams to host a conference championship game. Cue BYU–a team with a solid program and a national fan base.

BYU and TCU were both in the Mountain West for years together, and the two schools battled every year, along with Utah, for the MWC title. Utah is now a proud, competitive member of the Pac-12, TCU just won the Big 12, and BYU? BYU went independent so as to not fall entirely off the map by remaining in the dying MWC. And while independence hasn’t meant what BYU expected, it has kept the Cougars in the national spotlight thanks to a TV deal with ESPN–which was the Cougars main goal given the affiliation with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Now it’s time for the two (Big 12 and BYU) to come together and make a deal for the Cougars to join the conference that was clearly snubbed by the College Football Playoff Committee.

So why does the Big 12 need BYU more than say a Cincinnati or Boise State? Because without two more schools, the Big 12 will continue to be left on the outside looking in come playoff time each year–and NO ONE brings more to the Conference than BYU will. What school has better football and basketball programs than BYU who’s not already in a Power 5 conference? Not only that, but who has a larger fan base? Notre Dame? Nice try. The Fighting Irish have no need whatsoever for a conference. In fact, they’re better off without one. The answer is NO ONE! The Cougars are far and away the best team the Big 12 could add. The rest of the AAC, Conference USA and MWC can fight for that 12th and final spot, but the Cougars should be a lock. Here’s BYU by the numbers:

  • .703 – BYU’s winning percentage over the past 10 years (90-38)
  • 10 – bowl appearances by BYU in the past 10 years (yes, 100%)
  • .667 – BYU’s winning percentage in it’s last nine bowl games (this year’s is yet to be played)
  • 5 – number of times BYU finished the season ranked in the Top 25 in the past 10 years
  • .750 – BYU’s winning percentage against Texas and Oklahoma–the pride and joy of the Big 12–since 2009 (3-1)
  • 63,725 – capacity at BYU’s LaVell Edwards Stadium, a place where sellouts are not abnormal and sub 60,000 crowds are
  • 6,398,889 – members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the United States. Obviously not all members of the Mormon Church in the US are BYU fans, but the Mormon Church owns and runs BYU, so the Cougars are very much a national brand with a widespread national following

What other school can boast these numbers? No one! Honestly, I’d dare say that half of the schools currently in Power 5 conferences couldn’t even touch these numbers. I’d also dare say with the new recruiting firepower BYU will have being in the Big 12, the Cougars would compete for conference championships within just a couple seasons of joining–keep in mind I’m a BYU grad and diehard fan 🙂

Do the right thing, Tom Holmoe (BYU AD) and Bob Bowlsby (Big 12 Commish), get BYU in the Big 12 ASAP–like by the start of the 2015 season if at all possible. You’ll both be better off.

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