Comments about ‘Dick Harmon: Big 12 not looking to expand, but BYU's a candidate in waiting’

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Published: Saturday, July 19 2014 5:00 p.m. MDT

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provo, UT

Nice article Dick, and I agree with much of what you wrote, but you made one mistake that i believe needs correcting - BYU's victory over Texas in 1988 was not led by Ty Detmer. Sean Covey was the starter and winning quarterback in that game although Detmer did play some.

Sandy, UT

Dick, that is a great case for inclusion. I think the changing college landscape is going to provide BYU with some great opportunities. I would like to be a football only member of the Big 12 and keep our other sports in the WCC. That being said, I would hope for several home and home series in basketball with the Big12 if we were a football only member.

Salt Lake City, UT

The bottom line is, there was more resistance in BYU governance than any Big 12 president expected when it became obvious in September 2011 that Texas A&M was bolting for the SEC, and the league would be in media contractual default. BYU made the most brand-size sense going into the replacement discussions, but with Colorado already gone to the Pac-12 the geographical oddity already was apparent. But the concern expressed by some of the brethren that "BYU should not leave the smaller religious schools of the WCC in a potential contractual lurch" was what shot that idea down more than any Sunday play contractual issues. While West Virginia proved to be another "odd" geographical fit to the league after Missouri followed Texas A&M out the door to the SEC, BYU would have made good "cultural sense" with the addition of TCU to complement Baylor.

Sadly the best option available to BYU is to renew their relationship with the MWC & assist Utah State in building their brand up, much the way they did Utah for 4+ decades in the WAC/MWC alignment, or they could just drop football & stay in the WCC.

Just the FAX
Olympus Cove, Utah

It's only a matter of time before the Big 12 and BYU hook up.

Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA

This is probably the most comprehensive and fact based article on expansion I've read in a long time. Nicely done.

It sounds to me that the landscape has changed somewhat. Everyone thought that there would be six conferences with sixteen teams each. That was the ticket to greater income. Somewhere along the line expansion reached the point of diminishing returns and the "tree house effect" has set in. The P5 isn't interested in cutting the pie up into more pieces. Maybe BYU and Notre Dame can come up with something creative to form a sixth power conference.

Santa Monica, CA

Monologue from my One Man Show--Bronco. No Perfect Exit.

(Speaks to no one in particular.)

Hey everyone! I said it before and I'll say it again! We would seriously look at a bid from the Big 12!
I said it, and I'm not sorry I said it! In fact I'll say it again! We would absolutely consider a Big 12 invite.
(Cue wind sound and tumbling tumbleweed background projection...)
Hey--you think I'm backing down from my statement? Oh, no no no! I am not backing down from saying that I would welcome an invite from the Big 12! And we'd give a good look see and seriously consider it.
(Cue cricket sounds.)
Hey, Big 12--don't you dare think I was kidding when I said we'd be a good fit for the Big 12. I meant it and I'll mean it again this time next year. We would be tickled pink to have an invite to join the Big 12 and we would seriously consider it. Did I say seriously consider? I meant we would accept it! Right now!
I'm serious.
(Time passes.)
Is anyone out there! Hello!
(Lights fade.)

Mcallen, TX

Don't care.

Independence is great!

American Fork, UT

The reality is, BYU does not NEED to be in the Big12.

With the new college football playoffs, especially when it expands to 8 teams (in a few years), I think BYU will have as easy a route as if they were in the Big12. They'll need to go undefeated either way.

The bigger concern is if the Big 5 decide to break off from the NCAA and do their own thing. That could be disastrous for EVERYONE not in a Big 5 conference.

As for inclusion into the Big 5 - clearly BYU belongs - the numbers speak for themselves. What an excellent article.

I've said it many times (and challenge our Ute friends to refute this), if Utah can get invited, then clearly BYU should be!

Mormon Ute
Kaysville, UT

As the Utes have discovered, there is a huge difference between being competitive a few times a year with Big 12 caliber opponents and being competitive every week.

Also, BYU's great winning percentage has been largely built on competition of a much lower caliber than is found in the Big 12.

I think BYU is a good candidate for the Big 12, but a dose of reality is warranted to avoid getting too excited about the possibilities.

Joey K
Sandy, UT

Yea, and I'm interested in dating Gisele Bundchen. It doesn't mean it will happen.

Centerville, UT

I like Drummond's question: "Maybe BYU and Notre Dame can come up with something creative to form a sixth power conference".

Could BYU raid the PAC and get Colorado, Arizona, U of U, Boise along with Notre Dame & Navy? That could be a nice core. It might give the U of U a restart opportunity, rather than to remain the PAC doormat. There would need to be additional teams of course. Any suggestions? What about LSU? Others?


When I was 17 I blew out the birth candles on my cake and made a wish - I wished for a swimming pool full of cute cheerleaders - of course. I looked out the window and nothing. Fast forward 30 years - One day I looked out the window of my house and my pool was full of cute cheerleader - All my daughters friends. Great. Wish granted 30 years later. And then too late to do me any good.

Independence feels a lot that way - we blew out the candles and made a wish that everything would work. Unfortunately it may take thirty years to have our wish granted. Once we get there not sure the wish will be as good as we excepted.

Ronald Uharriet
SWun City, Ca.

New Power 6 Conference

Bailor-------------- Air Force
Presbyterian--------- ?

Everyone has their price.
ND would be the most expensive
Everyone else would fall in place.
Pay the price. Make it happen.

Salt Lake City, UT

ESPN’s Brett McMurphy, who is an Oklahoma State graduate...

“I want to be clear that I’ve been told multiple times by multiple sources the Big 12 isn’t interested in BYU or adding any other non-Power 5 schools for that matter,” he said."

Well, Mr. McMurphy, here's the thing you and the decision makers in the Big 12 need to understand...it does not matter how many times you say it or the number and credibility of your sources; byu and it's fans won't listen. Hence, you should expect the articles, the questions, and the begging to continue unabated.

It's not just the Big 12, either Brett. Every time Larry Scott comes to town to attend Pac-12 games, he is pestered with questions about expanding the Pac-12. The persistent groveling from byu, its fans, and local media is embarrassing. If you think its annoying fielding the same never ending questions from byu, try being in a conference with them.

If the Big 12 expands, the new conference "partners" should be chosen with great care and deliberation.

Big 12 Call Yet?
Ogden, UT

The Big 12 and Pac 12 went through similar scenarios in deciding whether byU and Utah were worthy of an invitation.

Both leagues were at 10 and neither were able to have a conference championship game.

Both wanted a conference championship game.

The Big 12 evaluated whether byu added enough value to justify adding them in order to get a title game. The big 12 has concluded time and time again that byu does NOT add enough value to justify adding them.

The Pac 12 decided Utah did add enough value to justify adding us.

The Pac 12 is setting record numbers for revenues and amounts distributed.

All parties involved appear quite happy(Pac 12, Big 12, Utah). Only byu is not.

65 power conference teams.

And byU will never be one of us!

If I was a fan of a mid-major I'd be very worried - the divide is growing between the big boys and the mid majors.

We're creating our own division and leaving the mid majors behind.

Big 12 Call Yet?
Ogden, UT

So byu just needs to fix the geography problem?


Good luck! I can't wait to continue to watch byu's pleas go unheard by the Big 12.

Yes, the Big 12 is aware you want it. And so far they're not calling.

Colorado Springs, CO

If money is the main concern for the Big 12 why not bring BYU in under their current TV contract and see how things go until 2018 when BYU's contract with ESPN expires? I'm sure there are legalities that can make this happen similar to U of U getting only partial revenue from the PAC 12 its first seasons. If the Big 12 still did not want to pay BYU in 2018 BYU would be able to renegotiate its own contract with ESPN and likely increase the amount of money it received. Currently word is BYU makes about $5M a year from it's TV contract. If BYU were a member of the big 12 in name but not in money I'd be willing to bet it could make 2-3 times that each year and bring added exposure to the Big 12 and it's teams. BYUtv could also negotiate and show non football game sports on it's channel making more money for BYU and the Big 12. Imagine baseball and soccer players from other countries watching a Big 12 tournament on BYUtv in South America. Big 12 would get the best recruits in those sports nationally. This would help BYU revenue compensate for the football dollars.

Salt Lake City, UT

@SwanFam There is no way the Big 12 will take a football only member. The ACC was willing to make a basketball & other sports deal with Notre Dame, the Big 12 wasn't as accommodating and wanted the entire enchilada, which is why the chips fell where they did. In doing so the ACC was able to keep the Big Ten from further raiding North Carolina, Duke & Virginia back in the fall of 2012 holding their only defection to Maryland.

The WCC isn't a very good long-term fit for BYU, and I only see that relationship prolonged if BYU were to do the unthinkable and drop their football program later this decade if ESPN wishes to not extend or further enhance their deal. Look for BYU to reunite with the MWC by late next year or early 2016 when some media $$$ numbers are more readily available. Tom Holmoe & Kevin Worthen will hold out as long as possible before accepting any deals.

Salt Lake City, UT

I blame Chris Hill for these articles.

Cougar summers are spent on fantasy pieces. For the last several years, the articles have centered around "Will THIS be the year that BYU beats Utah?" By taking away the rivalry matchup, writers have had to turn to another source of fantasy material -- BYU and the Big 12.

Elk Grove, CA

To be quite honest, my personal preference would be for BYU to belong to a conference with universities that have unique missions. My dream conference would include the following teams: BYU, Notre Dame, Navy, Air Force, Army, Boston College, USC, Stanford, TCU, Texas A&M, Baylor, and Duke. All of the latter universities fall outside the realm of your typical state universities. They also are respected academic institutions, offer more than just academics, and have some sort of code of conduct.

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