Mandatory Credit: Douglas C. Pizac-US PRESSWIRE

BYU, I Just Don’t Understand You


Editors Note: I’m still sick and this came off more rambling than I wanted it to.

Let me preface this column with the fact that I got the stomach flu this week and I couldn’t really manage following all that went on this week, so rather than half-assing it (hey no jokes about always half-assing it), I took the mostly off.  Thanks for understanding.

But I’ve been contemplating something for a while now.  Ever since on Twitter I discovered a subset of BYU fans who aren’t total douches (and some of you I even kind of like).  However try as a might, I don’t understand you, and I think it comes from one thing, I have no idea what BYU wants to be in football and I’m not sure if you do either.

So if you do please tell me.

Do you want to be an Independent national power?  Because quite frankly that isn’t realistic.  Notre Dame can’t even do it anymore.

Do you want to be in the Big XII?  Because you had a chance and blew it, hard.  And not in the good sense of that.

What else is there?

So I’m admitting I don’t get you, and not in a snarky being a Ute kind of way.  I don’t get your obsession with BYUtv.  I quite frankly don’t get your obsession with ESPN even.  Because at the end of the day, I ask, so what.  What are you playing for?  Pride?

Because what you are right now is the most well funded exhibition team in the history of college football.  However this appears to make you happy, and maybe at the end of the day, I should just accept that I don’t get that, it wouldn’t make me happy, but I don’t cheer for you, so c’est la vie.

From my point of view Independence was a great big mistake created because I think you panicked when Utah gained Pac-12 membership and an irrational hatred of the MWC caused by something I’m not even sure is true.

First the panicking part.  According to this BYU Blogger, whom I’m told knows some things, BYU didn’t have an out clause with ESPN if the Big XII came calling.  I mean that is a shocking mistake to make if you’re BYU or you were so needy to jump, you accepted it.  (Side Note: I wrote a pretty scathing attack on BYU’s counsel here, if you read it you might hate me, but I don’t think I’m wrong.)

Your ESPN deal turned out to be a major stumbling block to getting to the Big XII.

Second, the response about being Independent is something like, “well it beats the hell out of the MWC?”  And I have to ask, does it really?

This MWC hatred stems from the the Mtn and some supposed agreement that BYU could re-air BYU football games and then not being allowed to.  The thing about this, I’ve never seen an ounce of proof of BYU receiving this agreement anywhere.  And if you have it, send it too me and I’ll apologize for all I’ve said and will say.

If this was so very important to BYU, how do they not get it into the contract?  And if they didn’t get it into the contract, the people they should be mad at is their own counsel who screwed up and not the Mtn, the MWC or Comcast.

So What Would I Have Recommended If I Was BYU?

As a start, that idea makes me chuckle, me as a decision maker for BYU.

I would have sat tight.  Yes it may have wounded your pride a little bit, but I don’t think good decisions come from panic.  Plus, the ground was still moving.  The Big XII was changing as was the Big East.  Instead of jumping into the ESPN agreement, see what your options are.

If you do that, the ESPN deal isn’t a problem when the Big XII comes calling.  Even if that doesn’t work out, the Indy deal with ESPN is still there and maybe you’re not so locked down in that deal with such poor terms for you.

Because you say this is better than the MWC, but is it?  BYU has been able to schedule name teams for awhile now, so it’s not like you couldn’t have had many of these teams anyway.  And if you have BCS hopes, I think your chances of making a BCS bowl would have been better if you had a conference to win.  Even the MWC.

However, I can hear all of my new found BYU friends reading this and telling me I’m crazy and how they don’t think any of this.  And maybe at the end of the day, that is the answer, there are just parts of us that each other won’t get.

Tags: Big XII BYU Cougars ESPN Independence

  • Nate

    I’m a BYU guy and this how I’d rank the options

    1. PAC12 – As much as it pains me, I’m jealous of Utah and wish we were in the PAC12 with them. Not really an option though.
    2. BIG12 – Big time football conference, nervous we wouldn’t ever be able to compete at top of conference. Maybe it was partially our fault, but I don’t think we would have gotten in even if weren’t independent with the ESPN deal.
    3. Independent – More interesting week to week football matchups, easier to find on TV, more money.
    4. Big East – At least there are a couple of interesting teams there. The money is worse, most of the teams are two timezones away, doesn’t make sense long term.
    5. MWC – With TCU and Utah gone there isn’t really anything interesting here. Crappy teams, crappy TV channels, no money. Who cares if you win a conference championship in that type of a conference. It’s only fun if you are actually beating someone to do it. I honestly can’t really tell you which years we won conference championships, but I can tell you who we played and who we beat each year.

    Overall I feel like things haven’t changed too much from what they were in the MWC, I still want to be ranked in the top 25 and beat good teams. We just have more flexibility to play more interesting teams and more people can watch the games.

  • SaltCityRiot

    As a BYU fan, and also a watcher of almost all Utah games. It’s scary to be on your own. I understand most people treat this as an act of panic or desperation. The truth of the matter comes down to exposure, I know it seems cliche, and money. The average payout for going to the Las Vegas bowl for the past 3 was just eclipsed by one deal with ESPN, and that was not counting bowl revenue. Teams don’t want to play you when you are THEY are not granted broadcast rights when you play at home. That was the problem with Texas, they couldn’t re-broadcast any game BYU played at home. The same thing was true for Utah. They saw this, and found better opportunities, and the BYU’s schedule for 2013-14 shows it. It’s hard to find people to play you at home period, but factor it in that their own fans can’t see the game and you have a debacle. Good article, I hope that helps you make a little more sense. When people see a product they like, which the whole country can now, they are more willing to buy what you are selling.