College Conference Realignment Gone Wild!

June 10, 2010    By: Geoff J @ 9:57 am   Category: Sports

The dominoes have officially begun to fall folks. Colorado just officially announced that it is leaving the Big12 to join the Pac10.

What is next? Nebraska is widely expected to leave the Big12 to join the Big10. If that happens then the Big12 is reportedly dead. The other big dogs (Texas and Oklahoma) don’t want to stay in the Big12 if Nebraska is gone. So there is a decent chance that most if the Big12 South will also defect to the Pac10 creating the Pac16.

If for some reason Nebraska stays in the Big12 that would be good news for both Utah and BYU. Utah is first in line to join CU in the Pac10 and BYU would surely be a top candidate to replace CU in the Big12. If the Big12 implodes things get messier because it would leave schools like Kansas and Kansas State without a conference at all. Maybe the Mountain West would be able to recruit them in that case.

Lots and lots of dominoes yet to fall folks. We’ll try to keep you updated in this thread as news goes comes in.

68 Comments »

  1. I don’t think Utah is first in line. My understanding is that the Big12 South is (Texas, Texas Tech, Texas AM, Oklahoma and OK State), which is five, plus Colorado making it 16 total. That leaves Utah out in the cold.

    If that happens I don’t see any reason the MWC doesn’t either morph into a new conference or just pick up Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri and Boise State and become a pretty solid conference that should be able to get automatic AQ status.

    Of course we haven’t heard yet from Notre Dame, which has the potential to really mix everything up.

    Comment by Rusty — June 10, 2010 @ 10:11 am

  2. If Nebraska stays in the Big12 then the current Big12 lives for sure. The Texas schools have made that pretty clear. So Utah is only first in line if Nebraska doesn’t defect.

    If Nebraska does defect and the five Big12 South teams then jump to a new Pac16, Utah and BYU would both be left on the outside looking in.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 10, 2010 @ 10:17 am

  3. I think that Rusty’s middle paragraph would be best outcome for BYU under the pending re-alignment.

    Comment by bbell — June 10, 2010 @ 10:31 am

  4. Yep, expanding the MWC is a decent fallback position. We know BSU wants to join the conference. But it would take some selling to get the Kansas schools or Mizzou.

    The other issue is that even if all four schools wanted to join our conference the MWC already has 9 schools so if we were to stay with 12 schools we could only add three.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 10, 2010 @ 10:40 am

  5. Drop San Diego State

    (Sorry Geoff)

    Comment by Rusty — June 10, 2010 @ 10:42 am

  6. Rumors are Nebraska is just about a go. They’ve met informally with the Big 10, and it looks like the move is imminent (however, the big money from Texas and Oklahoma could be inciting to stay in the Big 12).

    I’m agreeing with Rusty’s 2nd paragraph as well. That would be the most logical. If Utah, BYU, and Boise all have very good years again this year, plus some top-heavy favorites bypass the mid-majors (a 1 or 2 loss SEC team ranked above an undefeated MWC team), the outcry would be national (not just mountain based).

    Comment by brandt — June 10, 2010 @ 10:46 am

  7. I don’t think Utah is first in line. My understanding is that the Big12 South is (Texas, Texas Tech, Texas AM, Oklahoma and OK State), which is five, plus Colorado making it 16 total. That leaves Utah out in the cold.

    Baylor is the 6th team, Colorado was in the North.

    Nebraska is as good as gone. It’s all just a matter of time.

    Texas would rather not leave but now may be forced to as the Big 12 North stinks much worse than it did before. The only way the Big 12 stays together is inviting both Utah and BYU to join.

    Early in the conversations, the Pac 10 was looking at Colorado and Utah. If Texas wants to stay, there’s going to be a fight over Utah.

    In the end, I fully expect Rusty to be right, though I still expect Mizzou to end up in the B10 and ISU left out in the cold. Thus the MWC will go to two 6-team divisions by adding Boise St and the Kansas schools.

    Comment by Tim J — June 10, 2010 @ 10:48 am

  8. And while football is the driving force, adding KU and KSU to the fold would make the MWC a helluva basketball conference.

    Comment by Tim J — June 10, 2010 @ 10:50 am

  9. Right on Tim J

    Comment by bbell — June 10, 2010 @ 10:52 am

  10. Wouldn’t what’s left of the Big 12 expand to include the bulk of the MWC rather than vice versa? Then the remaining MWC and WAC combine under either name.

    In any case, it’s crazy that this conversation is even happening.

    Comment by Eric Russell — June 10, 2010 @ 11:03 am

  11. Wouldn’t what’s left of the Big 12 expand to include the bulk of the MWC rather than vice versa?

    At first, I thought this was the case. But for a new conference to get an auto-BCS bid, you have to have at least 6 remaining teams that have played together at least 5 years. So if Texas leaves, there’s no leverage that KU and KSU possess that would entice teams to play with their conference instead of vice-versa.

    On the plus side, the teams that have been stuck with Baylor for the last 15 years can finally be done with them. Say hello to Conference USA!

    Comment by Tim J — June 10, 2010 @ 11:08 am

  12. Baylor and Texas Tech would seem to make better candidates for the MWC than the Kansas schools.

    Comment by Last Lemming — June 10, 2010 @ 11:10 am

  13. Rusty — As I understand it the MWC bylaws preclude the possibility of dumping a school (though schools can voluntarily leave with no penalty). But even if the MWC could dump a school I’m pretty sure SDSU would not be the top candidate.

    Tim J — I agree that the Big12 should be courting Utah and BYU and I really hope they are. I just have not heard any scuttlebutt about the Big12 looking at Utah yet (with all the Utah to the Pac10). Then again, I imagine that BYU has some influence over Utah so maybe behind the scenes the BYU schools are trying to make a deal to join and thus save the Big12. I sure hope so.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 10, 2010 @ 11:11 am

  14. Baylor and Texas Tech would seem to make better candidates for the MWC than the Kansas schools.

    Texas Tech is most likely following Texas and A&M to the Pac 10, though we’ll have to see as they are hoping for an SEC invite.

    I would be shocked (and dismayed) if the MWC invites Baylor.

    Comment by Tim J — June 10, 2010 @ 11:14 am

  15. ISU and Baylor are the clear omega dogs in the Big12 so the conference would be glad to get rid of them. But in the end it comes down to money. NU is looking at the Big because the money from TV would be a lot better. The Texas schools are looking at the Pac16 because to the potential lucrative TV deal that would create.

    The best chance of saving the Big12 would be a Big12 network of some kind that made it possible for the Texas schools to make just as much as they would by skipping into the Pac16.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 10, 2010 @ 11:14 am

  16. I agree that the Big12 should be courting Utah and BYU and I really hope they are.

    Do I think they should be courting them? Honestly, I think Texas is looking for a way out of the conference. They don’t want to be left without a chair when the music stops. It’s far better to be proactive than reactive right now, so I think Texas leaves (to the P10 with A&M, OK and OK St.) and the Big 12 is dissolved.

    This is probably the best-case scenario for the MWC but the worst-case for BYU and Utah.

    Comment by Tim J — June 10, 2010 @ 11:21 am

  17. Geoff,
    As a hypothetical, who is at the top of that list (or, at the bottom of the MWC)? UNLV should stay for their basketball program. Perhaps New Mexico? Another good basketball program. Wyoming? I like Wyoming.

    Comment by Rusty — June 10, 2010 @ 11:22 am

  18. Losing Colorado and Nebraska, though, means a Big12 Network would have less leverage than they currently have. There’s no way that they’d be able to cut the kind of deal that they’d be able to cut with a Pac16.

    Comment by Wm Morris — June 10, 2010 @ 11:25 am

  19. The best chance of saving the Big12 would be a Big12 network of some kind

    The Big 10 Network works because of the huge TV markets they’re in. Chicago, Milwaukee, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Philly, Indy, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Columbus, etc.

    The Big 12 just can’t compete there so a full-fledged network is unlikely. The Mtn. has yet to turn a profit btw.

    Texas was actually working on their own network, The Longhorn Sports Network, that would give them a distinct advantage over the other Big 12 teams. And the Big 12 was going to allow this which is why at first, Texas wanted status quo.

    Comment by Tim J — June 10, 2010 @ 11:27 am

  20. Rusty,

    The driving factor in these discussions is always money. Money is driven by TV market and specifically football revenues (basketball pales in comparison). SDSU has one of the biggest TV markets in the league (with TCU being the competition). SDSU also provides a foothold in SoCal with its treasure trove of potential recruits.

    I think that if schools were to be dumped from the MWC (and they won’t be) the top choices would be Wyoming, New Mexico, and UNLV in that order.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 10, 2010 @ 11:30 am

  21. As a hypothetical, who is at the top of that list (or, at the bottom of the MWC)? UNLV should stay for their basketball program. Perhaps New Mexico? Another good basketball program. Wyoming? I like Wyoming.

    I’m not Geoff, but I’ll answer. It’s definitely Wyoming. San Diego St. at least gives you the San Diego TV market and a good recruiting base. Wyoming offers you nothing in terms of good sports teams, market, or recruiting.

    Comment by Tim J — June 10, 2010 @ 11:32 am

  22. Yes I think the main incentive for Texas to hold the Big12 together would be because they would have power to call all the shots in the new Big12. That means they could launch their own network if they wanted or do any number of things that they wouldn’t be able to do in a Pac16 conference.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 10, 2010 @ 11:33 am

  23. Texas already calls all the shots. It’s a big part of why the Big12 is considered the most vulnerable of the conferences.

    Comment by Wm Morris — June 10, 2010 @ 1:12 pm

  24. I agree William. And that is largely why people believe Texas will probably end up in a Pac16.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 10, 2010 @ 1:31 pm

  25. I just hope the MWC is proactive, but doesn’t panic. I’m a Cal fan, but I wouldn’t mind seeing a stronger MWC.

    Comment by Wm Morris — June 10, 2010 @ 1:58 pm

  26. Geoff, that’s two posts in a row with a title ending in an exclamation point. Just sayin’

    Comment by Jacob J — June 10, 2010 @ 3:13 pm

  27. That’s because exclamation points drive traffic. Have you looked at our numbers in the last couple of days?!

    (This comment will now drive more traffic too.)

    Comment by Geoff J — June 10, 2010 @ 3:21 pm

  28. So the poll in the DFW Star-Telegram suggests that the non-delusional TCU fans (e.g. those who aren’t voting to keep the Big12 the same, which is unlikely to happen) want the school to join the MWC. TCU, Boise State and the two Kansas Schools would be a good addition. You get two strong football and two strong basketball programs that way.

    The big question is, no matter who the MWC gets to join, is the BCS going to give it an auto-bid or are the “super conferences” going to get two auto-bids?

    Comment by Wm Morris — June 11, 2010 @ 7:15 am

  29. WM, TCU is already part of the MWC.

    Comment by Rusty — June 11, 2010 @ 9:40 am

  30. ESPN is reporting the Boise State is officially joining the MWC. An announcement is expected this afternoon.

    Comment by Christopher — June 11, 2010 @ 9:53 am

  31. Oh. I forgot about that. Wow, some really wishful thinking going on the part of Horned Frogs fans, then.

    Comment by Wm Morris — June 11, 2010 @ 10:01 am

  32. BSU has officially accepted the MWC invitation. Will be part of the MWC starting summer of 2011.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 11, 2010 @ 10:29 am

  33. Nebraska reportedly has accepted the invite to the Big10.

    The next issue is what do the big schools in the Big12 south do. All indication now are that they are off to the Pac16.

    Texas A&M might go to the SEC which means either KU or Utah would be the candidates for the coveted 16th seat in that conference.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 11, 2010 @ 11:46 am

  34. Worst case scenario still highly possible: Utah goes to PAC-16, KU and KSU go to Big East. MWC remains a nine-team mid-major conference.

    Comment by Eric Russell — June 11, 2010 @ 12:10 pm

  35. That is a possibility and it would be a pretty bitter pill for BYU fans to swallow.

    I personally think that KU would jump at a chance to get that 16th spot in the Pac16 and a school like KU would be hard for them to pass on.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 11, 2010 @ 12:31 pm

  36. This may end with the MWC getting a chance at a BCS championship game going forward. I bet Iowa State Kansas etc end up in the MWC along with B State

    Comment by bbell — June 11, 2010 @ 12:34 pm

  37. The MWC shouldn’t take ISU. They were total freeloaders in the Big12. But the Kansas schools would be a good get for sure.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 11, 2010 @ 2:13 pm

  38. The MWC shouldn’t take ISU. They were total freeloaders in the Big12. But the Kansas schools would be a good get for sure.

    I agree. WHile everyone is up in arms about Kansas being left out, Iowa St is the team that’s going to get hurt the most. They and Baylor most likely end up in C-USA.

    Mizzou is really in limbo now. They’re still praying that they get that B10 invite they expected, though the B10 commissioner at the press conference said they weren’t interested in any further expansion right now.

    Comment by Tim J — June 11, 2010 @ 6:42 pm

  39. If you add KU and KSU, where do you hold the championship game? Would you still go to Vegas? I’d like to see the conference bball tourney moved to the Pepsi Center in Denver and get off UNLV’s homecourt if possible.

    Comment by Tim J — June 11, 2010 @ 6:44 pm

  40. Yeah, I think they’re looking to get the BBall tourney out of the Thomas and Mack anyways. Denver’s a good place.

    But where to hold the football championship game is a good question. Denver’s going to be pretty cold in December. Las Vegas would be a good place – except that it would be like a week before the Las Vegas Bowl.

    I’ve been reading lots of articles and it sounds to me like A&M’s just balking towards the SEC so it doesn’t look like they’re slaves to Texas. I think they’re probably going to end up not passing up the opportunity with the PAC-16. While I still think KU would prefer the Big East over the MWC, at least this prevents the MWC from losing them to the PAC.

    Comment by Eric Russell — June 11, 2010 @ 7:47 pm

  41. Texas is going to the Pac 10, A&M is still on the fence as of this morning, lots of local talk about it here in DFW.

    Comment by Stephen M (Ethesis) — June 12, 2010 @ 3:17 pm

  42. While I still think KU would prefer the Big East over the MWC, at least this prevents the MWC from losing them to the PAC.

    I don’t think the Big East will take them. I actually think once this ball gets rolling that the BIg East might be done as a football conference. The SEC might invade the ACC, the ACC will compensate by picking up a few Big East, etc. This might lead to the bball-only Big East schools (G’Town, Nova, etc.) to forming their own conference with some of the A-10 schools (Temple, St. Joe’s, etc.)

    But this might be the best-case scenario for Kansas basketball. They might be able to round-up Marquette, Louisville, Cincinnati, Memphis, and a few others to go along with KSU, Mizzou, and Iowa St. Not much of a football conference, but really good in bball.

    Comment by Tim J — June 12, 2010 @ 7:28 pm

  43. The plums the might be available for the MWC are Mizzou, KU, and KSU. I suspect they all have the MWC on the radar as an option but clearly all would consider the MWC a fallback plan.

    If TAMU fills the 16th spot in the Pac16 it would be interesting to see what the MWC did. The could grow to 13 schools or perhaps considers lesser options like ISU and become a 14 school conference. Or they could see about becoming a 16 school league.

    If TAMU goes to the SEC that changes the game as either KU or Utah would probably be asked to fill that slot. If the others were available maybe we would see a beefed up 12 school MWC instead.

    Lots still yet to be settled.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 12, 2010 @ 8:46 pm

  44. If TAMU goes to the SEC that changes the game as either KU or Utah would probably be asked to fill that slot.

    Word is that the Pac-10 would rather have Utah than Kansas. Same market size and Utah is a better fit academically and athletically.

    No matter what happens, BYU and Utah are going to end up in a better situation than they were in a few weeks ago. Either the MWC improves drastically, or their joining a conference with more appeal.

    Comment by Tim J — June 13, 2010 @ 8:32 pm

  45. Some sources are saying Utah has an edge and other sources are saying Kansas has the edge. I tend to believe KU has the edge because of their established relationship with Texas and OU. I have to believe Texas would have a lot of say on that last spot.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 13, 2010 @ 8:58 pm

  46. If the Big 12 survives (which some people are reporting is more likely than it seemed last week), then Utah is a winner (because it joins the Pac-10) but BYU is left out in the cold. Meanwhile, you gotta wonder if the Big 12 would poach TCU.

    Comment by Wm Morris — June 14, 2010 @ 11:04 am

  47. Yeah as of this morning the odds of the Big12 holding together with 10 schools looks significantly higher. That might mean Utah would get that Pac12 spot which is a real loss for BYU and the MWC.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 14, 2010 @ 11:40 am

  48. If the Big12 survives that opens the possibility of BYU getting an invite sometime soon to bring them back to 12 schools. But as of now the plan was to stay at 10.

    Looks like a TV network stepped up with a big fat offer when it looked like the Big12 was going down. That has changed the game.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 14, 2010 @ 11:43 am

  49. Ok the Big12 is not dying. Today they turned the Pac10 down and will stay intact. Apparently Fox Sports came in and offered gobs of money in a TV deal to keep them from imploding.

    They will remain a 10 team conference for now but I find it hard to believe that will last very long. I expect them to get back to 12 teams soon so they can hold a conference title game again. If so BYU will be near the top of that list.

    Utah will probably get an invite to the Pac10 soon though. I don’t expect that to start until 2012 though when CU is making its move.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 14, 2010 @ 5:07 pm

  50. Do the same factors (academic profile, Sunday play, etc.) that ostensibly keep BYU from being considered for the PAC10 apply for Big12 consideration?

    Comment by Tom — June 14, 2010 @ 5:37 pm

  51. The no playing on Sunday combined with their past success are probably the biggest hurdles.They may not win conference championships every year, but they’re plenty good enough to compete every year. The chance a conference tourney/playoff will be forfeited, or worse, a bowl game gets forfeited b/c of the Sunday rule is probably enough for a major conference not to take the chance with BYU. And, since money ultimately is the deciding factor I don’t think BYU would generate enough additional money for a major conference to take the chance of a conference championship or bowl game being forfeited. (2 bowl games last year were played on Sundays.) That’s only football. Sunday games are huge for men’s basketball. Otherwise, I don’t see why they’re not getting more attention in the beauty pageants for the PAC 10, Big 12 or even Big 10.

    Comment by rbc — June 14, 2010 @ 6:48 pm

  52. The Sunday play thing is definitely a knock against BYU with the Big12 but most observers think that could be worked around. The Pac10 just didn’t like the cultural fit issues. It was especially a problem for the ultra liberal Bay Area schools.

    BYU is the best available choice that the Big12 knows would jump at the invitation. I suspect the Big12 would like to try to woo Arkansas back too but who knows if that would be possible. I think the Big12 Lite will expand again and I think BYU has a high chance of getting in. I just don’t know how quickly that would happen.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 14, 2010 @ 7:00 pm

  53. Do the same factors (academic profile, Sunday play, etc.) that ostensibly keep BYU from being considered for the PAC10 apply for Big12 consideration?

    Nope.

    I think Utah ends up being the 12th Pac-10 team and BYU gets an offer from the Big 12 along with either Kansas, Colorado St. (not likely), one of the Texas schools, or Memphis.

    The chance a conference tourney/playoff will be forfeited, or worse, a bowl game gets forfeited b/c of the Sunday rule is probably enough for a major conference not to take the chance with BYU.

    I don’t think this has anything to do with it. At most, BYU would just get slotted into a worse bowl that doesn’t play on Sunday. The BIg 12 has plenty of bowl bids so I don’t think that would be a problem. And the NCAA has already accomodated BYU in the tourney. I just think the BIg 12 doesn’t want to deal with it. BUt they may not have any other choice if they want to keep the championship game.

    Comment by Tim J — June 14, 2010 @ 7:20 pm

  54. Kansas is already in the Big12.

    If the Big12-Lite were smart they would act quickly and snatch both BYU and Utah before Utah commits to the Pac10.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 14, 2010 @ 8:08 pm

  55. Oops. I’m not sure who I meant there.

    If the Big12-Lite were smart they would act quickly and snatch both BYU and Utah before Utah commits to the Pac10.

    Agree 100%. You’ve improved your conference’s stature in basketball by a zillion percent and at least the status quo if not an overall improvement in football. Makes too much sense so it probably won’t happen.

    Comment by Tim J — June 14, 2010 @ 9:18 pm

  56. Except if Utah has the choice it would be crazy to take the Big 12 over the PAC 10/12/16, imo. Utah stands a much better chance at success in the PAC10/12/16 than the Big 12.

    Not sure adding Utah and BYU would increase Big 12 basketball a zillion percent. The Big 12 already has Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma-not too bad. Adding Utah and BYU would improve things in basketball, but only marginally, imo.

    I heard this morning the NCAA is considering allowing 10 team conferences to stage a conference championship game. If so, say good bye to BYU and Utah going to the Big 12. Neither school will generate enough extra money to the Big 12 to offset their dilution of the overall Big 12 pot of money.

    Comment by rbc — June 15, 2010 @ 4:20 am

  57. Well, Texas stayed. Nebraska and Colorado jumped ship, that was it.

    Comment by Stephen M (Ethesis) — June 15, 2010 @ 5:04 am

  58. Not sure adding Utah and BYU would increase Big 12 basketball a zillion percent.

    Taking into consideration the losses of Colorado and Nebraska basketball, the net effect of adding BYU and Utah would be great.

    But you’re probably right, where the Big 12 stands now basketball-wise, adding BYU and Utah would improve it, but not dramatically.

    Comment by Tim J — June 15, 2010 @ 5:36 am

  59. So I’m guessing that BYU and Utah will still play each year if they’re in different conferences?

    Thinking about it, I actually would kind of be relieved if the rivalry were to end. The acrimony stresses me out. The religious/cultural aspect of it is so poisonous that I can’t really just enjoy the fun of it like I can with other rivalries. But I suppose even if they didn’t play every year, there would still be much hatred and contention among the partisans.

    Comment by Tom — June 15, 2010 @ 6:40 am

  60. RE: 59

    Florida (SEC) and Florida State (ACC) play every year in a rivalry game as do South Carolina (SEC) and Clemson (ACC). (I’m an ACC fan and would not mind seeing Clemson bolt for the SEC in exchange for Vanderbilt coming to the ACC.) Utah and BYU can still play every year even if they end up in different conferences.

    What you describe is what make rivalry games so exciting and intense, but I’m an outsider to the Utah/BYU rivalry, except for the chatter that goes on at Church and the internet. As an outsider w/o any loyalty to either school, I have to say the Utah/BYU rivalry is very, very entertaining and hope it continues if Utah leaves the MWC.

    Comment by rbc — June 15, 2010 @ 7:05 am

  61. ok, folks. Consider this question. You are a Mormon football player. Bronco says you’ll be a missionary for the church. Whit says that you’ll be playing on a team with a decent shot at the national championship and that you’ll have the opportunity to be an example for folks in the church (just unofficially). Whom do you choose?

    Unless BYU works its way into a BCS Conference, it will lose recruiting battles against Utah endlessly.

    Comment by John C. — June 16, 2010 @ 4:35 pm

  62. I think you are overstating the problem John C. Certainly there would be a bit of an advantage for Utah if BYU doesn’t end up in a BCS conference in the next few years. But non-Utahn LDS players would have zero incentive to go to Utah and still plenty incentive to go to BYU. In Utah, where BYU has done very well with recruiting against Utah, things could be a little tougher. But the fact is that BYU still has better facilities, still has more fans, still puts plenty of players in the NFL, and still has every single game televised in Utah.

    Plus let’s not forget the fact that UTAH BLOWS.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 16, 2010 @ 4:56 pm

  63. I’m serious. One of the prime reason that BYU recruits well with out of state Mormons is that there are lots of Mormons there. There are lots of Mormons at Utah. They will have more money (thanks to BCS), they will have better facilities, they have the better track record (over the last ten years), they have (arguably) the better coach, and they have a better chance at the national title (or, at least, a BCS bowl) year in and year out. With USC dropping off, the Pac-10 (which is never all that strong) is wide open. Utah, which does a good job of rising (and lowering) to challenges could be in a Rose Bowl in the next couple of years. BYU has the Las Vegas bowl to look forward to (or, more likely, San Diego with Boise around). I can think of a host of reasons for out of state Mormons to prefer Utah.

    Comment by John C. — June 17, 2010 @ 6:22 am

  64. By which I mean that if BYU wants to continue to compete in the rivalry (including recruiting), it has to get into a BCS bowl or drag the MWC into one. It would have had a better shot if the Big 12 disappeared. But it may still make it in. However, remember that in the eyes of the east, Utah, BSU, TCU, and BYU are all interchangeable. So I don’t know that the MWC has improved its chances just by adding BSU (I think it would have if Utah was sticking around, though).

    Comment by John C. — June 17, 2010 @ 6:25 am

  65. John,

    There is no doubt that the clock is ticking pretty loudly for BYU right now. If BYU doesn’t get an invite to the Big12 or figure out a way to cash in on the big TV money out there for college football in some other way Utah definitely could pull well ahead of BYU over the next few years.

    I actually don’t think Utah’s chances of getting to a BCS bowl are much better in the Pac10. But they do have the advantage of not necessarily having to go undefeated to get an at large invite.

    Really it is not the AQ status of the Pac10 that is enviable, the real windfall for Utah is the money from the Pac10 TV deal and the increased TV availability they will have nationwide.

    Comment by Geoff J — June 17, 2010 @ 3:09 pm

  66. Utah’smove could make the Utah-BYU rivalry bigger. Imagine how much nicer it will feel if BYU beats an unbeaten Utah team to crush their dreams of a BCS bowl.

    Comment by rbc — June 17, 2010 @ 7:05 pm

  67. I agree with you about Pac-10 money and tv being the biggest factor. But the Pac-10 has never really been a strong conference.

    Comment by John C. — June 18, 2010 @ 7:24 am

  68. Plus let’s not forget the fact that UTAH BLOWS.

    I have a new motto for BYU Football: Our players are really missionaries gathering for the Lord but our fans are sifters. ;)

    Comment by Riley — June 19, 2010 @ 9:13 am

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