Thoughts On BYU’s Football Future


Nov 9, 2013; Madison, WI, USA; Brigham Young Cougars head coach Bronco Mendenhall answers questions during the post game press conference following the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Wisconsin won 27-17. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

It’s reached the time of the year where there just isn’t a lot to talk about in the college sports world.  Especially since Utah doesn’t have a baseball team (oh wait, they do… really?).  So I thought I’d take a few moments to discuss the future of the Team Down South.

Since we’re entering the two year hiatus of the Holy War, I think it’s a good time to discuss BYU’s football future.  This discussion is especially relevant in light of the new SEC scheduling policy and how other conferences may follow suit.

I’ll say this upfront, rivalry aside, I think BYU deserves a place in the group of big schools.  They certainly have done as much as half the schools who get to come along for the ride.  I mean Kansas or Illinois get a spot and they don’t.  As much as I have the schadenfreude over them not getting in, that just ain’t right.

But the reality is that ship might have sailed.

If the Big 5 conferences are all going to start scheduling each other more, well that leaves fewer chances for BYU to book those games.  Don’t forget, the Pac-12/Big-10 already tried working out a scheduling alliance that just couldn’t work because of logistics, but it can’t be ruled out for the future.  That leaves an independent BYU with some decisions to make.

Looking at this through the lens of Utah scheduling, here is what we face.  If the Pac-12 does something similar, that is one of our three remaining slots gone.  We’re always going to fill another with the Weber/Idaho St. type game and that leaves one slot.  As long as Utah St. keeps playing football, the Utah Legislature isn’t going to allow us to simply rid ourselves of Utah St.  So at best Utah’s future scheduling of BYU comes down to rotating them with Utah St.

BYU trying to find games to fill up a schedule is going to become remarkably more difficult.

There is an obvious solution in a return to the MWC.  BYU seems loathe to do that.  But in 5-7-10 years time, once how you need to schedule in the playoff era sorts itself out, and if BYU doesn’t have a home, what other option is there.

BYU because of their unique financial situation can survive independence as long as they need to.  But at what point are the powers that be at BYU grow tired of home and home’s with Middle Tennessee St. if the BCS games start to dwindle.

Wouldn’t a return to the MWC, to whom BYU could dictate terms upon a return, be preferable to a steady diet of Tulsa, Southern Miss and directional Michigans.

I’ve admitted that I don’t always understand how the folks down south think.  And maybe they’ll find a better option.  But this will certainly be a fascinating story to watch unfold.