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BYU: More Big Games and Big East Insight

23 May 2011 Brett Richins 100 Comments

The BYU football brand is proving to be powerful. (BYU photo)

An article we published last week seems to have attracted attention from all over the country.

In the article, “Big Names Lining up to Face Cougars,” it was pointed out that the BYU football brand is strong, viable, and is being well received out there in the world of college football.

We reported that BYU is working on games with big-name programs like Nebraska, Wisconsin, Penn State, USC and UCLA.

BYU and ESPN are proving to be a very effective team in lining up some juicy, made-for-TV match-ups, and the power of this union will become more and more evident to followers of BYU, and college football fans in general, as games are officially announced.

In addition to the games we reported last week, a report published on Monday says that BYU is rumored to be opening the 2013 season at Arizona State on a Friday night on ESPN.

It also reports that the Cougars will play a home-home-neutral series with both Ohio State and Syracuse, with the neutral site contest with the Buckeyes to be held at Dallas Cowboys Stadium, and the neutral site match-up with the Orange to be played at the Meadowlands.

The Penn State neutral-site game is apparently scheduled for FedEx Field in 2014, while the rumored neutral site for the Nebraska series will be played at Denver’s Invesco Field.

The story also mentions the news that the Hawaii series will be played virtually every year through 2020, information that came out last week.

Big East Rumblings

It seems that our reporting of the Big East’s interest in BYU in the above-mentioned article created some of the biggest reverberations last week.

However, considering the current landscape in college athletics and conference realignment, it should be no surprise that conferences and schools all over the country have had, or are having conversations, informal and otherwise.

In fact, it would more of a surprise if such conversations weren’t taking place as schools and conferences jockey to improve their standing and their television contracts.

After all, who in the world would have ever imagined that TCU would become a member of the Big East?  It’s a crazy world out there.

The Big East Dilemma

The Big East Conference, originally put together as a basketball conference targeting East Coast households, is facing a number of challenging questions regarding growth, realignment and future membership.

With the addition of TCU in 2012, the Big East will have nine FBS schools participating in football, and a total of 17 basketball programs.

While the Big East has traditionally been one of the best basketball conferences, it is currently battling for respect in football and trying to strengthen its tenuous place at the lucrative BCS table.  That was the primary reason that the conference reached out to TCU last fall.

TCU is a program that has been on a meteoric rise over the past decade, and helps strengthen the football reputation of the Big East.  It also weakens the Mountain West — the one conference that has been nipping at the heals of Big East in recent years.

Big East officials have reportedly been searching for a way to fix its football product ever since losing Miami, Virgina Tech and Boston College to the ACC in 2005.

A number of options have reportedly been looked at by the Big East brass.

The conference could stand pat at nine football-playing schools, expand to 10 teams, or go to 12 programs and institute a conference championship game.  However, the non-football schools in the equation are not particularly excited about adding new schools to the already bloated basketball league.

Word on the street in Big East country is that the football-playing schools could part ways from the non-football schools at some point.

If the Big East were to expand for football, what would be its options?

The usual suspects for expansion have included Houston, Memphis, UCF or Villanova from the FCS — not the most scintillating options when you’re trying to improve your street cred in football.

Connecting the Dots

The key player in the Big East’s successful luring of TCU was West Virgina athletic director Oliver Luck.

Luck is a former star quarterback at WVU, and father of Stanford quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate Andrew Luck.  Oliver has ties to the state of Texas, having served as the CEO of the Houston Sports Authority where, among other responsibilities, he oversaw the funding and construction of Reliant Stadium.

Luck has reportedly been a strong proponent of conference expansion and championed the idea of bringing TCU into the Big East fold.  He is also considered to have been the point man in bringing the two parties to an agreement.

He is also the person that BYU and ESPN worked with to schedule the 2016 match up between the Cougars and Mountaineers at FedEx Field in Washington, DC.  In fact, Luck and West Virgina were among the very first to buy in on the BYU/ESPN sales pitch.

It didn’t take much arm twisting either, considering that each school will reportedly make $2.25 million dollars for its appearance in the game.  That number is not far from equaling in one game the $3 million West Virginia currently receives annually from the Big East television contract.  What Luck immediately realized is that doing business with BYU these days is very lucrative.

So with the Big East looking to potentially expand, and with TCU already in their back pocket, why not continue to look West to a program with BYU’s tradition and ability to generate revenue?

Adding TCU, BYU, and maybe even a Boise State and Air Force could bring a significant infusion of football strength to the conference and cement it as a BCS fixture.  Big East football would be a player from coast-to-coast.

With the Big East analyzing all of its options, and with expansion proponent Luck already greatly profiting from his business relationship with BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe, it’s easy to connect a few dots and understand how the Big East and BYU could have begun talking.

BYU’s Path Is Clear

Despite any interest from other parties, BYU’s has its feet firmly planted on the path of independence.

In Holmoe’s heart of hearts, he prefers independence to being in any conference.  In many ways, every day is Christmas day for Holmoe.

No AD in the country has the kind of relationship and arrangement that he has with ESPN.

While scheduling as an independent has it challenges, having the “world-wide leader in sports” as a scheduling partner has major advantages.

BYU has control of its own destiny and its own product, while Holmoe and BYU President Cecil Samuelson are relieved from having to deal with all of the politics that are inherent in being part of a conference.

Now, if a conference like the Big 12 came calling, such an invite could redirect BYU’s plans — unless of course BYU can broker greater access into the BCS on its own.

ESPN and the BCS

BYU is an non-automatic qualifying program, yet it is the only program in the country to have a contract like it does with ESPN.

Let that settle for just a moment.

ESPN knows what it’s doing, and it knows what it has in BYU — which is why it is willing to shell out four or five million dollars a pop to pair the Cougars against other notable programs.  Over the years, BYU has consistently delivered some of the network’s highest-rated college football games.

Combine that with the fact that ESPN also owns some or all of the broadcast rights for virtually every BCS conference, as well as the broadcast rights the BCS bowl games themselves, and you can see why the Cougars could be on the verge of becoming a have, rather than a have-not.

If  BYU does gain greater access to the BCS through leveraging ESPN’s influence and control, Holmoe and BYU will have virtually everything they could possibly want.

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  • Hoax said:

    It’s all about BCS access though, and I for one also am not so quick to push aside our other sports. IF either the Big East offers us full membership for all sports, or especially if the Big 12 offers access for all sports….we have to take that deal.

    Our arrangement with ESPN is fantastic, and is light years better than MWC affiliation. But, full membership in an AQ conference is better. I firmly believe that.

    I hope the administration agrees.

  • Matt said:

    Feels good to be a Cougar fan right about now.

    Well written and enlightening! Very good read.

  • Snerdly said:

    I have a hard time believing that merely having a relationship with ESPN is going to bust down the doors of the BCS for the Cougars. That would be great, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

  • Brian said:

    It’s actually NOT all about BCS access, though.

    Sorry Hoax. You can’t boil all of college football down to the final week and pretend that’s the only thing that matters. No matter what the Utes tell you…

  • Cliff said:

    Seriously, this independence thing is becoming a joke.

    I’m sorry. All these 1 and dones, 2 for 1’s, and H-H-N are going to leave BYU devoid of big time home games. We are going to be filling slots with trash WAC teams and FCS teams just to fill out our home schedules. In order to get 2 or 3 big time home games each season we are going to need to play 5-6 road/neutral(Meadowlands vs Syracuse is hardly “neutral”) against elite competition EVERY SEASON. We are going to be killing ourselves by playing that many difficult games away from home.

    Remember, when snot made BCS games in 2004 and 2008 they did through playing absolute dregs on the road. You simply cannot make a decent living playing that many difficult road games. Sorry, I don’t see the joy of beating Idaho State or New Mexico State in Provo and then losing in Austin or Madison. Blah. There is very little upside to this for BYU fans.

    So, if the rumors are true that the Big East contacted BYU I think the Cougars are making a big mistake by just brushing it aside. You never know when, if ever, an invite will come to take a seat at the BCS table. You simply cannot brush that aside so easily. I think it would be in BYU’s best interest to get back on the phone with the Big East and come to the negotiation table. If BYU can get the Big East to agree to a western division of sorts (AFA, Boise, Houston, TCU, etc.) and if BYU can get an all sports invite then I think the Cougars have made good. I also think BYU will be able to have control of its product by being able to broadcast any game not picked up the networks live on BYU TV….and by being able to rebroadcast other games that were picked up in tape delay. If BYU can get a deal such as that from the Big East I think you’ve almost got to accept it. You’ll never know if another opportunity such as that would present itself.

    While independence is a much better option than the pitiful MWC it’s not so good that you brush a BCS invite away. Independence has so many downsides. Difficulty in scheduling (too many tough road games, too many poor home games, lack of October-November game opportunities). No conference championship to compete for (I enjoy the competition and rivalries built in conference play and the opportunity to battle for a conference championship). No priviledged BCS access (and this should be the NUMBER ONE GOAL of all non-AQ’s). Poor bowl affiliations (face it, no bowl wants the same team 8 years straight….regardless of the team….and no decent bowl wants to give up its tie-ins to BCS leagues for one school only). As an independent BYU’s either going to be a bowl vagabond or tied into these crap bowls. Heck, I think it’s a real possibility that if BYU entered the Big East with a western division of sorts that the Big East could steal the B12’s Holiday Bowl slot. An independent BYU will not steal that slot because the Holiday doesn’t want to be tied down to one program only…and I don’t blame them. The Holiday Bowl loves BYU…..they just don’t love the idea of having no options other than BYU for 10 years straight.

    I’m hoping the BYU administration stops this freight train here in its tracks. This is heading to nowhere good.

  • Dave said:

    Awesome series of articles, Brett! Looking forward to Sep. 3rd with great anticipation. Feels good to be an independent!

    On a slightly unrelated note, Brett, any updates, or news, on that high-profile player signing you teased about in early April? I’m feeling greedy… :) Thanks for the great job you do, as always! Go Cougars!

  • Bob said:

    So many opinions regarding the “intent” of BYU regarding football independence seem to follow what “most” college football programs might have as a strategy (Big East, Big 12, etc). If fans will just recall that the BYU program released two NFL caliber running backs for violation of the school Honor Code, perhaps that will assist in understanding that the BYU football program just isn’t like other programs. BYU’s independence strategy already meets two of three resonable objectives for the football program: 1. exposure (met) 2. flexibility (met) 3. Maximize revenue (just beginning). Who needs a conference? Army, Navy and Notre Dame don’t seem to think they need a conference. I believe BYU agrees with them. GO Cougars !!!

  • justin said:

    great stuff brett.

    quick question…while i know you cannot divulge your source many are speculating that you got lots of your info from this post on Cougarboard:


    the new info you added was the USC and UCLA games. but it’s essentially the same.

    the FBSchedules article is almost verbatim what this post says. after it was posted 3 weeks ago it bounced around on twitter, then your article came out and now it’s all over.

    please tell me you aren’t just relying on message board rumors!

    PS. i don’t think you are but the FBSchedules article is almost a cut-and-paste copy.

    love your stuff…only 99 more days!

  • Hoax said:


    Nationally it’s all that matters. Let’s be honest, no one pays attention to bowls that aren’t BCS bowls other than the day they are played. The bowl being played that day is the flavor of the day, then it’s on to the next. Nationally credibility is gained by playing in BCS bowls. So, yes, it is all about BCS bowls. Inherent with gaining entrance into BCS bowl games would be a very successful season, so that’s inferred of course as well that the season matters a lot.
    Trust me, this has nothing to do with the yewts.

    In my opinion, national exposure and notoriety can be better gained when all of BYU sports are in a “Major” conference. Not only would I argue that football could gain more exposure than the independent route in an AQ conference, it’s not even debatable with other sports BYU excels at.

    I agree, there’s a debate to be had whether our current alignment is more favorable than full Big East membership, however, if full Big 12 membership is extended…to me that’s a NO brainer.

    Either way, our current position is much, much more favorable than our MWC affiliation, so kudos to the administration for that.

    These are exciting times, and this schedule looks fantastic.

  • cougarman said:

    Thanks Brett! Great stuff!

  • Kevin said:

    We’re not sure if any of these rumors are true or not. Tried to get comment from BYU with no luck.

    FBSchedules.com usually doesn’t post rumors simply because there are too many to keep track of. We posted this in correlation with what DSOB ran last week simply because it’s a hot topic this month. It was later brought to our attention that most of this info was posted on message boards, so it could all just be speculation.

  • spamdawg said:

    It’s not all about the BCS. It’s about winning. We are already seeing more top recruits coming to BYU. Imagine being 17 years old and having Doman in your house telling you that if you come to Provo you can play a game at Nebraska, or Penn St. or Texas. All of your games will be available for your friends and family to watch no matter where they live. Independence is awesome. If we can keep winning at a high level we will be allowed in. They can’t say you are in a crappy conference. They can’t say you don’t play anyone. Everyone here will agree that if BYU wins out this year they will be in a BCS game. You can’t hold them out with wins @Texas, @Ole Miss, @Oregon St, TCU and Utah. This is our first year and we had to through the schedule together with a small pool available to us. It is all about playing big names and winning. BYU is an independent and can do what they want when they want. Plus if they get to a BCS game. They get to keep the money not share it around. We all know the BCS is garbage and it is going to crumble. Quit crying about the BCS. Our bowl situation is going to be better also. Holmoe said it will take a few years to get this where we want it. Give him time. This is a great time to be a Cougar. We just got to witness the Jimmer first hand and now we get to witness Jake Heaps.

  • Seasider said:

    “So, if the rumors are true that the Big East contacted BYU I think the Cougars are making a big mistake by just brushing it aside. You never know when, if ever, an invite will come to take a seat at the BCS table.”

    I doubt they simply brushed it aside. We don’t know all the details but there was probably some discussion and consideration before a decision was made. Yes, an invitation from a BCS conference sounds nice but with BYU there are other things at play that make jumping to another conference a little more tricky. I highly doubt this will be the last time the Big East or the Big 12 will have talks with BYU. The whining about the schedule is way too premature. Holmoe has made it clear from the beginning that it’s going to take a few years until BYU is able to get a favorable schedule year in and year out. It all comes down to winning. If BYU maintains its winning tradition, the independence experiment will pay off huge dividends down the road.

  • rando305 said:

    BYU has the ‘Barcelona’ effect. Soccer fans either love or hate the fact that Barcelona is ‘More than a club.’ They represent an ideal – even if that ideal is just anti-monarchy, decentralization and the Spanish equivalent of States-rights. BYU has the similar effect. Many athletes that go there want to not only succeed, but succeed for BYU. It represents more than just one of the many schools that they could select.
    Independence is a giant leap of faith. But then, that is one of the priniciples that BYU espouses. What makes many of us uncomfortable is that ESPN has recognized in BYU what we have always inwardly hoped about it. BYU fans can get overly emotionally involved in BYU sports because success in sports creates ‘validation’ of our ‘peculiarity’. This isn’t just a leap of faith for BYU, it is also a leap of faith for ESPN. But this year’s basketball team helped them realize that exciting things can happen when you are in position to make things happen. Jimmer’s pre-arranged interview after the Arizona game propelled Jimmermania. ESPN was the launch pad, and the driver for much of that period. Jimmermania might not have ever happened without the buzz that ESPN was in a position to generate because they had a vested interest in promoting BYU.

  • Gayle said:

    Hoax, About the bowl games I would go even further. Nobody pays attention to bowls that are not the national championship. Real quick, who played in the Orange Bowl this past year, or the Fiesta or Sugar Bowls. Fact is, unless they have a horse in the race nobody cares about it, unless it is for the national championship.

    Cliff, Don’t jump! It’s not that bad. True, the home schedule is not great this year, but there aren’t really that many 2 for ones or one and dones on the long range calendar, Notre Dame being a notable exception. The home schedule will improve as the athletic department has more time to prepare schedules. Jumping from a conference to being independent left BYU over a scheduling barrel so to speak. Still compared to last years home slate (Washington(PAC), Nevada(Stong non-AQ), SDSU, Wyo, UNLV, UNM) this years schedule (Utah (PAC), UCF(Strong non-AQ), USU, SJSU, Idaho, NMSU) is not so different with a freebie scrimmagge against Idaho State tossed in there as a bonus.

  • AZCoug said:

    I am all for giving Independence a go and I love the Arizona State game rumored for 2013!
    My biggest concern, however, is that over the years we have lots of 8-10 game win seasons. With lots of big-name schools on our schedule, the BCS-busting seasons (0 to 1 loss) may be few and far between. But 8-10 wins is too good for the low-level bowls we seem to be tied to.
    We need a middle option.
    We need someone like the Holiday Bowl to negotiate a clause that says something like this: “If the PAC-12 3-4th-place team is unranked, or less desirable than BYU, then we get to make the decision that is in the best interest of our game”. The PAC-12 would hate this, but it would certainly be in the best interest of the Bowl game.
    Last year, Washington got in at 6-6. In 2009, Arizona got in at 8-4 and was trounced 33-0. The Holiday Bowl can do better with just a little bit of selection flexibility built into a new contract.
    And just maybe deliver the ultimate sand-kicking in the face of some poor PAC-12 program (like the one up north) just for old times sake…

  • Chad said:

    Football independence has as much or more upside to me than being in any conference. More money, more premiere games, more freedom, and yes even a possibility of more access. Let the BCS show weak games once a year (especially when it comes to teams they don’t want to showcase, like BYU), while I get to watch great match-ups all year.

    Utah, for example, will be playing to win their conference and get into a BCS game. In other words, every year they don’t win the Pac-12 will be a wash (seen only by West teams following the Utes). BYU will be playing to beat everyone on their schedule all over the country while still vying for National Championships and BCS games. In other words, if they don’t garner a BCS game the whole nation still gets to see a lot of great match-ups involving BYU. For example, give me a BYU win over Oklahoma any day before pitting Utah versus a patsy Pittsburgh team in a supposed premiere game.

    The nation needs to quit playing into the BCS’s hands. There would be better match-ups throughout the year for every team if they weren’t all looking for a free ride through the season just to get into a supposed great game at the end.

  • Rick N said:

    Great reporting Brett!
    Those who say independence is a joke don’t seem to want to see the big picture. Look at where BYU has come in less than 1 year after the announcement! Big time storied programs we dreamed of playing in a BCS bowl “someday” are a reality now and all season long! Granted, the home schedule for 11 & 12 looks a bit weak (Utah 9/17/11 reference omitted) but who cares. This is only the beginning, (and a great one at that!) Holmoe has done a great job setting us up for success with off-the-field moves now its up to Bronco & the players to finish the job with more 10+ win seasons and some big game wins like the Oklahoma win. HHN now but sooner rather than later we will have plenty of big time games in LES broadcast nationally on ESPN.

    It is a GREAT time to be a Cougar!

  • DOUG said:

    Everyone is chasing the BCS. Only one team, the Natl Champ is 100% happy at the end of the year. So what’s the big deal. It is about exposure and $$$$. If you have BCS access you might make big money, with the independent thing, we will make big money. What would you want to do, stay in the MWC for guaranteed pennys and maybe some big BCS $, or go for the $$$ now through independence guaranteed?

    Which job would you take?
    1. $10,000 a year but maybe a $50,000 bonus at the end of the year, or

    2. $40,000 a year.

    Oh yeah, the chance of the $50,000 bonus is just as good.

  • Spencer said:

    The fact of the matter is that BYU fans don’t just live in Provo and that by playing all these high profile games across the country national BYU fans will be able to catch a game and if we do well or win then we garner more respect and additional fans. the whole home and home neutral is a very good deal for a new independent team. Let us gain more national exposure and respect then you’ll see more home and home long term series between big teams. This independent thing can and will work. Just give it 2 years and you’ll start seeing a huge amount of respect being thrown our way.

    The other huge part to this story and the eventual schedules to be released is the way that recruits look at playing for byu. They will be able to see a 6-8 games on one of the espn channels and playing 4-6 big name bcs schools a year. Very similar to any other bcs school. That’s not to mention what byu already had to offer (tradition, spirit, honor). My point is that being independent is a sweet deal letting us take control of our destiny and building our brand to unseen heights till the big 12 or another respectable bcs conference comes calling.

  • Bluto said:


    The best avenue for the Holiday would be a clause with the Big-12 and Pac 10.2 Conference.

    I believe the Big 12 has sent their 4th place team to the Holiday. With Nebraska and Colorado now out, I don’t think the Holiday wants to be stuck with slim pickins after Texas and Oklahoma.

    And the Pac now offers their 3rd place team.

    With Holmoe being friends with the Holiday/Ponsietta Bowl President, perhaps and Indepnedent clause, based upon ratings, could be an option in the new contract.

    I think that contract is up in 2014.

  • cgr said:

    I am liking independence more and more. The big east isn’t a very good fit its not an upgrade financially it may even be a financial downgrade from independence. While BCS access is nice byus main recruiting areas(highest mormon populations) are in the west. I believe being in the big east would hurt recruiting. We are much better off playing in california, oregon, washington, hawaii etc. Its also not very easy to travel two time zones and win games. We would be subjecting the student athletes to long travel days. I personally would much rather watch byu play random teams then to play the same east coast based teams over and over(tcu being the exception). If byu wins all there games or loses one to a good team they will end up in a bcs game. Its up to bronco and his players to take Byu wherever they want to go.

  • Brett H said:

    For those whining about lack of good home games, quick, tell me the last time BYU played an awesome team at home? In the MWC, they would get 1 a year. Like UCLA or Arizona. Now we’re talking return trips from Wisconsin, USC, Texas? Sure Texas is a 2-for-1, but Texas wasn’t coming unless they did that. So who cares.

    The only year BYU had more than 1 sweet home game was 2004 when they played Notre Dame and USC at home. Seasons like this might become common place, with 2 or 3 of the home games being against BCS opponents, instead of just 1 home game every 2 years against BCS opponents.

    So whine if you’d like, but you’ll still see better games at home than you did before. The next 2 years will be tough, because CFB is scheduled years in advance, BYU did what they could to fill the gaps.

    But in 2013, BYU already has Texas, Georgia Tech, and Boise State at home. Name the last time that happened?

  • cbb said:

    Why is it, exactly, that everyone wants to end up in a BCS game? Exposure and money. If you play high-profile games throughout the year, you get exposure. It also appears that BYU is going to be getting significant coin for those games. The BCS is no guaranteed thing…if you get paired with a dud, no one will watch (like the BE game almost every year). Also, notice how Connecticut actually LOST money (a lot of it) for the privilege of playing in a BCS game nobody watched.
    The Big East is no answer–their champ gets very little respect, unless their ooc schedule is super and they’re undefeated. BYU will probably end up with more money and more exposure in independence than in the BE. The B12 gets much more respect and has the big-name matchups built into it (Texas, Oklahoma, etc), so I do think that would be worth the loss of independence. In addition, if BYU made it to the BCS from the B12, people would take note…unless, of course, we get paired up with the BE champ.
    All of this is dependent on BYU continuing to win. If we don’t do that, none of the other stuff really matters.

  • Tyler D. said:

    Exactly! And guess what? If we want to be considered a big time program, like the Big10, Pac12, and SEC schools, we have to play schedules that look similar to that. What is the difference between BYU playing 4-5 big-name schools a year and a couple scrubs thrown-in for guaranteed Ws, and say, Florida playing 4-5 big-name SEC schools and a couple of scrubs thrown-in for guaranteed Ws (like the bottom-feeders SEC teams and a couple D-II schools)??? I mean, there really isn’t a huge difference.

    I lived on the East Coast for 6 years and was only ever able to watch a handful of BYU games, it was SO frustrating. Give me increased TV exposure, scheduling freedom, control of revenue, games all over the country, and at least a chance at the Natl champ (who really cares about any other game, as mentioned above…), and I will gladly take a handful of weaksauce teams!! ANY day!

  • Morgan said:


    I appreciate the article as well as the comments. While it is clear there are many passionate Cougar fans, it is also clear to me that the athletic administration at BYU is very wise in the way they are handling independence.

    It seems to me that the BYU administration is using BYU sports to further the mission of the Priesthood and to accomplish important things way beyond the scope of the typical university. The recognition BYU will receive nationwide will bring great positive attention to the Church. (Remember how much respect BYU earned and the Church received from quality people as a result of the Brandon Davies issue). BYU does so many things differently than the rest of the sports world that many find it refreshing.

    I know two people in the Orient who joined the Church because of BYU football on BYUTV. BYU fans are all over the world. To tie BYU to any conference diminishes BYUs ability to accomplish it “real mission.”

    Yes BYUs recruiting base is in the West, but as the Church grows and strengthens in all the world, the number of quality athletes who are drawn to BYU also grows. We are more likely to get quality recruits from Wisconsin and Georgia and Florida if we are playing games there on a regular basis. The athletes see the best of both worlds.

    This is one fan who believes the meaningful advantages of independence – as far as the mission of the Church and the University are concerned – far outweigh ANY conference affiliation.

  • Greg said:

    I’d like to toss in my two cents about the BCS access issue. I will create my case based on the following facts:

    (1) A lot of the storied BCS programs were upset about BYU’s 1984 National Championship (see “Oklahoma, University of” and pay specific attention to the “Barry Switzer is an Idiot” section)
    (2) The Bowl Coalition was created in 1992 in part to preclude a repeat of 1984.
    (3) The Bowl Alliance was created from the Bowl Coalition in 1995 in part to preclude a repeat of 1984.
    (4) In 1996, Steve Sarkisian led BYU to a then-record 14-1 season that would’ve earned at least a share of the National Championship save for the loss to Washington (ironically for Sarkisian…)
    (5) The BCS as we know it was created in 1998 after the Bowl Alliance finally lured the PAC-10 and Big 10 out of their Rose Bowl monopoly. The BCS was created in part to avoid a repeat of “What-Could-Have-Been” in 1996.
    (6) Multiple programs have “busted” the BCS. Based on current rules, the first would have been BYU in 2001. A rule change due in part to BYU’s exclusion allowed Utah to become the first official “BCS Buster” in 2004.

    Now that we’ve established that the elitist, exclusionary system known as the BCS was created in part to preclude BYU and other similarly unwashed schools in the lowly WAC/Conference USA/etc. from participating in college football’s most storied games, it’s important to note the following:


    What BYU actually needs is to put together a 12-0 or 11-1 season in the next few years and bust the BCS under the current stupid rules. Ideally, BYU would play a creampuff like Pittsburgh cerca 2004 so we could then boast of a perfect record and once again force changes in across the system. With the support of ESPN and the Independent label, I strongly believe that BYU could earn a Notre Dame deal or an invite to a BCS Conference. However, it’s sometimes fun to play hard-to-get… :)

    I want BYU to earn it on the field, just like we did in 1984. Go Cougars!!!

  • Reed said:

    BYU has done a great job scheduling what they have in the time they were given. I love thinking about the match-ups with these high profile teams, and even better having these games be broadcast nationally. These first few years will be huge for the Cougars. We need a strong showing and we need to win games in order for the respect to come. Win and we will get respect. Lose and we could become a national joke.

    I believe it is possible to bust the BCS in the next few years. We have the coaching and the talent and depth we need. We need to bust it first in order to be considered for a National Championship in the future. I would say, the first time we go undefeated, we bust the BCS but get left out of the National Championship game. We will have to bust the BCS twice in order to be considered, and even then, we would need to play good competition in order to be considered. The way the schedules are working out, I would say Tom is putting together some good competition.

    I could be very optimistic, but I think BYU has a legitimate chance at winning every game on the schedule this year. Independence wasn’t all about busting the BCS, but that would be some expensive frosting on BYU’s cake.

  • bfwebster said:

    Once again, I stand by what I said last August when the BYU independence news came out:

    While thinking about the announcement this afternoon [8/31/10], I remembered a well-known line from the 1983 movie, “WarGames”. Joshua, the self-aware computer, after playing through countless nuclear war scenarios, observes: “A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.”

    That, I think, is it. BYU has deliberately chosen not to play the BCS game, at least not on BCS’s terms. In fact, I think that BYU is ready, at least for the near term, to deliberately step off the BCS treadmill, completely give up the idea of repeating its 1984 national championship and instead take a very different approach to football from the rest of the NCAA.

    I think that’s still the case, and I think if BYU succeeds in its approach — in terms of building the program, gaining national exposure, bringing in a ton of cash, and playing big-name schools — that the repercussions could be very interesting. ..bruce..

  • Brett H said:

    Piggy-backing on Greg’s comment, BYU hasn’t done anything to deserve a special qualification clause to qualify for BCS bowls. Really successful? Yes. But as a non-AQ, they still haven’t gone to a BCS bowl, while Utah, Boise, and TCU did twice. Gotta earn it on the field.

  • MC said:

    I have to say I am very pleasantly surprised that most of the neutral site games are actually neutral sites, not playing Ohio State in Cleveland or Nebraska in Kansas City. Even playing Penn State in DC is better than doing it in Philly or Pittsburgh. There are quite a few BYU grads in DC. And while the Syracuse game is practically a home game for Syracuse, it’s still in New York, where there are also a lot of BYU grads. Really well done by the AD.

  • Mysixsons said:

    Two points.

    First, I just read in the DesNews that the neutral site game with West Virginia in 2016 has a $2.25M guarantee to both teams, which is almost as much in one game as WV currently gets for an entire season under the Big East football TV contract (and almost twice what BYU got for all sports in one year in the MWC). That was based as much or more on BYU’s draw as WV’s (many of ESPN’s most watched games ever are still BYU games). With that kind of money to be made in playing BYU in a regular season game, wherever the game may be, BYU will have tremendous leverage in future scheduling. A BCS-worthy schedule WILL come, and BYU’s revenue stream will likely meet or exceed a lot of BCS conference TV deals.

    Second, I just read that BYUtv is ready to launch a website that will stream BYU sports not only to computers but to smartphones, Wii, xbox, etc. (like Netflix). When coupled with the ESPN deal (probably 5-7 games on national tv THE FIRST YEAR WITH THE CRAPPY SCHEDULE), we will be one of the very few schools in the country that can tell a recruit “if you come here, your family and friends will be able to see EVERY game, no matter where they are in the country, and even overseas.” That will go a long way toward eliminating some of the major reasons given by 4 and 5 star LDS recruits for going “closer to home so my family can see me play.”

  • Teddy Bear said:

    MC – And it’s Syracuse, a weak football program. Don’t really need an advantageous neutral site for that game.

  • spamdawg said:

    I like what bfwebster said. The only way to really get rid of the BCS is to stop paying homage. We all hate the system but we constently put it out their as the be all end all. It’s not. If we finish 1 or 2 we are in the national championship game. End of story. That is the goal and the only way to accomplish it is by playing big name schools and winning. I respect the B12 and wouldn’t be dissappointed to end up in that conference, but I LOVE being an independent and playing who we want when we want. The home-home-nuetral idea was brilliant. Big props to whoever thought that up. Brett loved the article. Keep bringing the good stuff. I might make it to September now.

  • Bob Henstra said:

    None of the complaints, objections, worries, hand wringing, and crying mentioned in some of the posts above will happen as long as we, the real fans, support out team. The more support we give the team, the quicker the bigger bowl committees see that, the faster we’ll get those invites to the so called “BIG” post season games.

    ESPN has the vision, they didn’t make the same deal with the Utah States of the country, why? Our fan base! Tommy and the administration has the vision, why are so many of us as demonstrated by many posts above lacking the same vision?

    Lets demonstrate that vision! Support the team, join the Cougar Club! What kind of message would 100,000 new Cougar Club members send to the BCS?

    What “I” really like is the message all that support will send to the MWC, Comcast and conferences who have demonstrated so little regard for BYU,

    The WCC isn’t one of those conferences, because they invited BYU they have demonstrated they have more vision of future BYU sports than many of our own fans have! Their excited exclamation; “We hit the lottery!”

    It’s time folks, lets show them all, show them we really are the fans we claim to be!


  • J 2 said:

    @Bob,spamdawg, mc,
    Love the posts.
    The move is NOT about the BcS. What does the BcS really give a school? Recognition, exposure, and money (IF the fans pay for the game tickets/ see UCONN and others that lost money).
    As has been previously mentioned what does that give the Y that they don’t now have?
    Breaking the BcS? Yeah, that would be fun to see them play in a post new year’s bowl, taking the cash to the bank alone; but exposure, recognition, and money already are theirs.
    The Y doesn’t need the BcS to validate itself, so let’s not feel the need to be validated by a corrupt system.

  • atb said:

    I agree with the poster above that the fans/ticket holders will be the ones to suffer from this independence idea. Even worse, how does BYU get even a 5 game home schedule when the WAC falls apart?

    BYU should have (and possibly still can) broker a deal with the Big East to create a Western football division in the Big East (BYU, TCU, Boise St, Houston, New Mexico, SDSU, UNLV and AFA or CSU)and these teams compete in their own conference for all other sports.

    Each team plays 2 teams from the other division, and all of the teams in their division and 3 games to scheduel whomever. The winners of each division play each other in a conference championship game, with the winner going to the BCS (perhaps even two will get invited with 16 teams in the conference).

    BYUtv and ESPN could be used to televise the football games, and the basketball and other “western” conference sports games. This would be a 3 team NCAAB tournament conference with BYU, NM, SDSU and UNLV. BYU would play a game each season on the East coast, and have 3 other games to schedule for their intentions to broaden their exposure and play in front of members in other areas of the country. At the same time, there would be a home game schedule of 6 games that would be at better than the MWC, with the carrot of a conference/division championship and a real possiblity of a BCS game for the players to look forward to. A win, win, win which BYU overlooked.

  • cgr said:

    Its not like inclusion in a bcs conference means you are going to a bcs bowl every year. You still have to win the conference to get in. A very tall task in most bcs conferences. You still have to go undefeated or lose one game if you want top ten respect. I would rather be the one loss team ranked 8th that got screwed then the three loss team ranked 18th that got an automatic bid because they won there crappy conference.

  • BlueHusky said:

    Good comments and no Utard trolls!

    But to Cliff and others worried about independence, let me remind you of the Penn State story. Penn State was a perennial in big bowl games while independent. That stopped when they joined the Big10. A conference dominated by Michigan and Ohio State, Alabama and Auburn, USC, Texas and Oklahoma/Nebraska, et al. doesn’t guarantee much in the way of BCS access to the conference spear carriers.

    BYU just left a conference that it dominated in nearly every sport. Conference championships came through Provo. Utah will soon find out how hard it is win on the road in the PAC12. I would not be surprised to see them fail to qualify for a bowl game this year. Oregon State went 20 years with 2 or 3-win seasons.

    BYU in the Big12 would be mid-tier at best in the Big12. Like Utah, they are not deep enough to dominate a traditional big bowl conference.

    BYU as an independent will be able to control their destiny. Three or four games a year against the storied programs of college football is good publicity and will help increase our depth for a campaign where a majority of games are against “big conference” teams. Beating Iowa State is no harder than beating Air Force, but to the rest of the country, beating a Big12 or Big 10 team is better than beating the best MWC team.

    So a schedule of a few top 10 teams and some bottom feeders from the BCS conferences will look good. A a 12-0 or 11-1 record with such a schedule will get us a good bowl, maybe even the NC at some point. Probably sooner than if we were in the PAC12 or Big12.

  • Martin said:


    I understand that you can’t reveal an inside source but can you at least provide some details as to how you are privy to this supposed Big East invitation other than asking your readers to “connect the dots”?

  • Batman said:

    The Big East has appeal to me if they go to 12 teams for football with a western division, maybe AF, Boise, and byu to add to TCU. I think the BCS access, including bowl system, would make that move worth it, plus travel would not be as crazy. If the invite is for byu alone, not sure it still doesn’t make sense. Indy is an upgrade from MWC, but the fact is that byu’s access to post season games is poor as is its November schedule.

    The benefit of being in a BCS conference is not just the post season bowl tie-ins, including BCS game if you win the conference, but also the cash regardless if you make the BCS game. Exposure wise, I think it is almost as good as Indy.

    I also am not sold on the H/A/N format byu is having to pull off as an Indy because seldom is he Neutral site one that is advantageous for byu apart from the cash they get. I would still prefer straight up 1:1 deals because this the neutral deals are going to leave some years with bad home schedules, especially in November.

    The thing that byu may have in mind is to wait a few years and see if the Big 12 expands, which is a possibilty if its media forces want a championship game.

  • David Moore said:

    Again, I think the Big-12 is a conference who if they chose to go back to 12 will attempt to invite BYU, and this is a league where BYU will be interested in joining, NOT because of immediate AQ BCS bowl possibilities but because it would be a stable platform for all of its men’s and women’s programs that would help showcase them in a way consistent to the mission of BYU. I think there is a point that one can put too much emphasis on the football program, and I highly doubt that Tom Holmoe and Cecil Samuelson would put the kibosh on an offer from Dan Beebe, Bill Powers (Texas) and David Boren (Oklahoma). The WCC is not a good long term option to place men’s basketball over the long haul, and the near loss of Dave Rose to Oklahoma (he was reportedly much more interested in going to Norman than accepting the offer Utah’s Chris Hill extended) clearly is a situation BYU administrators wish to avoid in the future. If you read David Ubben over on ESPN, the Big-12 will keep the same name although a new log is likely: http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=6581693 Ubben also reiterates that BYU is the only expansion candidate that has the consensus support: http://espn.go.com/blog/big12/post/_/id/29134/fans-speak-out-on-big-12-expansion
    As for future scheduling, I think Holmoe is somewhat reluctant to firm up too many of these dates for one season perhaps having some confidential Intel from Texas, Oklahoma and others that a Big-12 re-expansion and invitation could becoming sooner as opposed to later. All of the PAC-12 school with the exception of Stanford and Cal-Berkley love playing BYU, and Arizona State especially enjoys home & home football contracts with the Cougars.

  • BlueCoug said:

    Frankly, replacing Wyoming and New Mexico on the MTN, with Ohio State and Nebraska on ESPN is a no-brainer.

    BYU has NEVER played Nebraska and the Cougars have only played Ohio State in bowl games. Getting both of these elite teams to come to Provo, as well as playing them in made-for-television games at Cowboys and Broncos stadiums is a great opportunity for the Cougars.

    Sure, BYU is scheduling some tough opponents; but, if you want to become one of the big boys, you have to play the big boys.

    Playing these types of games on national television will expand BYU’s recruiting pool and will help BYU keep recruits that used to get sweet-talked into going to USC or Notre Dame.

  • paul said:

    for those 2nd guessing us turning down the big east- think about us in the big east for just a moment. Yes, its a guaranteed thing for BCS access, and the likelihood of getting there would be really good, but the money would probably be less than our situation as an independent, and big east football is such a snoozer- we double the attendance at most of their schools and no one even cares about it- they get a worse deal with espn- the thursday night games! and imagine for other sports… Yes it would be cool to play basketball in the big east, but the travel would be insane- and think of all the other sports (esp. ones with lots of games like baseball, women’s volleyball) traveling to the tri-states area twice a week sometimes. it doesn’t fit- and there’s no way the Big East is going to expand basketball even more to add central/western schools- what the heck would they do with 20+ teams in basketball? It just isn’t possible.

    As for the scheduling- yes it’s a lot of h-h-n or 2 for ones, but these days, people don’t sign 10 game deals (not even the usc-nd is for more than a few years at a time). I want long term series as much as anyone- but people don’t do that anymore. They would rather do a 2-4 game deal and then evaluate it and possibly renew when it’s done. There’s no way a big ten school is going to come here every other year for the next decade. The fact that we are getting big time teams to provo to begin with is a victory. We have very little weight to throw around right now. maybe in a few years we can start to ask for more after we prove ourselves.

  • CBelnap said:

    2 point:

    First, from a selfish point of view: For those of us outside Utah and the west, going independent is the best thing that could have happened. I now live in the Atlanta area and spent 10 of the last 12 years in China and Switzerland. The only way I watched BYU sports was via Slingbox–but it was still worth it. Now back in the US, I went to the Fla State game (and took my boys to the fireside–perhaps more important) and I already have my tickets for Ole Miss and will certainly attend the GaTech game. [By the way, leaving the FSU game, one of the locals around me said, “Man, you guys sure travel well. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a visiting crowd that big that wasn’t Florida.”] Better still, I get to see EVERY game on HD over the internet now. This is way, WAY better than what we had before from this Alum’s view.

    Second, from what I think is BYU’s view: I have finally decided that BYU really means what it says that it will use athletics to promote the mission of this unique university. I think the administration is genuinely not looking to join a conference for football. I think even if the Big12 comes calling, the only reason they may accept is as others have stated for the other programs. I agree with what others wrote: BYU no longer cares about the BCS nor will we make decisions because of it. We will make decisions relative to the way they support the 3-fold mission of the church. [Still trying to figure out how it will help the dead…but I’m sure they see it in HD too!]


  • kiyoshige said:

    Great article and comments. For those complaining about the home schedule, what is your response to future home schedules looking like past year’s home schedules? Holmoe & Co. are more than aware of the importance of the home fan base at LES. They are also aware of the fan bases in Denver, San Diego, DC, Texas, and frankly, all over the world.

    Y’all want the “conference” for the 2-3 marquis conference games that may happen every other year. Imagine being in the Big 12 and having Oklahoma, Texas, Texas Tech, A&M, Baylor, Oklahoma St, etc coming to LES. I get that. But that hasn’t happened in the past and with the conference landscape changing yearly, it may not happen in the future.

    For those who are so against independence and so FOR joining a conference, I think you are missing the big picture, especially as a team such as Texas seems to be exploring independence as well.

    What if we joined the Big 12 and then Texas became independent?

    10 years from now, we are going to be saying, “Conference affiliation is so 90s.”

    The one thing about this is that there are no guarantees. It is every school for themselves out there. So don’t fault the administration for looking out for #1; although it may seemingly in the short term have a small tradeoff (not the greatest home schedule, no access to BCS, no conference championship to play for, or whatever).

    Big, big upside here, more than we could imagine. And, oh yeah. Bob. I joined Cougar Club this year…

  • Harrison said:

    I am SO SICK of people who are willingly believing the lies the Utes tell them. We have not yet played a single season as an independent and already you people think we’re important enough to warrant 1:1 with ND and Ohio State. Sorry, we haven’t proved ourselves yet. We will get BCS access and credibility enough for 1:1’s WHEN WE EARN IT. Until then, we get One and done’s and 2:1 and H/H/N. Quit thinking that we deserve ND-like respect immediately! We’re not going to get deals like that until 3-4 years into independence. Be patient and quit jumping at the first BCS conference that comes calling! The BE would be a bad fit. The AD was right to turn them down.

  • bfwebster said:

    Kiyoshige: You pretty much nailed my suspicion: if BYU is successful at independence, then some other major schools may take a long, hard look at it (and, yes, Texas is one of those that comes to mind). I suspect ESPN would like nothing so much as to have half a dozen top-notch independent schools with national followings in their ‘stable’, and I suspect that arrangement would be very lucrative for both ESPN and for those schools.

    Likewise, Mysixsons points out why BYU is going to be able to schedule the opponents it wants: money. BYU games have strong ratings on ESPN, ESPN can pay both schools well, the opponents get a big payout. And I suspect that ‘big name’ schools are actually more interested in BYU as an independent than as an MWC member – the stigma of losing to BYU is now less. No, seriously —

    Of course, a lot of this depends upon BYU getting back to a competitive position after the wretched season (half-season, reallyt) last year. But I have high hopes in that regard as well. ..bruce..

  • sgbyufan said:

    Brent, Great 2nd article, which clarifies your also very good 1st article. It appears to me that your souces are good at BYU.

    I am beginning to believe if independence ends up being close to as good as it is for Notre Dame, then like ND we will not be joining a BCS conference. The Big 10 pushed ND hard to join, offering them a great deal of money and national prestige. But ND already has plenty of both, and they also have freedom to do as they wish.

    I am beginning to believe that Tom Holmoe’s vision for BYU independence is not so different than that for Notre Dame. Over time we should be able to streghten our home schedule so that we have at least 6 good home games to watch, and at least that many slightly even better road games, almost all on ESPN.

    I do admit a part of me still imagines us in the Big 12, and I do believe that is also a very real future possibility, but for now, independence is a reality and more and more it looks like that will be very good as well.

  • football junkie said:

    With all the euphoria about independence, let’s not forget WHY our boys in blue strap on their helmets and play. In the end, for each player, it boils down to 3 things. Winning, WINNing, and WINNING. And we’re not talking about just winning the game. We’re talking about WINNING CHAMPIONSHIPS!!! Ever since these kids played Pee-WEE football the ultimate reason for playing each year was to win the league or conference championship. Ask the guys who play! It matters. So what will in the hearts of ‘OUR GUYS’ as they line to tackle 14 foes for the 2011 season? “Let’s win it all for our fans”? Or maybe, Let’s do it for the “Gipper” er, Mendenhall. Perhaps the rallyings cry will be, “Let’s show them that we deserve to play on the same field”. Yes, Independence offers BYU many opportunities. However, it fails to offer the very most important. A Championship for the team and it’s players! I think we need to be careful about what we wish for!!! We might get it.

  • Softbear said:

    Ok, call me in outer darkness when it comes to the BCS so I may need some explanations. Am I right or wrong, that all the BCS bowls have at least a tie in with conference winners but are then free to select an opponent. Example, Utah playing Alamaba or Bosie State against OU etc.! So if this is the case, then truly all the Y needs to do is be a winner and one of those bowls could invite us.

    It seems to me we just need to prove we are worthy of a BCS game and we could have one. Several reasons: Good fan following, great TV ratings, ESPN connection, international fan base and even perhaps less costly to the bowl game. Seems these items alone would interest a BCS game, especially if we finish in the Top 10 or so.

    So be independent may not be so bad, based on these facts. But then I could be wrong about those tie ins. Please let me know if I’m right or wrong.

  • Oceanographer said:

    DSB is the best. Best inside info. Best fan discussion afterward.

    Thanks. This makes the long summer drought bearable.

  • football junkie said:

    Bear, In a perfect world all our BCS dreams would come true. Unfortunately, our Cougars only have 2 chances of EVER being in a BCS game….SLIM AND NONE. As for a National Championship Game, that will have to wait for the next life. You see, we were a bit hastly in jumping to Independence. We should have SECURED a guarantee from the BCS before jumping. As it is we could go undefeated 10 years in a row with absolutely NO Guarantee of getting a BCS invite!!! The key is in the wording that Holmoe accepted… that We would be “CONSIDERED” for a BCS Bowl invitation. That my friend sums it up.
    Don’t be naive to think the AQ conferences are going to be magnanimous and just let “us in” because we have a great record. Won’t happen. There’s too much $ at stake. If you don’t believe this
    I would like to meet with you about a little parcel of land I’m selling in Alaska for a great price.

  • Seasider said:

    football junkie: 10 years? Really? If Utah State went 10 years undefeated and wasn’t getting BCS love, I guarantee there would be a media firestorm about it. As it is, BYU has been given the same BCS status as Army and Navy which isn’t great but it was unrealistic to assume we would automatically be given Notre Dame status right away. The BCS knows who BYU is and is well aware of their legacy and football prowess. If BYU can play a solid schedule and run the table, they will get ranked and with every good season they get ranked higher and higher. The AQ conferences and BCS may be part of an exclusive fraternity but they’re also about money and ratings and a good BYU teams brings that to the table. If BYU is ranked high enough, I just don’t see how the BCS won’t let them into one of their bowls.

  • Softbear said:

    Junkie, I agree our chances of making it to the National Championship may be slim to none, but I still think we could have a shot at a BCS bowl. If for no other reason than ESPN would be pushing it. Also I have nothing wrong with some of the other bowls, like: Cotton, Holiday, Gator, Citrus, Liberty to name a few. All of those have good pay outs and big fan base. Still I think if we come in with some “great” records someone will take us especaily if along the way we have beaten some of those same AQ schools.

  • spamdawg said:

    @football junkie

    You are right that athletes dream about championships. I think they dream about national championships though not conference championships. You forgot one other dream they have. They would love a NC but I think most of them realize that it is really hard to get there because of the system, ask Auburn or Georgia fans about it. They are BCS conference teams and they got burned. I think their first dream is to play in the NFL and winning the Superbowl. The only way to get to the NFL is national attention, a.k.a exposure, and playing time and excelling at their position. Indepence gives BYU a bigger stage with ESPN and BYUtv. Did Jimmer want to win a NC. Yes he did but his goal was the NBA. Bronco will have an easier time getting a recruit when he tells them they will get to play in storied college and NFL stadiums across the nation. Playing in the Horse Shoe, Rose Bowl and so on. We can’t hide behind a conference championship (best of 8-12 teams) anymore. It is fun to tell a rival that you won the conference but beating your rival always trumps that. The key is to win.

  • softbear said:

    spamdawg: Well put!! When you think about it in a players career they only have 4 or 5 chances to win a NC, what’s the odds of that at any school. So playing to win and enter the NFL has always been their goal. Playing in a bigger bowl would be great, but with our scheduling now they will have the chance to play in 2 or 3 bowls every year with the teams they will be playing. If your locked in a conference, as we were with the MTW, that would never happen.

    A player wanting to go to the NFL has all the ingredients to do so with BYU : Big time program, nationally ranked, top draft players, TV exposure with ESPN, Coaches with NFL tie-ins, plenty of money, hugh fan base and a program that “should never end up on probation”.

  • football junkie said:

    Whoa Fellas, This ship is beginning to list and fast. Since when do premier college football players not want to win championships at any level? Ask Bronco. Every year winning the conference championship has always been the Cougars first and most important GOAL. Period. That is fact!! And another thing, we are being hood-winked into thinking that scheduling AWAY games in ‘neutral’ settings is the way to go. We are being sold the concept that this is not actually a 2 for 1 arrangement. Its a 1-1-1 deal. That my friends is baloney. The so called neutral game is an away game. You can package it any way you want, but it’s still an away game. And its purpose is revenue. As far as revenue games are concerned ask Utah State how that has worked out for them. No my friends, its not all roses as far a Independence is concerned.

  • spamdawg said:

    A conference championship is something to make you feel warm in side. All it says is you were better than 8-11 teams. Being ranked in the top 10 means more than a conference championship. That means you were better than 110 other teams not just 8-11. Are high school kids happy with just winning their division. NO! They want to be state champs. Now the team goal for BYU is to be National Champions, where it should be. Do you think that Florida cares about winning the SEC more than a NC.

    On to the H-A-N. Does OSU consider the Cowboy’s stadium a home game? Or Nebraska consider the Bronco’s stadium a home game? Both teams view it as a road game. I agree we can’t do to many of these but it is a brilliant concept. The Buckeye’s, and Cornhuskers might be coming to Provo. That is huge and never would happen if we were a MWC team.

    Win those games and we can play for a NC! No, question.

  • Foke said:

    As a Cougar Fan, I hope and pray that the Big12 does not come calling. I would rather be independent and have a say than be in the Big12 and have to do whatever Texas says. They have destroyed that conference and pretty soon will probably go independent themselves. Then the Pac10 will get the teams the wanted all along.

  • Jared said:

    I happen to think the H-H-N idea is awesome, too and I’m very excited about all the news/rumors coming out about BYU’s scheduling. I’m particularly stoked about the possibility of BYU facing Nebraska in Denver, as a Denver resident myself. I will tell you, however, that I would guess that BYU fans will be overwhelmed by Nebraska fans at Invesco field. True, there’s a great contingent of BYU fans in Colorado – but I think there’s a much larger one of Nebraska fans. Just sayin’ for what it’s worth. BYU will still win!!

  • Jimmerfan said:

    Tom Holmoe is smart to not go to the Big East for many reasons. One is the control that he has over the program. BYU does not have any more restrictions or dumb decisions by being in a conference. He has control of what is done, where the games are televised, and the scheduling.

    Also, if BYU gets into a BCS conference, the Big East is the last one I would want to be in. They are the weakest football conference (out of the six AQ’s) and their basketball is so strong that BYU wouldn’t have much of a chance.

    Tom Holmoe is very confident that being an independent will bring success to BYU. Why not try it for a few years? If it doesn’t work, we could get an invitation to a better conference like the Big 12.

  • John said:

    Big East will never get BYU: http://t.co/7uy4RZd

  • TX Colonel said:

    I love independence. Who cares about the BCS. This is exciting stuff. If BYU wins consistently, the BCS will take care of itself. I’ve been a Cougar fan for 30 years, and this is the most excited I’ve been about our position and direction.

    Go Cougs! See you down here in Texas three times this year!!!

  • Rev. SJ Bobkins The Church of BYU Football said:

    Simply put, the fans will support ANY effort that will get BYU into a BCS AQ position in the quickest way. Word out of the Big 10, which has ALWAYS been the 6-carot Diamond engagement ring the blushing BYU bride has long luster after, not the PAC which since 1975 made it clear had no room for a religious school; was that Sunday bans on conference tourneys, basketball play and the minor sport schedules would make BYU a less desirable candidate than a half dozen other schools. The Big East is as desparate as BYU, when you realize that conference record in AQ bowls has been abysmal along with it’s TV ratings. The past Fiesta Bowl was an embarrassment with most of Conn Huskies tickets returned meaning that the league would have subtracted from the pay out every cent those tickets were to sell for. At the same time, TV viewers made it clear Conn did not belong in one of the top 5 bowls in the US. Hence the mission to find a new set of schools. Villanova, Central Florida, begged for consideration but it was TCU from way out Texas way who received and accepted an offer to join in ALL SPORTS. From the Big East to later make overtones to BYU, accommodating ALL OF BYU’s UNIGUE NEEDS was HUGE. Nah, BYU fitting into an east coast league, CRAZY, not really, BYU WOULD PLAY no more than 4 games in places like Louisville, South Florida, UCONN, Pitt, TCU, places future schedules are already taking us. Could it work? Well BYU will play in Florida, Texas, Wash DC, anyway! So travel concerns are NO CONCERN. Oh yeh, but we have promises to ESPN and the WCC. The WCC situation won’t be affected in anyway, you have to also know that ESPN HAD to have been aware and encouraging of such a link up with the Big East because they WANT THE LEAGUE TO THRIVE, since 150 million TV set lie within the leagues outline more than any other league in college football. IF BYU HAS GIVEN THE BIG EAST A PERMANANT THUMBS DOWN IT WILL GO ON RECORD AS BEING THE SINGLE CRAZIEST MOVE THE ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT HAS EVER MADE. BYU will NOT GET any more invites to a AQ League period, not the Big 10, 12, PAC or anyone else and what happens when the WAC can’t bastardized itself to assist BYU in creating schedules? Or when fans can’t handle ONE MORE pathetic BOTTOM 10, Utah State, New Mexico St, San Jose St, I-Dee-Ho, appearing at the LES? I am so sick of MID-MAJOR, small schools, labeling for BYU that I could jump through the TV screen and tear the collective tongues out of all the talking heads who automatically squash the Cougars down into second class because they can’t earn an AQ BID. Join the Big East, BYU is a big school bully, and that would be lovely. We had to move, to do something when the Yewts got the ticket off the 3 wheeled MWC, no broadcast bus. The independence idea was own only option after BYU spend all it’s ammo with the Big 12 folks. We send 250 page packets laying out all the reasons the Cougs would make the Big 12 even better, yet the interest wasn’t what we hoped for and it’s even less now. Tom, please pick up a book on how to write good ole fashion love letters, ya know what people did before e-mail and texting, and haul off writing such a sweet collection of sweet sentences to all the Big East folks. Tell ‘em how romancing The Cougars has to go slow because we are a little shy, BUT DON’T FORGET ABOUT US!

  • Rev. SJ Bobkins The Church of BYU Football said:

    Please overlook references to the Big 10, I meant 12, but I can’t jump to the upper portion to review my epistle and make changes, it’s the smart phone curse.

  • spamdawg said:

    I understand smart phones thinking they no better. Drives me crazy sometimes. Those that are upset about independent need to give it sometime. They had to throw a schedule together in a few months for this coming season and it really isn’t a bad one. We have some big names on the ticket next year. If this article is correct about the future teams on the schedule then we are in for a treat. The Big LEast is a joke of a conference and would not be good for BYU. They shouldn’t have AQ status. They haven’t earned it. Have any of their teams ever won a BCS game (I really don’t know the answer) The BCS is a joke and will hopefully fall and give all college football fans the post season that we deserve in a playoff system. I am not saying that we are ND, but it has worked for them and I have no reason to think it won’t work for us. They still get a lot of recruits and they can’t play for a conference championship (champion of 8-12 teams, yipee!). If this article is correct OSU, Nebraska, Penn St., USC, UCLA, Wisc. not to mention that Texas, and ND are already coming to LES. That is awesome. Sit back and enjoy the ride because it’s only getting better.

  • Rev. SJ Bobkins The Church of BYU Football said:

    The Big East should’ have AQ status?……..
    Point is they DO and any chance the MWC OR WAC is going to take their place at the table is pure fiction. I was 100% pro Big 12 , a year ago bathing in the still glow of the Oklahoma win (while we’re here consider what class means; we beat OK THEY THEN LIKE US AND HOPE WE CAN JUMP ABOARD the B12 train, we beat Yewtah and they can’t stop trashing us as if that makes sense. We beat you yet we’re lousy, and that makes YOU?)
    There are no more options, the Big 12 will never invite a football-only school and currenly our stock has dropped regarding potential membership because of SUNDAY PLAY. BUT THE BIG EAST WANTS US ON OUR TERMS. it’s our SOLE invite friends and will be OUR SOLE INVITE, always and forever. Don’t be intellectually dishonest and even squeak a problem with Big East travel or lack of identity with the members. We are traveling to games within their footprint in 2012 while coming close in 2011. It’s down and dirty time we stay “wittle bitty major minors or become a junk yard bully along with the AQ’ERS. A road map to the BCS through Independance doesn’t exist according to Tom Holmoe. Now make your point on why we should “stay the course”, but know why and how, your emotional response means zip BRING IT

  • Rev. SJ Bobkins The Church of BYU Football said:

    Dawg you’re hopeless “they haven’t won a BCS GAME, have they, I really don’t know” Don’t say it if you can’t BACK IT! Ladies and gents, it doesn’t matter how bad you think the Big E was nor how good the MWC was, we need to deal with reality. They have the Golden Ticket we want and nobody else wants us to come to their house to play.
    Lesson. 4821
    1-the MWC we hoped and prayed would take the Big E’s place is DOA
    2-the BCS IS A 6 team deal, it will always be a 6 team deal
    3-Only the C-USA, Mid-Amer, WAC, or MWC, can qualify to take the place of one of the 6
    4-the C-USA, Mid-Amer, WAC, or MWC will never be able to push the Big E out after BYU, TCU, YEWTAH YUTZ, fled
    5-Note the railing WAC expanded by adding two schools that have never played ONE GAME as a Div 1-A team, NOT ONE. Texas-San Antonio, Texas State
    6-Independence requires the WAC to get us past the conference wars, we have to have WAC games in order to do so.
    7-will home with I-Dee-Ho, New Mexico St, San Jose St, Louisiana Tech, get sickening boring after a bit making BYU vs Pitt, Conn, West VA, South Florida, Louisville, seem like the answer to a maidens prayer? As we say in the religion biz HELL YA

  • Jared said:

    Ha ha, that’s good stuff reverend. I’m not sure I completely follow or agree with you, but I enjoy reading it nonetheless.

  • Reed said:


    I am going to have to disagree with you on this one and some of the other things you said. The move to Independence was not about the BcS or becoming a BcS school. It is about exposure. The Big East would not provide the exposure that we have now being an independent. If the athletic department took an invite to the Big East it would be a huge downgrade from what we have now in terms of exposure, money, and the respect we can get being an independent. I would rather play the likes of Texas, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, ASU, Cal, TCU, USC, and Washington than any Big East school every year. Playing teams in Texas, California, Washington, and Arizona will provide much more access to future recruits than playing in New Jersey, West Virginia, or even Ohio. And playing those schools and beating them will give more respect to BYU than winning a Big East championship three years in a row.
    Rev, I would just say to give Independence a chance. It was not a decision that was made on a whim and to go away from it would need a really great offer. The Big East may even become irrelevant in the future with conference realignments. I for one am excited for what is to come for BYU. Yes, the first couple years will be rough scheduling teams and the WAC has been a great help in that department, but down the road you will see some classic match-ups and some big name schools coming to LES and playing on ESPN. That puts a big smile on my face.

  • Bob Henstra said:

    Tommy, ESPN and BYUtv will need three years to get independence off the ground, as I see it Tommy’s off to a great start.

    I’ve known three BYU athletic directors personally, one of them (Glen Tuckett) was my Stake President. Tommy is the best AD we’ve ever had!

    The Big East will never be a viable option for BYU, just the cost of transportation is prohibitive! And their FB teams are no better than MWC teams. We’d simply be stepping from one mess into a bigger mess!

    Our escape is to show other schools the advantage of being independent in FB. Getting others to see what we’re doing and becoming independent themselves. Currently, there are four independents in the country,4 or 5 more and we have a group of independents we can play every year, for the independent schools championship!

    Texas will have it’s own Longhorn network this Fall. ND is looking at BYUtv as an example, looking at the Catholic network broadcasting replays like BYUtv will. Army and Navy also has that ability, Perhaps Air Force will see the advantage of independence looking at the watered down MWC. Even Hawaii was looking at independence again. And the WAC?? They’ll fall apart at the seams. Possibility of four reasonable teams going independent there!

    The WCC schools are beginning to upgrading their facilities, just because BYU is now in their conference. All we need do is look at how successful Tommy has been so far, and we are not yet competing as an independent in football, we’re just barely out of the mwc!

    Lets give Tommy his three years, and lets make sure the world see’s just how well we fans support our teams! That demonstration of support will help Tommy solve a lot of possible scheduling problems and excite other schools to join us!

    As real fans, it’s on us! If we didn’t have the fan base we have ESPN wouldn’t give us much of a look! Ask Utah State, the Shaggies have no national fan base, ergo, no ESPN contract! TV works on ratings, we need to help push those ratings much higher, and demonstrate what we as fans can accomplish!


  • Softbear said:

    Seems to be alot of talk about our schedule as an independent and how we can never play enough good teams to make the BCS. WEll, here’s my question has anyone checked the big schools to see who their playing??? Example, Texas-Rice, Wyo, Fl. Atlantic;Ou-Tulsa; Washington-East Washington; Tenn-Montana; Ark-Missouri St;Auburn-UT St; Michigan St.-Youngstown; Neb-Chattanooga; Ohio State-New Mex St;Wis.-UNLV;Tx Aggies-Stephen F Austin and this is just the first week of the schedule some of these schools have many such schools on their schedules. By the way some of these aren’t even Div. 1.

    Everyone complains about us having some lower tier teams in the WAC, well many of those top teams in conferences also play some teams that would be bottom feeders in even the MWC OR WAC. Each conference only has two or 3 quality teams. There also seems to be some concern with not being able to play for a national championship. Seems to me that only 2 teams get that honor each year anyway. So what are the odds of anyone being NC. If we win we will have a BCS bowl, ok, maybe not the NC game but we will not be alone. We still have a better chance the Utes!!

  • Rev. SJ Bobkins The Church of BYU Football said:

    It’s Crystal Clear now. I have no idea if the BE (Big East) had any contact with BYU, it makes sence, more sence than most realize, but I haven’t had anyone who was there tell me, I can only guess. Let’s look at the facts, the BE hung onto a AQ position by the skin of their teeth. Had the MWC not bleed like a stuck pig, the drive for a AQ would have been a world beater competition. Could inviting TCU have been trail ballon and now that that’s has been roundly accepted, (check out the BE meeting recap at ESPN.com) a BYU invite would make perfect sence. Region lapdogs (in BE fan eyes) Central Florida, East Carolina who have been lobbyng endlessly for an invite now know that a TCU 1500 miles east beats them. Within the BE you have one big dog, West Virginia. That can attract 54,000 fans to a big game, two schools who bring in 40-45,000, then the rest. I know this sounds much like the old MWC, consider the BE to similar without the Wyoming’s, New Mexicos, UNLVs, etc BYU would be the high muckety muck and the only member with a national following which was the savior of the early MWC. Even in 2009 and 2010 attendance with BYU and Yewtah, and TCU was 42,726 for football, take BYU out it drops BELOW 25,000, to 24,081. The point unless you missed it, BYU FILLS STADIUMS HOME AND AWAY, the top 10 crowds for each MWC school list BYU at least in 6 of the 10. Will BYU BE HEADED EAST, in much the same way theu are headed east with future schedule? NO NO AND NO
    Since 1980, BYU HAS HOPED against hope to do business with the B12. In 1975-6 when Arizona state was courted by the PAC and BYU the other bookend of the then WAC, it made perfect sence to take BYU into the PAC, however the liberal schools led by Stanford, who cancelled all games with BYU, made it clear they would never approve such an invitation, because of said schools policy on race and church leadership. If you aren’t well versed on the disgusting violent protests at CSU and UA you need to sit down with some books, because what happened in the past, now controls the future. The issue was renewed dead anyway when the Arizona Legisislature said ASU couldn’t go PAC’ing unless WAC weakling UA got to go with their big brother to the north. LaVell and all at the Cougar camp has known that that word was final. When the 6 schools in the B12 refused the offer to PAC in 2010, the reeling Lary Scott grabbed CU and then Yewtah as his 7th and 8th choice. The media storm wondering if BYU might also come aboard just sold newspapers and increased the SLC 10 pm news blocks audience. LaVell and everyone in blue knew the drumbeat was hollow. Since 1975, it has been B12 or stay with your neighbors most have little interest in their respective athletic programs. (conformed by Tom Holmoe a week or so ago when he sated the same thing including UU and TCU in those who were willing to pay the price)
    If the BE came calling, and it would seem likely. Heck we know there wasn’t a Noah’s flood covering the earth but some claim to believe, I’m willing to accept that an offer was made evidence lacking. I don’t accept that AN OFFER WAS TURNED DOWN.
    BYU ISN’T STUPID THEY ARE GOING TO INSURE THAT PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT A BYU-BE marriage, WHY! if Like you claim BYU isn’t going to join the BE?
    Because my friends the B12 just played the Sunday card in meetings so it would seem that BYU is gone from consideration. That makes the BE offer/rumor timed perfectly. Because the B12 isn’t going to let BYU, the last cookie in the bag, become permanently out of their expansion talk. No one in the dance line can come close to BYU’s drawing power, TV attractiveness, success, tradition. Conferences and Univ Presidents love tradition, fans could care less, it’s last weeks score that interests them. Many in B12 or BE country actually have the myopic stupidity to talk BOISE STATE up as an attractive potential member, as if this JC 16 years ago with some great success in the WAC and a few national games take the place of all the deficiencies. 30,000 seat stadiums and Yewtah type basketball where you change dance partners yearly and coaches every 3, non existence academic respect, on and on disqualifies, you.
    Yesterday it was take the BE if offered, today the cataracts have lifted, this is about power, if BYU has an offer in hand they make certain the B12 knows, the B12 has to open a way for BYU. Simple as that
    OK- the critics Repeat after me; “the bad Big East is gone, the good MWC is gone, old arguments are meaningless” THREE TIMES A DAY FOR THE NEXT 90 days
    BYU officials know full well that the WAC deal was essential or BYU would not have been able to leave in 2011 or 2012. At the same time no one ACCEPTS THAT FACT THAT BEING FORCED TO PLAY DOGS SUCH AS SJS, NMS, I-Dee-Ho, is anything but a 3-4 yr. deal.
    ESPN- if an offer to the BE TOOK PLACE ESPN WAS BEHIND IT……………..just let it sink in. THE BE AND ESPN are in a marriage that until November 2012 is locked in place. The BE can’t mumble, “got a deal?” within ear shot of Fox or NBC until Nov 2012, BETTER YET, ANY CHANGE IN IT’S MEMBERSHIP OR MEDIA REACH HAS TO BE OK’ed by both parties.

  • Rev. SJ Bobkins The Church of BYU Football said:

    Bob H- Wake up it’s 2011 You change you clothes daily but you hold to a nonsensical argument year after year. Travel doesn’t matter this is FOOTBALL ONLY FRIEND. you travel 4 times a YEAR. Take a look at the schedule for 2011 and the future, see any long distant travel?………….
    CUUDLYBEAR- yea BSC teams play garbage, what else is new and it means?…..Forget that what raises your hackles means nothing to this how have the power. BYU wasn’t intending to play the chaff of the WAC for more than a few years

  • Rev SJ Bobkins DD. PhD. (Church of BYU Football) said:

    Jared, Bless you my son.
    I may be wrong, (daily). I may be irrelevant, sometimes irreverent, but I do my best with the very limited intelligence and reasoning ability, I have been given. Thanks to my patient faculty and staff at Provo High School, I consider that time, the best 8 years of my life. They would never believe that I really did make it through BYU, ASU, and University of Colorado

  • Parker West@ Slick Rick's Football Forcast said:

    It didn’t really surprise me that much that the Big East apparently had a cup of coffee or a Diet Coke with BYU to see if the Cougars would entertain a football-only invite. Who knows whether this will really lead to anything, but count me in as someone that likes this line of thinking for the Big East. I’ve proposed the Big Country Conference in the past (a coast-to-coast football-only conference with the Big East football members as the pillars) along with expounding the value of BYU. My position is that if the Big East really wants to expand for football, then it needs a ready-made school to plug-in as opposed to searching for potential or focusing on geography. (I was pushing TCU for the Big East many months before they were publicly on the radar for the conference.) The usual suspects such as Central Florida, East Carolina and Houston are a bit more geographically-friendly for the Big East compared to BYU, but nowhere near the same level in terms of history, fan base size and financial resources. BYU is the BIG Magilla, the others barely squirrel monkey strength.

    Now, is this a good idea for BYU? As a newly minted independent, it’s guaranteed at least three games per year on ESPN worth $800,000 to $1.2 million per game. That means $2.4 million in TV money annually from ESPN at a minimum and with attractive games on the future schedule with Notre Dame and Texas, BYU is probably looking at closer to the $4 million to $5 million range just for football TV rights, which is more than what the Big East football members are currently making from ESPN for both football and basketball (around $3 million per year). Coupled with BYU TV and from a pure television contract perspective, BYU may very well be better off as an independent than joining the Big East at this time.

    At the same time, the travel burden of being a western outpost in an Eastern-based conference is really on BYU as opposed to the rest of the Big East. Is it all worth it in order to join an AQ conference?

    I would unequivocally say yes. That status in and of itself is invaluable in terms of recruiting, national perception and certain in terms of competing with in-state rival Utah (who just hit the lottery with the Pac-12′s new TV deal). The Big East TV contract is due for at least a market-based increase in a couple of years. So, even if BYU’s ESPN money looks good right now, it may not look so hot compared to a new Big East deal. Also, a 10-2 BYU in the Big East is probably going to a BCS bowl, whereas a 10-2 BYU as an independent is going to be scrambling around to find a second-tier bowl bid. Finally, if BYU thinks that it would be a good idea to wait around to see if the Big 12 would expand down the road, that certainly isn’t a guarantee and even if the Big 12 really did want BYU, the school would actually be even more attractive as having had AQ status. Offers for spots in AQ conferences are few and far between and it wouldn’t be wise for anyone from the non-AQ level to pass those up.

  • Teddy Bear said:

    Sorry Rev. I just didn’t have the stamina to read the novel you just posted. Would you mind giving the executive summary or cliff notes version?

  • Rev SJ Bobkins DD. PhD. (Church of BYU Football) said:

    Mr. Edward Bear-Sorry will try.Me heep big & long blow hard

  • Rev SJ Bobkins DD. PhD. (Church of BYU Football) said:

    We have a new Archbishop. Welcome Bishop West, I’m not sure Forcast isn’t spelled Forecast, but hey, I’m over 87% misspelling myself.

    The whole deal summed up so even Brother Bear can handle it:
    “…..a 10-2 BYU in the Big East is probably going to a BCS bowl, whereas a 10-2 BYU as an independent is going to be scrambling around to find a second-tier bowl bid (editor note: 4th tier Poinsettia, Feed Somebody Bowls). Finally, if BYU thinks that it would be a good idea to wait around to see if the Big 12 would expand down the road, that certainly isn’t a guarantee and even if the Big 12 really did want BYU, the school would actually be even more attractive as having had AQ status”

    YOU can’t fake, excuse, get around AQ status it determines the who is and who isn’t. Recruiting HUGE DIFFERENCE, every kid being recruited by yewtah and BYU both has made a very positive comment on the yutz having AQ status. Like it or not, if you have it, (they will come, no, where did that come from) you are BIG SCHOOL, if you don’t, you are mid-major. PERCEPTION IS REALITY

  • Bob Henstra said:

    Rev, your good for entertainment, but that’s about it! BYU independence, BYUtv and ESPN will work if we continue to support out team. ESPN will drop us like a hot rock if we as fans fail!

    Oh, and there was a flood!


  • Softbear said:

    Everyone keeps crying about not having a chance at a BCS bowl. What are you thinking–BYU will be playing in 3 to 4 bowl games a year, every year. All the out of confernece teams this year, played in bowl games last year or almost every year play a bowl game: Texas, Old Miss, Utah, Central Flordia, TCU. We’ll just be getting our bowl games early, plus have an end of season bowl game also.

    Another fact, only 1 team wins the NC each year and only 2 compete for it. So what’s the odds we would ever have that chance, even if we were in an AQ conference? We can still qualify for a BCS game, all we have to do is WIN, which is what you should have to do to get one anyway. I like being independent because I remember back in the 60’s when my high school team could have beat the Y and most of the teams we played were even worse than the Y. I’ve watched them grow into a national top 25 team every year. No reason to think that won’t continue and even be higher. Let’s just wait until the season begins to either do our crying or bragging, whichever the case my be.

  • spamdawg said:

    If your goal is BSC then BYU should join the BE. I don’t think that is the goal. I think most fans would rather play a good regular season and finish ranked in the top 10 with a chance to play for a NC. If you really think about it does BYU running the table in the BE get us into the NC game over BYU running the table as an indy playing OSU, ND, TX and the other teams listed in the article. The BSC limits those that can play for a NC but if BYU does finish the regular season ranked 1 or 2 they will play in the NC game. Why throw everything away to possibly play in just any BSC game. It doesn’t make sense. We have to support the Cougars and they have to win. Everything else will fall into place.

  • detmer14 www.realfansstand.com said:

    I’m guessing that many of you have already listened to this Tome Holmoe Interview on 1280 “The Zone” by now: http://1280thezone.com/THE-GORDON-MONSON-SHOW-WITH-BYU-AD-TOM-HOLMOE/7671910?pid=49780

    A lot of these rumors are blown out of the water.

    This was on May 26

    Says “The Internet Rumors are mainly wrong” – of which I believe they are referring to these rumors on DSOB. “Some of them are wildly wrong”

    “We have some games scheduled out until 2020″
    Holmoe admits that a lot of BCS teams they have been talking with have been requesting a 2 for 1 and not home and home.
    “It’s not in our best interest to play BCS teams 2-for-1.”
    Says if opponents are a top5-6 team than maybe it might be in BYU’s interest to play those teams 2-for-1.

    He specifically says “We are not in discussions with Nebraska”.

    Says they have a “list” of teams they would LIKE to play, but that they haven’t entered into conversation with many of them yet.
    USC, Alabama, Michgan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, etc.
    They return Holmoe’s calls, but the reply has generally been coming back as “No”.

    Says that ESPN has been a help to try to get teams to play them on neutral fields. And that approach will help them open the door with big name teams that won’t go home-home yet.
    Some teams are saying “Call me back in a couple years”.

    In regards to discussions with the Big East, Holmoe specifically says “We’re not in discussions with anybody”.
    “There’s nothing going on right now”.
    Says they have an agreement with ESPN and the ACC for all other sports for 8 years and they like that contract so far.
    Says any talk right now is “very very superficial”.
    Says he hasn’t talked with anyone about moving to a new conference.
    So he completely shut down any rumor of them having an invite from the Big East – that is unless you think Holmoe is hiding something.

    So, it sounds like the rumors of great matchups with the Big 10 teams are false.

    Basically Holmoe confirmed what we already know, that Independence is not an easy road and that he’s not going to try to sugar coat things where there is no sugar coating yet. Yes, ESPN has helped them, but not on the level we think they have. Yes, there will be some good matchups, but nowhere does he say that there will be a countless number of “great” matchups.
    Holmoe is being humble as we all should be. There are going to be bumps in the road, and if we BYU fans aren’t ready for them because we have our darkly tinted goggles on, we’re going to get hit hard.

    Obviously, Holmoe is still working hard to figure out how Independence will work in the future – which means that he doesn’t have it all figured out just yet.

  • Greg said:

    @ Detmer14

    Tom Holmoe: “There’s a lot of Internet rumors and they’re mainly wrong. I don’t read them but they are brought to my attention. Some of them are wildly wrong. However if there’s enough people guessing … some will be right.”
    Translation: “Even if DSOB is 100% correct, it amounts to less than 1% of the random nonsense found on other sites like CougarBoard.” [Note: Brett has been right on ever since I started reading his blog. He’s a sharp guy with no reason to share things that aren’t true. He also walks a delicate rope due to his connections to the program which he wants to maintain.]

    Holmoe: “We have games scheduled out through 2020. We are close to three quarters of the way done scheduling all the way up through 2014. Right now we’re focusing on 2016 and ’17’s schedules. Some seasons we may have 13 games [because of the Hawaii exception] but most of the time it will be the standard twelve game schedule.”
    Translation: “We’re doing our job putting together a strong schedule but BYU fans who think we’ll play the top two teams from each BCS conference every year are delusional.”

    Holmoe: “Some teams I talk to will want to do two for ones with us and that’s not in our best interest.”
    Translation: “Any team that can ask for 2-for-1’s but doesn’t is dumb. BYU will probably do the same thing to Utah State, Wyoming, etc. It’s called economics. However, the word ‘some’ should not be translated to ‘many’ or ‘a lot.’ Programs with cachet deserve 2-for-1’s, but that doesn’t mean that BYU will accept. That’s probably why BYU turned down Ohio State and others. Accepting numerous 2-for-1’s is clearly disastrous to home scheduling.”

    Holmoe regarding Big East: “We’re not in discussions with anybody” and “There’s nothing going on right now”.
    Translation: “The Big East sent out some feelers but we politely demurred. Please note I said we’re not discussing anything right now but I did not deny being asked. I simply avoided the real question I was asked. For those who wonder why, the Big East simply doesn’t fit who we want to be. They’re the also-ran BCS league and their record in big games is abysmal. We don’t want to be painted with the same brush. Further, the additional travel required to participate in all sports would be ludicrous.”

  • John www.RealFansStand.com said:


    A couple quick points:

    1. RE your claim that Brett has been right on.. Sorry, but you’re wrong. He was late to the party in regards to Independence (I understand he now claims he had advanced knowledge, but guess what? I knew about the raid on Bin Laden’s compound 2 days in advance too.. I just kept it quiet in the interest of national security. I’m credible, right?). He was late to the party and posted several incorrect bits in regard to last seasons coaching changes. He’s been wrong several times.

    2. He claimed specifically that BYU was close to a deal with Nebraska. Tom Holmoe specifically denied this rumor. How can you say he’s always right on?

    3. In regards to scheduling, Holmoe said “It’s not in our interests to play all BCS teams 2 for 1″.. That’s a pretty clear indication that they’re not able to call a team like Kansas State without getting a 2 for 1 demand. That may change as time goes on, but it’s pretty clear that right now, nobody wants to help BYU out. If they did, you can bet BYU would have scheduled a few of them. After all, as was discussed in the interview, they’re trying to make a schedule that’s respectable but not brutal, so you NEED some games against teams that aren’t that good, and BYU doesn’t have ANY of those games scheduled beyond 2014.

    4. BYU’s scheduling is in a pretty precarious position right now. Holmoe tried to paint a different picture, but he tipped his hand when he commented on 2014 being 3/4 of the way scheduled. First, it’s inaccurate. Right now, they’ve announced only 5 games for 2014, 5 for 2013, and 8 for 2012. That means they still have the equivalent of an entire OOC schedule to fill for a season that starts 1 year and 3 months from now, but have none of the slots which you’d typically fill with OOC games. They really have to be sweating bullets right now. He specifically mentioned how tough it is to get games outside of September, and he needs three more for next season, and as many as 7 more for the two seasons following that.

    5. Holmoe shot down the notion that he “politely demurred” from discussing membership with the big east when he said “we’d be crazy to bury our heads in the sand” in regards to conference alignment changes. Clearly, if someone calls, he’s going to listen. As for the rest of your post about the BE, you should be careful about running down their league on the grounds you used. What’s BYU’s record in big games?

    Any interpretation of that Holmoe interview other than “cautiously optimistic” is blatant homerism.

  • detmer14 www.realfansstand.com said:

    From badutahboy http://www.realfansstand.com/forums/topic.html?id=882&p=1#p11833

    What about the “we’d be stupid not to investigate” comment? Sorry to Greg, but BYU did not “politely demurr”. Additionally, in his defense of Brett, Brett specifically claimed that a matchup with Nebraska was almost done, and Holmoe specifically stated that they weren’t even in discussions with Nebraska. Clearly, that’s two blatant falsehoods in one post from Brett.

  • John www.RealFansStand.com said:

    Just for the record:

    I’m a fan of this site, and I absolutely respect Brett and the staff for what they do well. They’re the best source around for info on game strategies, position reviews, coaching strategies, etc. These guys KNOW football. I wish I could find a blog as good as this one for Ute football.

    However, they’ve never produced anything credible in regards to breaking news out of the front office. Respect them for what they do well, but don’t try to stretch it too far.

  • Bob Henstra said:

    Ohio State, Auburn, and Boise State are suffering NCAA violations. I’m hoping they’ll get the same punishment USC received. Any LDS players on those teams?

    Brett, my sources also informed me BYU was in talks with Nebraska several days before this article. Nebraska is in trouble with the AAU, and their academics are not up to snuff with the Big Ten, I see some trouble there!


  • Cgr said:

    Real fans stand posse are you telling me some unsubstantiated reports on a football blog are possibly untrue? Deep shades of blue please send me a full refund if we don’t play Nebraska by 2033.

  • Greg said:

    @ John –

    What is this “www.realfanstand.com” stuff? Are you seriously on someone else’s blog posting comments about his supposed misinformation while trying to prop up your own site? That’s pretty sad, dude. Please go peddle your garbage elsewhere.

    In regards to your responses above:

    (1) So if someone is “late” to the game to the game they’re “wrong?” That’s the epitome of a poorly thought-out argument. Besides, this was the second site on which mention of Independence was made and the first to discuss the actual plans for WAC-affiliation. Brett is either clairvoyant or has much better connections to the program. That’s why I read his blog.
    (2) When Brett wrote that they were close to a deal, either his sources said so or someone lied. Three days later when Holmoe made his comments, it’s quite possible that the deal had fallen through. It’s also obvious from Holmoe’s comments that a deal with Nebraska had been discussed in detail. Where there’s smoke, there is (or was) a fire…
    (3) Holmoe should have said “it’s in our best interest not to schedule all BCS teams in a 10-for-1 format.” That would have helped you get the hint that Holmoe is being logical and aiming to develop 1-for-1 scenarios. His whole point was one of comparison, not that Washington State was demanding that we play every home game in 2015 at their stadium.
    (4) So wait a second… You’re trying to tell me that Brett lied because Holmoe said the Nebraska series won’t happen but that Holmoe lied when he said the 2014 schedule was 3/4 done? Please ask an adult to help you figure out that inconsistency, OK? If BYU says that they’ve got 9 games planned for 2014, I will go ahead and trust them, even if you only know five of them by name. And if all we lack is three games, no problem. There are easily three bodybag games that could be filled at a moment’s notice (Remember when Nevada dropped us last minute because they didn’t want to lose? Last minute changes happen all the time). If BYU were willing to make a return trip, 75% of the 120 FBS schools would take them up on it. BYU’s focus is on getting quality opponents all over the country. They’ve created a difficult situation for themselves but will (hopefully) reap huge rewards via exposure and the opportunity for fans nationwide to see the team play in person.
    (5) Holmoe did NOT shoot down any talk of expansion. He clearly stated he’d entertain proposals while completely avoiding saying “the Big East never called.” In fact, I’d be shocked if BYU hasn’t had expansion discussions with representatives of the PAC-10, Big XII, WAC, and Big East in the last couple of years. Obviously the PAC-10 went with Utah and Colorado instead, but it’s nonsense to think that BYU’s connections to Washington, USC, UCLA, and the rest didn’t at least merit a few phone calls to the AD. I think that’s part of what made BYU decide to go independent: nothing came to fruition from those talks but that BYU clearly has a lot of friends across the country. Holmoe would be crazy to bury his head in the sand, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to accept an invite anytime soon. I think BYU would even turn down (or delay) the Big XII for the next 2-3 years. They really want to see how good this whole independence thing could be before throwing in the towel. At the same time, they will do their best to avoid burning bridges.

    Yes, I am a BYU Homer. I earned two degrees there and my kids will be third-generation Cougars on both sides (all 4 grandparents). However, I’m also a glass half-full kind of guy who is amazed at the inane and illogical things people are willing to say even if such nonsense makes for a fun read. Thanks for the entertainment!

  • John www.RealFansStand.com said:

    @Greg. Perhaps you don’t realize it, but the comment box specifically asks for your website. My site has nothing to do with this discussion, because I’m not promoting any inside information or claiming to have a scoop that DSOB doesn’t.

    As for the points:

    1. No, being late to the party doesn’t make you wrong. However, DSOB HAS been wrong on numerous instances which I outlined, and being late to the party and re-reporting old news then claiming you knew all along doesn’t add to your credibility, even if some people are willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.

    2. Holmoe’s comments only indicated that a deal with Nebraska was discussed several years ago. He said absolutely nothing which would lend any reasonable person to believe there had been recent discussion. And if a deal had been recently discussed and fell through, naming them specifically in an interview immediately after it falls apart is a great way to do major damage to your school. Holmoe’s comments about Nebraska probably ensured that they won’t get a series with them at any point in the near future, and if it’s perceived as a sleight prompted by a failure to come to an agreement with them on scheduling, what do you think other AD’s would have to say about negotiating with BYU?

    3. You really like reading a lot into someone’s comments. Ever heard the saying “if you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not Zebra’s”? You’re looking awfully hard for a zebra.

    4. I never said Brett or Holmoe lied. I said Brett reported information completely lacking in credibility, and which has been pretty thoroughly debunked. Having a bad source doesn’t make Brett a liar, but it does make him lack credibility. And Holmoe didn’t necessarily lie, just exaggerated, or possibly spoke about games that haven’t been finalized yet, but will at some point in the future. It doesn’t change the point I made, which is that BYU still has 18 games to schedule for the next 4 year’s schedules, and that HAS to be nerve wracking, especially when considering that there are NO september openings for 2012, and at least 4 games in each of 2013 and 14 which still have to be scheduled outside of September.

    5. At what point did I say nobody had ever called? Holmoe specifically said that he HAS had discussions about expansion, but that all of those talks have been extremely superficial. Brett claimed that BYU had specifically been offered membership, and you attempted to back his claim by stating that Holmoe politely declined. Thatwould fly directly in the face of Holmoe’s “head in the sand” comment. And if you really think BYU would turn down the B12, it’s not worth discussing this any further. You’re pretty flagrantly delusional.

  • Brett Richins said:

    Our friends at Realfansstand,

    Thanks for coming here and being a part of DSB.

    Here are some facts to set things straight…

    First I never reported that the BE made an official offer to BYU. I reported that contact had been made, which Holmoe did not deny in his interview. In fact, he effectively side-stepped a direct question, by saying that they were not currently talking to any conference, but then followed that up with his “feelers” comments. Members of the SLC media also reported that they had sources who were confirming contact between the two parties.

    My information came from a very good source who has been consistently spot on, including providing me with knowledge weeks before the fact of BYU’s intent to go independent in football and move the rest of their programs to the WAC. I had prior information regarding the Plan B of the move to the WCC as well. If you go back and reread some of my articles on conference expansion and independence, you will see that I was writing about these things prior to them being announced, which should also let you know that I was not “late to the party” as John has claimed. I chose not to report what I knew at that time because it would have been very detrimental to BYU had the information been made public.

    Second, The only thing that I have reported that was “debunked” by Holmoe was the Nebraska report. Tom said that they were not in negotiations with Nebraska, which is contrary to the information that I received. I receive contact from people on a regular basis asking me to check up on various rumors, players, issues, story ideas, etc. That is what I was doing in this case and my sources confirmed that the information circulating regarding a series with Nebraska were correct. A lot of information comes across my desk that I do not make public for various reasons, this is one instance in which I did run with it and it apparently was not accurate according to Holmoe.

    Third, I can only imagine that your claims that DSB has been wrong on a number of occasions are coming from my reporting that another high profile player was going to sign with BYU following the signing of Taysom Hill. That info came directly someone that if I named them, every reader here would absolutely take as being credible. Perhaps that person viewed Ammon Olsen as a high profile or high impact player?

    Fourth, in regards to the games in the second article, I was simply relating what FBschedules.com was reporting. I did not have a source and did not claim to have a source, but rather referred readers to that site as the source of the information.

    The point of the two articles in question was to help fans understand that BYU’s move to independence and its partnership with ESPN has been well received by many programs out there including some traditional powers who have responded to playing BYU on ESPN. The response has been such that Holmoe has had be careful not to over schedule, something he has alluded to publicly on multiple occasions.

    I reported that deals with several teams were done, even though BYU has not yet announced them. Holmoe confirmed this by saying that the 2014 schedule is three-fourths complete and that they have games scheduled into 2020 which they have not yet made public. While there are certainly scheduling challenges as an independent that will have to be dealt with, BYU is making good progress at putting together the kind of future football schedules that BYU fans will be able to get excited about.

    Finally, I’m not exactly sure of your motives of coming here and trying to challenge the credibility of me or Deep Shades of Blue. Perhaps you are coming to a place where tens of thousands of readers gather to try to attract an audience to your site, which I don’t mind others doing actually. It’s a viable way of building an audience, although one that we here at DSB have chosen not to pursue.

    I would suggest that rather than trying to stir up things here, that perhaps you may want to create some content of your own, seeing that you have apparently not posted any articles since November of 2010. I also noticed that many of the articles on your front page are written by someone called “Crimsonred98″ and a Ute blogger identified as Dustin N., which may be cause for concern for us, seeing that we purposefully keep Utes off this site in an effort to create a place where BYU fans can gather without having to deal with the dogs barking at the caravan.

  • football junkie said:

    All this “he said, she said”…
    how about we move on and focus on what is actually being DONE. Yes, a lot of progress has been made. No, we are not ‘out of the woods’ so to speak. Will Cougardom be relatively happy about the move to independence 2 to 3 years from now? Maybe. Right now things are dicey. Is the fan base excited about the move to independence. Absolutely! And why shouldn’t we be excited? It’s like LOOKING FORWARD to a long anticipated vacation. However, as we all know not every vacation goes as planned. Many turn out great. But we’ve all had some disasters, too. So, lets enjoy the ride while we can…and hope for blue skies and smooth sailing.

  • Greg said:

    And the plot thickens…

    “You guys have a much bigger fan base, much better overall sports programs, etc.”

    John had already proven that he has little interest in the truth but has now accidentally confirmed that he is not a BYU fan and most likely (based on my only visit to his site) a Ute Troll. Thanks for the entertainment and good luck in the PAC-12, brother!

  • detmer14 www.realfansstand.com said:

    A little bit of clarification, in no way was I trying to attract an audience to the site I post on regularly. I deeply apologize if it came across this way. The posters and commenters on DSOB carry on great conversations. I have read the blog constantly since its inception. I don’t post often, because other commenters usually cover my views as well. I have been a devout BYU fan since I was a little tyke. I merely include the website in my username so people know where they can go if they would like to contact me. They can check that out if they would like, but in no way am I saying they should. I completely understand the nuisance of spammers and people trying to boost their exposure. DSOB has a great philosophy of letting their words speak for themselves and letting their fanbase spread the news without begging for more fans.

    As for John, he loves carrying on objective conversations. I do not think his purpose was to “stir things up”. But he’ll have to speak for himself there. He has always been good at pointing out the issues to me and other BYU fans that sometimes our blue goggles cause us to gloss over. I do not always agree with his opinions/views, but I appreciate them. It is duly noted that you prefer Ute fans to not post on here. I wasn’t aware of that myself. I thought that posts by anyone were welcome unless they became aggressive or unobjective. Our mistake.

    If I have offended anyone by posting here, I am quite sorry. I myself am very excited for the opportunities that are presenting themselves to us as we enter Independence. I for one really hope it works out. It will definitely be much more exciting than the seasons we’ve had as of late. If at least some of these scheduling rumors come to pass, I’ll be elated. I appreciate DSOB’s willingness to share their inside information and let us know what may be going on, even if it doesn’t pan out. At least we know that there is a “possibility” of something happening. As DSOB has done before, they generally indicate whether something is a prediction, rumor, or fact. Sometimes it isn’t clear, and I personally am grateful for the clarification you provided above.

  • spamdawg said:

    Well said Brett. I am glad to be a Cougar and our future is brighter as an Independent then it was as a MWC member. I also don’t believe the BE would provide anything more than what we can get as an independent. Keep up the good work. We made it to June only a few more months.

  • BYU DUDE said:

    Thanks Brett,

    As you know I have been posting here for a long time. You have a great track recored. I listened to Tom Holmoe’s interview 3 times, and what sticks out to me is, Tom did not deny the Big East talk. But what he did say was there were feelers out there. All Tom had to do is just come out and say no one had called him.

    Thanks Brett That is exactly what you reported.

    As for the other games we will see, they have been rumored by several web sites. I am hoping they are going to announce something for Junior day this Friday. Or July 1st independence day.

  • detmer14 www.realfansstand.com said:

    BYU DUDE said: Or July 1st independence day.
    Haha, that’s an awesome idea. Doubt it would happen, but that would rock.

  • Reed said:

    Just heard news that the Ole Miss game will be broadcast on ESPN! That means 4 of first 5 games will be on ESPN or ESPN2 with the other being against Texas. I am guessing we will be able to watch BYU go 5-0 on ESPN! What a great way to start off the season.

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