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Blue roundup: Would BYU relinquish independence for spot in Big 12?

Published: Friday, Aug. 12 2011 10:48 a.m. MDT

BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall during BYU football practice Monday, Aug. 8, 2011, in Provo, Utah.

Tom Smart, Deseret News

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BYU is about to embark on its first season of independence, having signed an eight-year broadcasting deal with ESPN.

Meanwhile, we may be on the verge of more conference realignments. According to reports, Texas A&M could be joining the Southeastern Conference, which could create seismic shifting on the landscape of college football.

Could BYU receive an invitation to the Big 12? Will Notre Dame remain independent? Check out what Barry Trammel of the Oklahoman has to say. Would the Cougars relinquish independence for a spot in the Big 12?

Texas, which BYU faces on Sept. 10 in Austin, has formed the Longhorn Network with ESPN, causing consternation among the rest of the 10-member Big 12 Conference.

According to this Orangebloods.com article, if Texas A&M leaves for the SEC, the other nine members are willing to remain together. "Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds said Wednesday it would be Texas' goal to hold the Big 12 together," Chip Brown writes. "But if there wasn't sentiment for that he said Texas and a school like Notre Dame should look at starting their own conference. Dodds has said he is against Texas going independent. A high-ranking official at a Big 12 school said the Pac-12 could re-enter the picture if Texas A&M leaves for the SEC. The official said Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott has indicated he would love to set up regional networks in Oklahoma and Texas Tech to accommodate Oklahoma and Oklahoma State as well as Texas and Texas Tech."

In other news:

Ole Miss, BYU's season-opening opponent on Sept. 3, was encouraged by the recent play of its quarterbacks. Barry Brunetti leads the race, but the performances have been inconsistent.

"It's been real up and down, hot and cold," offensive coordinator David Lee told the Clarion Ledger. "We look good. We don't look good."

The Washington Examiner facetiously calls former BYU quarterback John Beck "the greatest lockout quarterback in NFL history."

• Another former Cougar QB, Max Hall, threw a game-winning 28-yard touchdown pass in the Arizona Cardinals' exhibition game.

• Former BYU tight end Dennis Pitta played well for the Baltimore Ravens in an exhibition game.

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