There has been much anxiety and curiosity from the fans in regards to whether or not BYU was going to be the front-runner to join the Big XII conference. Some reports have said they were, while others have informed otherwise. More recently, the conference extended an invitation to former Mountain West Conference rival of BYU’s, TCU. The Horned Frogs accepted that invitation and will be a member starting in 2012.
That got the fans in an uproar. TCU joining was a near answer as to if the Cougars were headed into a BCS conference. There has been so much unsaid and unreported on the issue. Fans just want at least an explanation and feel they deserve it, which may be accurate.
Source after source has been cited all over the social media world. Nobody knows who to believe. I don’t enjoy using the term “source” lightly nor have I tweeted or written anything based off of a source I have … until now…
A major sponsor for the BYU athletics department has been in contact with Tom Holmoe, the athletic director at the Y, regarding this very topic. We all remember how insanely crazy the summer of 2010 was on the same topic of conference realignment and on September 1st, 2010, Holmoe and others made the announcement that BYU football would be leaving the Mountain West conference (MWC) and becoming an independent program while the other sports at BYU would join the West Coast Conference (WCC).
It was first reported BYU would be joining the WAC in all other sports, but Craig Thompson, the MWC commissioner made moves on his own and in result, not allowing BYU to join the WAC. This was a very hectic and busy process for Holmoe and the rest of personnel within the athletic department in Provo.
What this sponsor was able to gather, is that Holmoe and his personnel simply didn’t want to go through that same process two years in a row. Especially after gaining an eight year television contract with ESPN. It was hard work and currently the BYU athletics program is content with where they stand and have every intent on remaining where they are and fulfilling those contracts.
They also were hesitant to sever ties with the other religiously affiliated schools in the WCC before even competing within it. Some have reported that Holmoe tried to work a deal with the Big XII where BYU would be a football only member and keep the other sports in the WCC. I was not able to confirm or deny those reports.
Realignment is football driven and some have been worried about the Cougars outstanding basketball coach Dave Rose and how he has felt about the move from the MWC to the WCC. I’ve heard from some fans, “Rose belongs in a conference like the Big XII and will eventually move on to bigger and better things” and other similar statements. Let’s all just relax. Don’t forget at the end of this last basketball season Coach Rose was heavily swayed to coach elsewhere and chose to stay in Provo. Let that resolve some anxiety on the matter, though I have not spoken directly with Coach Rose nor has he addressed the issue publicly.
At this time, BYU has not made an official announcement or statement, nor has the Big XII as to what the concrete truth is. You would think if there was an offer it would have been known right?
As for the Big XII, they will only have 10 members in 2012 as they’ve publicly stated, though it’s well-known they intend on expanding to get back to a twelve school, two division league. So movement is only done for now. Perhaps the future of BYU being in the Big XII isn’t completely a dead hope for the fans. But as for right now, it will not be happening for the 2012 athletic season. But who one knows what the future holds?
Now let’s get back to the football season shall we?
Follow Chesh on twitter @CheshSports