I said it a year ago, and I’ll say it again: BYU does not need to get into a Power 5 conference.
And it’s a good thing, too, because after this week’s news that conferences will be able to have conference championship games no matter how many teams they have, BYU’s already miniscule chances of getting into the Big 12 were effectively eliminated.
In case you missed my article last year, here is the jist of it: P5 and G5 teams don’t have that much more access to the big-money bowls than BYU does, so BYU doesn’t need to sell the farm to get in. Each year, most P5 conference champs will be in the playoff, leaving those conferences’ dedicated New Year’s 6 game slots to be chosen at-large. Thus, most of the time BYU will have just as good of a shot at one of those coveted spots as any P5 team.
My position has been bolstered by the scheduling miracles BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe has been performing for the past year. In the near future, BYU has games scheduled against Nebraska, UCLA, Michigan, Mizzouri, LSU, Mississippi State, Stanford, Arizona State, and West Virginia, to name a few. With these types of schedules, there’s no reason BYU can’t be considered for an at-large NY6 bid if BYU can win a bunch of games. Sure, that’s a big “if,” but BYU’s going to have to win a bunch of games to get NY6 bids even if its in a P5 conference.
Before you P5-or-bust fans start throwing things at your computer screens and chucking your smart phones, please understand that I do want BYU to join a P5 conference. It’s the easiest way to schedule games (especially quality home games), gain respect, and, most importantly, earn the kind of money necessary to build an elite program. Utah’s recent success in both football and basketball is a testament to how quickly a good “mid-major” program can turn the corner when the P5 TV dollars start pouring in.
But that’s not going to happen to BYU any time in the near future. Most conference TV deals have around 8-10 years left before they are up for re-negotiation and, as I mentioned above, the only incentive for the Big 12 to add teams–the NCAA championship game rules–is likely gone next year. So BYU fans have to stop obsessing about sitting at the cool kids’ table and start realizing that P5 inclusion is not the end-all-be-all of college football.