BYU Football: Time to be creative for Big 12 inclusion

This is BYU’s chance to make the Big 12 an offer they can’t refuse.

News broke recently that if the Big 12 were to expand, the TV networks would increase the conference’s payout commensurate with the expansion.  This revelation bucked the nearly universal assumption that TV money was the only thing keeping the conference from staying true to its name.

Jason Kirk at SB Nation did a great breakdown of the costs of expansion (surprise: football revenue is only 60% of the equation) for each Big 12 school. In a nutshell, the NCAA basketball tournament and College Football Playoff payouts are divvied up amongst the schools, so expanding could cost each school somewhere between $1.3M an $1.8M per year. This could, of course, be offset by a Big 12 football championship game, more bowl tie-ins with that come from having more schools, and NCAA tournament success by the incoming schools. Kirk predicts that if the Big 12 added the right schools, it would at least break even, if not make more money.

Given this financial landscape, BYU is in good position to offer the Big 12 some flexibility in revenue-sharing in exchange for membership. My suggestion: offer to forgo its share of the NCAA tournament revenue. This would allow the conference to defray a chunk of the costs associated with adding a new member while still reaping the benefits of a 12-school league. The football TV money alone would be a huge increase for BYU, and the church-run school has never been in it for the money anyway.

The bottom line is that BYU’s financial stability is an asset that not many schools can match. Tom Holmoe and company should use that to their advantage when brokering a deal with the Big 12.

About the author

Andy Kartchner

I have a Ph.D. in sports analytics. No I don't. But I do have a law degree. And if there's one thing I learned in law school, it's how to write about sports.

I am Big Bro. My brother, Aaron (a.k.a. Little Bro), and I make up the Sports Bros, your one-stop shop for everything BYU sports.


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  • I agree that compromises must be made to insure inclusion. The compromises must be for a limited time, to be attractive enough now for the Big 12 and still be sustainable for BYU.

    Too many other schools are in top consideration such as #22 Boise State, #40 Memphis, #42 Cincinnati, We, #46 BYU, and the most popular choice by poll, the # 52 UCF.

    #55 Houston,would make a very nice fit to go along with all the other Texas schools.

    We can not leave out the possibility, but long shots, #51 Northern Illonoise,or #62 Navy.

    Even Colorado State, Air Force and SDS have been mentioned.

    We must do something now! We can not wait! It is time to compromise or get off the contest list. We are not by any means the most coveted on the list and what we did 20-30 years ago, is not as important to the Big 12 as what some of the other schools mentioned above has done in the past 10 years.

  • I thought that the 60% number was referring to the percentage of *football* money that comes from the TV deals, with the other 40% coming from bowl money, playoff money, etc. I didn’t think that was counting anything from the other sports.

    If it is indeed counting other sports, what if BYU joins the Big12 as football-only? I think we are fairly happy in the WCC and would gladly join as football-only if that would help.

  • Fix your mobile app. Colors and images are not loading correctly. Horrible experience!

  • There is a lot of flexibility that BYU has to make a deal. We could help them build a tv network without the LHN. Donors could pay an entrance fee. Guarantee that they don’t get reduced revenue by taking it out of our share. Reduced revenue the first few years. Help to get a championship game. Other ideas?

  • Well as for an ou sooner fan and big 12 i would love to have byu join us. I been told that the big 12 has bought the name rights for a few other names such as big 16 and big 24 so it seems that they had some foresight on that matter but i wish they would get off dead center and start expanding so we can have the best choices for the teams out there rather than getting the left overs. i cant wait till we get to 24 and play in pods of 4 so we play every team every other year like we used to do with the south and north divisions of the big 12. OU’s president david boren wants to expand and has said so publicly. just need 6 of the 10 shcools to go have the same mind set.