Berry Tramel

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Big 12 football: How about a BYU scheduling alliance?

by Berry Tramel Modified: June 13, 2014 at 5:20 pm •  Published: June 13, 2014
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Jason Dunigan is a West Virginia fan who emails me from time to time. I’ve really enjoyed my correspondence with Mountaineer fans. They’re passionate and informed and realistic. They also have some good ideas.
Jason read my Sunday column about Brigham Young and other mid-majors clamoring to get into one of the Power 5 conferences. You can read that column here.
Jason came up with an interesting idea, which I’m sharing now:
“I had an idea this afternoon, as we continue to hear and read stories about BYU and the Big 12/Big East merger that almost was. The Big 12 does not want BYU, and BYU wants the Big 12. Maybe there could be a compromise, similar to Notre Dame & the Big Ea… er, I mean ACC.
“How about a scheduling agreement between the Big 12 and BYU? Five games annually, three at Big 12 venues, 2 at BYU the first year, then two at Big 12 venues and three at BYU the next. Shake, stir, repeat.
“Switch the five teams that BYU would face each year so they do not face the same team two years in a row. Every four years BYU would cycle through the entire roster of Big 12 teams with a home and away schedule.
“The Big 12 would get the Big 12 home game venues for TV contract purposes, and BYU could air their home games on their network. The Big 12 would have an additional competitive opponent on its schedule and BYU would have its strength of schedule increased each year in an attempt to compete for a position in the college football playoffs.
“The Big 12/BYU alliance would have the benefit of an association with each other, without the Big 12 having to expand its membership. BYU could maintain its independence but still have an upgraded schedule.”
You know, Jason, I like it. It’s not perfect for Brigham Young — the Cougars would much prefer to be in the league completely, in all sports. It’s not perfect for the Big 12 — it’s almost like an extra conference game every other year, so some schools might schedule down otherwise.
But it definitely would enhance the profiles of both BYU and the Big 12. BYU-Kansas State, or BYU-Tech, or BYU-OSU, would be excellent games for television.
An added benefit might be keeping the anti-trust lawyers at bay. I’ve received some correspondence that the mid-majors could have some lawsuit ammunition if they’re on the outside looking in. I don’t think that is the case, but some people believe it. Brigham Young would not have such a case if it entered into a scheduling alliance with the Big 12.
by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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