Dick Harmon: BYU football: Scattershooting from Big 12 meetings

Published: Monday, Oct. 24 2011 8:11 p.m. MDT

What was the big news out of Big 12 territory on Monday when the league's board of directors met?

Nothing to excite Dorothy in Kansas. Or folks in Provo, Louisville or Morgantown. Missouri didn't formally withdraw from the Big 12 for the Southeastern Conference, as many had projected. Louisville, West Virginia or BYU didn't receive an invitation to join the Big 12, either.

Instead, the Big 12 presidents "reaffirmed" a plan to have all league schools turn over their TV rights to the league. The board also discussed NCAA legislation, the BCS, exploration of a league TV network and their strong desire for Missouri to stay home in the fractured conference that has already lost Colorado, Nebraska and Texas A&M.

Missouri may still bolt for the SEC and the Big 12 would then expand to somewhere between 10 and 14 schools, according to speculation.

So, to fill that Monday void, here are some selected tidbits.

Many so-called experts close to the University of Missouri program maintain that the Tigers will leave for the SEC; it is all but a done deal.

Many disagree on who will replace Mizzou as the Big 12's 10th team. Over the weekend, many Internet jockeys close to Texas said it would be West Virginia. Oklahoma's athletic director said it would be BYU.

It is interesting to note, unlike the Pac-12, which requires a unanimous vote of CEO's (presidents and chancellors) to expand, the Big 12 will expand or retract with a vote of 75 percent majority.

This is interesting to me because if Missouri joins A&M as defectors, it would be awkward if they had a vote on who would replace them. Common sense would dictate they withdraw from voting. According to Big 12 by-laws, Missouri and A&M would be labeled then as "withdrawn" or "breaching" members.

If that is the case, if I'm reading it right, just eight Big 12 presidents would vote and a 6-2 majority would get it done. That's half of the Big 12 circa 2009.

If BYU, Louisville and West Virginia are prime candidates, the Salt Lake City market is ranked 33rd, Louisville is 50th and Morgantown, West Virginia is in the Pittsburgh market which is 24th. Of course Dallas-Fort Worth ranks No. 5; Austin is 49th, Des Moines/Ames is 71st; Oklahoma City 45th, St. Louis, Mo., 21st. Losing the Missouri market of St. Louis/Kansas City would be a big loss in potential TV sets.

Broadcast types are calling the quick-shuffle to air BYU-Oregon State and its accompanying ratings "amazing" and "astounding."

To recap, BYUtv got together with the Pac-12 and Fox and, in a matter of days, with little marketing and promotion, partnered up to televise the Beavers versus Cougars. It drew an impressive rating in Utah and was the second-most watched TV program over the weekend behind the Cowboys-Patriots NFL game. I'm told BYU is restricted from releasing the rating numbers.

"It was a huge number," said ESPN producer Mikol Minor, who consulted with all parties. "It was tricky to do, getting three parties together that quick, we were talking graphics with Fox over the phone. We were asked to bring in a 'neutral' color man, and I found a friend, Mike Lamb from the Bay Area. Everyone seemed very pleased."

In talking numbers, in the nation's No. 1 TV market, New York City, two Big East games went head-to-head this past weekend at 8 p.m. Rutgers-Louisville drew a 1.45 rating on ESPN2 and West Virginia-Syracuse was .07 on ESPN, according to Nielsen ratings.

According to the 2010-2011 Director's Cup rankings, the final standings of how the nation's Division I athletic programs fared, Big 12 candidates fared as follows: Louisville finished 34th, BYU 37th and West Virginia 40th. Big 12 teams were led by A&M at No. 8; Oklahoma 10th; Texas 12th; Oklahoma State 32nd; Missouri 41st; Texas Tech 48th; Kansas State 58th; Iowa State 60th and Kansas 72nd.

According to a graphic found in the Louisville Courier-Journal Monday, if you take how the three Big 12 candidates fared in BCS rankings at the end of the season the past 10 years, West Virginia wins.

Both WVU and BYU have been ranked in the final BCS standings for four of the past five seasons. WVU's average rank has been 15th during that span (in years when it has been ranked). BYU's average rank has been 16.75 in the same span. Louisville has not been a BCS factor since finishing sixth in the 2006 rankings.

According to 2009 reports cited by the Courier-Journal, (only a guess for BYU's budget as a private school) West Virginia spends 25 percent of its $56 million athletic budget on football, Louisvile spends 19 percent of its $61 million budget on football and BYU spends 29 percent of its estimated $35.4 million athletics budget on football. Louisville has had 29 NFL draftees in 10 years, West Virginia 18 and BYU 16.

If you look at the Big 12 NFL draftees the past 10 years, Oklahoma has had 49, Texas 45, Kansas State 22 and Oklahoma State 16.

email: dharmon@desnews.com

twitter: Harmonwrites

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