This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Almost every day, it seems, a national college sports writer tackles the Big 12 expansion, or non-expansion, situation and BYU fans gobble it up faster than Cougar Tails at the Marriott Center.
The latest scribe to opine on the matter is Mike DeCourcy of the Sporting News, who penned this piece on Monday.
Big 12 athletic directors meet on Thursday in Dallas, and Big 12 presidents meet there on Friday. DeCourcy says there is "little doubt the topic of possible expansion will be among the items discussed." No surprise there.
Regarding BYU, DeCourcy says a source "close to the situation" told Sporting News that "BYU might stand as the most attractive potential partner because of its large following, excellent facilities and considerable wealth, but the challenges of adding a partner that declines to participate in Sunday competition is among the obstacles that appear to be too considerable."
That's not exactly what anyone in Provo wanted to hear, obviously. BYU might be willing to budge on many things, but it would drop sports before it would consider playing on Sundays. It's a non-starter, as many of you know.
Many of you also know that BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe was asked repeatedly about BYU's chances of getting into the Big 12 at his roundtable discussion last week.
Here are his answers to six questions about that topic:
On the recent Big 12/NCAA vote that allows the league to have a championship game, if it desires, without adding any additional members:
"I didn't really see that vote in San Antonio at the NCAA convention as being something that was going to [change things] one way or the other. Because, I think the Big 12 has made it pretty clear that they are going to do what they are going to do. Whether or not they are going to have a game, it really doesn't matter if they have 10 or 12 [teams]. They just have the opportunity now to choose to do what they want to because of that legislation. As recent reports have said, they are probably not going to have a championship game this year.
For me, I've always monitored it, like I've said. But I think that the Big 12 can do whatever they want. And I don't think there are a lot of factors, or forces, that can affect that. As far as BYU, it is important for us to be successful and stick to what we do best, and that is try to build great championship teams and provide a great football program. We have done it for a long time, and we plan to keep on doing it, and make ourselves as attractive as we can."
On what is "Plan B" for BYU if Big 12 bypasses them on expansion or doesn't expand:
'I am not looking at Plan B right now. Plan A is beat Arizona in the first [football] game of the season. That's what we can control right now. We can control what we do with our players and our coaches and Cougar Nation, our fans. It is a big part of it. I know that is a big part of their [fans] concern, so I don't want to put it off aside. We think about it a lot. But we don't really control that. So we have to focus on what we can. Time is going to tell. This is something that I've had to be patient with. I think sometimes people think that I am not really involved in this. I am involved in this, you know, up to my eyeballs. It is just something that, we just move forward."
On saying last year that independence is not sustainable in the longterm and whether he still feels the same way:
"I think that's probably true. I mean, if you are looking at longterm. I don't think I have to explain this to you, but yu can see through legislation, and financial contract and stuff, that there is a divide in the resources. And that's something that is the capital you can build and strengthen your team with is important. And I think that one of the things that was impressive to me was we had a great financial year this past year. And that's a tribute to our fans, getting behind the teams, and to the people who raise money and to our connections with ESPN and such.
So, I am just feeling very fortunate that, for a year, we made a jump. Some people went backwards, and we went forward. I am only going to look forward. We will push the envelope and do what we can to stay there, and do the things we need to do to remain with a competitive advantage.
Most of our competitive advantage isn't going to be with money. Our advantage is in other areas human capital. I love that. I think that's a cool thing. There are teams out there that have a lot of money that can't do anything."
On whether BYU is closer or farther away from being included in possible Power 5 expansion:
"I can't really give you any specifics. It is a year later, and we are up and running, and we are doing the things that we need to do."
On whether he's had more detailed talks with the Big 12 recently:
"Like I've said, I monitor the situation often. BYU has chosen to play our role in this privately. It is the way we do our business. Like I said in the first comments, we don't really try to compare ourselves to other people. Some of our fans, because school A puts out something publicly about what they are doing doesn't mean that we have to do that. I feel we are doing it the right way. We are in a conference with all our other teams, the West Coast Conference, and it is our responsibility to be a good partner in that conference and play as hard as we can and do the best we can to support ourselves and them. But people understand that we are not going to talk publicly about what our plans are, or what our discussions are."
On Oklahoma's president being upfront about wanting Big 12 expansion and whether that is a surprise:
"Like I said, we just don't feel that it is in our best interest, or the Big 12's, to have discussions where [we talk about it publicly], because every time I say something, they will have to respond. So, I don't say anything."