Blue roundup: Is BYU closer to joining Big 12?

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 21 2011 12:18 p.m. MDT

Now that the Pac-12 has decided it is not going to expand, it appears the Big 12 will survive and attempt to stabilize as Oklahoma and Texas try to work out their differences.

The Associated Press is reporting that "Texas and Oklahoma officials are expected to meet in the next few days to negotiate an agreement to keep the universities in the league for at least the next five years."

But Oklahoma wants some concessions from Texas and the Big 12. The Sooners want to see fundamental change in the league.

So what does all this mean for BYU? A story just came out from Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com, wherein Dodd writes, "Figure on Brigham Young getting an invite (to the Big 12) for sure."

Most pundits view BYU as a possible replacement for Texas A&M, presuming that the Aggies depart for the Southeastern Conference. Missouri reportedly also has an invitation to the SEC, but would prefer remaining in a stable Big 12.

The Big 12 board of directors is expected to meet soon to discuss the league’s future. ESPN.com’s Andy Katz writes that expansion will be addressed, “with the three likely candidates BYU (Independent in football/West Coast Conference in other sports) and Big East schools Louisville and West Virginia. Those were three of the five schools that the Big 12 athletic directors were charged to call when Texas A&M announced it was leaving.”

Yes, there's plenty of volatility in the Big 12 with schools posturing, leveraging, threatening to leave and threatening to sue.

The Tulsa World reports that Oklahoma president David Boren "would agree to a 10-team Big 12 that included BYU, TCU or Air Force, or a 12-team league that included all three."

The Austin American-Stateman reports that "Pittsburgh and Notre Dame had been prime targets for the Big 12 — before the former announced last weekend that it would join the Atlantic Coast Conference and the latter maintained its plan to remain a football independent. Big 12 sources have mentioned Brigham Young, Louisville, Cincinnati, TCU and West Virginia as other possible schools to approach."

But if a Big 12 invitiation comes, will the Cougars, who are in their first season as an independent, want to join a dysfunctional league? As attractive as joining an automatic-qualifying BCS conference would be, BYU needs the Big 12 to be stable. In the coming days, it appears the Big 12's focus will be on creating stability before looking at expansion.

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