BYU and the Big 12

Last week I began a post making a case that the wheels would be set in motion for BYU to be included in the Big 12 if they were left out of the 1st College Football Playoff.

Ohio State and FSU jumped TCU in the rankings this past weekend and everything went to perfection for the discussion of the Big 12 to expand to 12 teams so they could field a Conference Championship game as this was the only thing missing from TCU and Baylor’s resumes.

So realistically, how does BYU match up financially with other institutions in the Big 12? I was able to do some research and pull in some numbers to see how BYU would fit in as a member of the Big 12 conference.


BYU matches up pretty well in this aspect. They have the fifth largest endowment, and the sixth largest enrollment. This statistic will include whether each school is private or public, along with the endowment, and enrollment.

1. Texas (public): $17,148,649,000                  51,195

2. Kansas (public): $1,560,000,000                30,004

3. Oklahoma (public): $1,212,023,000           29,721

4. TCU (private): $1,191,900,000                      9,142

5. BYU (private): $1,053,241,027            29,672 

6. Texas Tech (public): $1,043,000,000        35,134

7. West Virginia (public): $1,010,000,000    29,466

8. Baylor (private): $1,003,929,000               16,263

9. Oklahoma State (public): $817,625,000   23,307

10. Iowa State (public): $612,283,000           34,732

11. Kansas State (public): $364,675,000        24,378

Stadium Size and National Championships:

BYU does pretty well here as well with the third largest stadium and one of four teams to claim a national title. Included will be the last year the team won a national championship.

1. Texas: 100,119 (4,  2005)

2. Oklahoma: 82,112 (7, 2000)

3. BYU: 63,470 (1, 1984)

4. Texas Tech: 60,862 (0)

5. Oklahoma State: 60,218 (0)

6. West Virginia: 60,000 (0)

7. Iowa State: 56,800 (0)

8. Kansas: 50,071 (0)

9. Kansas State: 50,000 (0)

10. Baylor: 45,140 (0)

11. TCU: 45,000 (2, 1938)

Athletic Revenue:

As a conference, the Big 12 made made a combined $212 million in 2014 which was divided up by the 10 teams for $21.2 million. Conference revenue comes from TV contracts, bowl games, merchandise sales, conference hosted events (like a CCG), and the NCAA. The ACC, SEC, Big 10, and Pac 12 were able to bring in additional revenue by having that CCG where the Big 12 missed out. Additionally, the Big 12 missed out on at least $6 million which is paid out to teams that make the playoff because of their lack of a CCG.

To compare BYU with the members of the Big 12 conference, I’ll show revenue, expenses, and net earnings. It will be ordered by the net revenue of each institution.

1. Texas: $163,295,115      $138,269,710     $25,025,405

2.. Kansas State: $63,271,615     $50,994,785     $12,276,830

3. Oklahoma: $106,456,616     $96,250,328     $10,206,288

4. Texas Tech: $67,928,350     $60,346,836     $7,581,514

5. BYU: $60,124,096     $53,524,295     $6,599,801

6. Iowa State: $55,151,017     $55,113,720     $37,297

7. Baylor: $86,929,398     $86,929,398     $0

8. TCU: $77,068,398     $77,068,398     $0  

9. Kansas: $70,228,913     $78,973,441     -$8,744,528

10. Oklahoma State: $87,270,598     $96,782,619     -$9,512,021

11. West Virginia: $80,064,869     $92,968,960     -$12,904,091

It is with confidence that I could say BYU’s annual revenue would increase if they were to join the Big 12 conference as there has been a disappointing showing in attendance for home football games. If BYU were to get into a conference with big name opponents and familiar rivalries, they would be sure to sell more tickets to games.

Overall, I think BYU would be a great fit for the Big 12. The issue that the Big 12 claims is that they would lose revenue in expansion, my research shows that BYU has the finances to compete with the other teams in the conference and bring a national following to the table.


Click here to see how BYU stacks up against other teams that could be considered for Big 12 Expansion.

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  • That’s all fine and good but the last time the Big XII looked to expand and we asked BYU to join our ranks, Cecil Samuelson told us, “Don’t hold your breath…” Based on that I’m going to assume that your leadership wants to stay Independent forever. That seems like a very short-sighted approach to take, I guess they must feel they know what they’re doing.

    I’m not privy to any of the new expansion conversations but all indications point toward eastward expansion. BYU had their chance when I was in charge and they balked. With WVU now in the mix, I just don’t see that train coming back around.

    • Dan, you and I both know that those are not the true facts. We wanted to join as a full member but you guys couldn’t get passed the fact that we don’t play on Sundays. There are 6 other days a week to play! It’s easy to work around. In my book you’re the one who missed out on the opportunity, but I’ve got better stuff to do than sit here and argue with you.

      • Not playing on Sunday is a big hindrance, not a small one. I don’t know why BYU refuses to give on this given the fact that they, and the church that supports them, don’t seem to have any problem letting their graduates that are good enough to make it to the NFL play on Sunday. In fact its perfectly fine for them not only to play but also to act as pundits on various Sunday shows when they retire. I’m sure tithing collection has nothing to do with any of this though.

      • BYU doesn’t “let” graduates do anything. Once BYU athletes graduate, they don’t adhere to BYU’s honor code. They don’t answer to BYU. They make their own decision on their career and religious decisions, particularly what they will do on Sunday. Your suggestion is silly.

      • I’m a BYU grad myself Brian, and I know full well how the system works, but thanks for the explanation. My point was that the LDS church has no problem at all letting its members play football and be pundits on Sunday, even though if these members broke any of the *other* ten commandments they would be excommunicated fairly quickly. In fact you don’t even have to break any commandments, If you just teach something the leaders don’t like they’ll be on you in a heartbeat, and if you don’t agree with their version of the truth, however slight the difference, they have no compunction about showing you the door. I have many friends that have been through that grinder.

        But in any case, apparently breaking the Sabbath is no big deal if its sports related. So why impose an even harsher and more ridiculous standard on students, because you own the university they attend, than you do on your actual members? Brigham Young couldn’t even attend his own university because apparently God has a dress code, and it changes with time. Someone is being silly alright, but I don’t think its me.

        BYU thinks they’re being some kind of light to the rest of the world, when their actually displaying a medieval (not to mention hypocritical) view of reality. Its pretty hard for non-LDS people to find the ‘virtue’ in these kind of policies. As a BYU fan, I’d love to see the shackles come off. We’d be a perennial top 10 team.

      • Baloney!
        But thanks for playing Utah-Man.
        You’re an imposter and a liar too.

    • I hadn’t heard about this Dan. Thanks for the comment. BYU seems to be their own worst enemy most of the time. I’m not sure where the superiority complex comes from based on performance on the field, but you aren’t the first to say BYU is hard to work with. I hope they get their act together soon and start winning.

  • It would also be interesting to see where other expansion candidates fit in here, like UCF, Memphis, Cincinnati, Colorado State, Boise State, etc.

    Great article.

  • Could you do this article for some of the other schools that are being discussed for BIG 12 Expansion?