For BYU, 2011’s session of conference realignment is a lot different than it was in 2010 – and in a good way.
Last year, BYU going to an automatic-qualifying conference was closer to a pipe dream than a sure thing. Most fans would have given up their family’s pew at church to get into an AQ conference.
This year? Not so much. "Desperate" describes the other side this time around.
However, I was afraid of us having to sacrifice things to get there. I loved BYU’s contract with ESPN, and I didn’t want to be stuck with games on FSN or FX. I also didn’t want to disrespect the WCC or all of the BYU staff that have worked so hard on the transition to independence.
But the more I think of it, the less I think BYU will sacrifice much - if anything at all.
The ESPN contract will likely be staying with us, and BYUtv is still going to be allowed to let its freak-flag fly. With Texas and K-State starting their own networks, BYUtv fits in quite nicely.
Why would we have to give any of those things up? When it comes down to it, The Big 12 is more desperate now than BYU is, which will help BYU in this potential transition.
I don't know if this move would actually make it easier to get to a BCS bowl (we still have to beat all of those teams), but an increase in revenue is certain.
I think the best part of this move would be for the non-football sports, especially basketball. Getting teams like Kansas in the Marriott Center would be phenomenal. Had "Jimmermania" happened in the Big 12, his exposure would have been insane (keeping in mind it was over the top as it was).
As I mentioned on Twitter today, I don’t like the new trend among some BYU fans.
A month ago, if Utah fans called our new schedule crap, a lot of us were willing to fight them on that. Now I’m reading BYU fans trashing our schedule. What gives?
Yes, being in the Big 12 is going to improve our overall schedule, but we’re still going to play occasional crap teams. Texas is playing Rice this year. Oklahoma is playing Tulsa and Ball State.
And it was those very same WAC teams gave us the opportunity to go independent. It allowed BYU to fill out their 2011 and 2012 schedules. It wasn’t ever going to be a long-term solution to scheduling.
Challenge: Don’t become what you hated four weeks ago. Don’t pee all over independence in order to promote the idea of membership in the Big 12. It has enough merits on its own without having to trash things we all cherished a month ago.