Pac-12: Love that BYU

  

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             Maybe the Pac-12 doesn’t hate BYU after all.

The popular assumption among many Cougar fans has been that the league didn’t invite BYU to join along with Utah because of religious reasons. That was likely one component – if for no other reason than Sunday sports scheduling.

            However, it must not be personal. Otherwise, the league wouldn’t OK Utah playing BYU in a November football game in 2018.

            Utah athletics director Chris Hill announced in a Youtube video on Tuesday that the teams are adding 2017 and 2018 rivalry games, in addition to the existing 2013 and 2016 matchups. The 2018 game, Hill said, will be the final game of the year.

           Either way, Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott is looking downright accommodating. When Utah joined the conference, it seemed as though scheduling BYU would become onerous, almost impossible. That’s partly because Scott supposedly wanted the league to play almost exclusively conference games in the late season. However, flexibility has allowed the Cougars to meet Southern California in November games in 2019, 2021 and 2023 and now Utah in 2018.

            It would be naïve to think Scott isn’t doing so for the good of the conference. Still, if as Hill asserts, the Pac-12 officially approves the Ute-Cougar games, Scott deserves credit for recognizing good games outside the conference can still be good for the league.

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22 comments

  1. Mark Stoddard

    I would suspect the following to be true:
    1. Familiarity breeds contempt, so the less familiar the schools are in playing football against each other the less important the “rivalry” game will be — but, less important doesn’t mean the intensity won’t be there. Just not as much.
    2. Both teams have advantages over the other in recruiting. Coaching is similar. So dispassionate analysis says it is dead even.
    3. Utah stands to gain nothing but bragging rights. They have zero chance for a PAC-12 crown let alone any national championship. BYU has the illusion of NC path, but one loss to a lower tier PAC-12 team, Utah, would ruin BYU’s national prominence efforts. BYU stands to gain and lose the most.
    4. Caring what someone thinks of you is absurd — caring how they treat you can matter. Actions speak.

  2. Ray

    I don’t think it’s a matter of the Pac12 loving or hating BYU. Perhaps it is indifferent towards the school? You are spot-on when you say that the commissioner recognizes a good game when it comes to this rivalry. Allowing the game in November further proves that the Pac12 is embracing one of it’s newest members more each year.

  3. Cougar USMC

    The so-called rival is a joke. BYU has lost its mojo being “independent.” BYU has everything to lose and cannot compete with PAC-12 recruiting. Without being in a major conference BYU is just an after thought in football, basketball and in all olympic sports.

    • Todd Parker

      You are way off base. ESPN doesn’t get into bed with a team that has lost or is losing its MOJO. Look what Boise State has become with its exciting play, televised games (in BYU’s absence during The Mountain (Mountain West Conference Television) fiasco), and bowl games. BYU was brilliant in building that relationship and embracing independence. BYU has positioned itself on a much higher and frankly solid ground than Utah, even as great as the PAC12 move was. It remains to be seen whether BYU will be able to capture the full benefit of the fantastic position they are in but this season is crucial. Utah, on the other hand, is one more bad season from becoming the new Washington State of the PAC12. Shaky ground, regardless of the MOJO.

      • Naval Vet

        Todd:

        “BYU has positioned itself on a much higher and frankly solid ground than Utah…”

        Nope. Pac-12 > Indy-WAC, and you know it. You’re just posturing. You’re obviously so devastated by Utah’s superior station that you’re left with nowhere to go but posting disingenuous fantasies in hopes that some folks — including YOU — will one day actually believe it. Until then, you’re doomed to feelings of inadequacy and midmajoriness.

      • Todd

        ““BYU has positioned itself on a much higher and frankly solid ground than Utah…”
        Nope. Pac-12 > Indy-WAC, and you know it. You’re just posturing. You’re obviously so devastated by Utah’s superior station that you’re left with nowhere to go but posting disingenuous fantasies in hopes that some folks — including YOU — will one day actually believe it. Until then, you’re doomed to feelings of inadequacy and midmajoriness.”

        Off Base again. I’m actually not posturing nor indicating that Utah isn’t in a good position nor am I arguing that independence is better than belonging to the PAC-12. That would be a ludicrous argument (so I do agree with your statement that “PAC-12> Indy-WAC” – other than it was really the MWC and not WAC). Utah’s position however (in my opinion), is much more precarious on a number of fronts (the money not being one of them). Losing in the PAC12, however great the money may be, will mean fewer and fewer recruits (just ask Washington State). BYU surpasses WS every year in recruiting position (just look at the facts). A losing season by Utah this year, which I hope doesn’t happen, puts them on the edge of mediocrity and on the slope to the bottom of the prestigious (no doubt) PAC-12. I hope it doesn’t happen as it will hurt football in the State. Another “off base” statement is that Utah is in a “Superior station”. That just isn’t true unless you would like to elaborate and discuss facts of what makes up a ‘superior station’ instead of throwing out puerile personally attacking statements. I’m waiting for the reply about meeting out on the playground at recess.

  4. Hvan

    I’ve been saying this for years. BYU’s extended success in scheduling with all the PAC 10 members over the past two decades dispels any institutional religious bigotry in my view. Sunday sports is a huge logistical problem for the PAC. So huge that it pretty much precludes full membership, and right now the league isn’t interested in part membership. I’ve also heard rumors that BYU’s lack of doctorate programs and the related research is a turnoff. Not sure how much I buy into that since the Y’s undergrad is better than pretty much all the PAC 12 aside from Stanford.

    • Television

      We know from BYU’s interaction with other conferences that their demands regarding television rights were a turn off. The Big 12 didn’t like it. The PAC 12 didn’t like it. Religion had nothing to do with it. Television Dollars drove expansion. Take that away, and why bother expanding?

  5. poyman

    @cougararmyguy

    I am sorry but your comment isn’t supported by fact… While Utah claims a very small football recruiting advantage according to Rivals, BYU is reported by all preseason sources to have a stronger Power rating… The Cougs are in the mid 30′s for the 130 team field and the Utes are in the mid 60′s.

    As for Basketball there is no comparison… BYU dominates in both performance (they are presently on an 11-1 run against the Utes over the past 7 years)and in recruiting where BYU is one of the Nation Leaders with numerous 4 star recruits… BYU also has a strong advantage in Baseball (they won the series again this year)and in Track and Golf as well…

    Now Utah does have the advantage in Gymnastics… But right now that is really where it starts and ends… Sorry.

    • Cite Your Sources

      ” The Cougs are in the mid 30′s for the 130 team field and the Utes are in the mid 60′s.”
      Where are you looking? Right now, at this moment on Rivals, Cougars 2014 are ranked #68 while Utah is #58. If you are on some other service that shows the Cougars in the 30′s keep this in mind: BYU recruits early. They are basically done. Their ranking peaks right now. It will drop between now and signing day in February while other teams add recruits.
      BYU recruiting is the same and will be the same no matter what league they are in or not. Independence has not helped.

      • Todd

        I was thinking that he was talking about the Power Ratings of the 30 and 70′s and so went to look that up … knowing it wasn’t accurate on the Recruiting like yourself.

        Power Rankings
        Year BYU Utah Difference
        2012/2013 29 78 -49
        2011/2012 25 45 -20

        You are definitely correct on the Recruiting numbers and also correct on BYU signs early. However, the BYU has peaked early is not really a true statement. If you look at the Recruiting Rankings math it definitely is in favor of those schools with fewer recruits. Schools always go after their highest recruits first and usually land them early. BYU does sign early and therefore the math is always against them as they have more signed.

        Back to the Power Rankings. I wanted to be “fair” (just call me Obama) and list out the power rankings for a bit more time to show that the teams really do bounce around a bit.

        Power Rankings
        Year BYU Utah Difference
        2012/2013 29 78 -49
        2011/2012 25 45 -20
        2010/2011 42 23 19
        2009/2010 7 15 -8
        2008/2009 36 2 34
        2007/2008 12 23 -11
        2006/2007 7 43 -36
        2005/2006 59 42 17
        2004/2005 59 3 56
        2003/2004 74 21 53
        Average 35.00 29.50 5.50

        Utah holds an average lead of 5.5 in 10 years of data, definitely do to the Crowton years. Anyway, just wanted to get the real numbers out there as suggested. Nice call to get the facts … enjoy … and go Cougs.

  6. Hochmut

    I think it was pretty easy why Utah and Colorado were invited to the PAC12; the league wanted two more easy teams to beat up on in football and basketball to pad their upper tier teams’ records. Simple math!

    • Naval Vet

      Hochmut:

      Yeah, that “simple math” of yours must have also explained why the Pac-12 was trying to get Texas, Tx. Tech, Oklahoma, and Kansas to come along WITH the Utes and Buffaloes. I mean seriously…Texas and Oklahoma are the “cupcakes” big-name schools schedule for their preaseason warm-up games whenever they can’t land an available FCS team.

      • More Simpler Math

        Sorry Naval Vet, but Larry Scott invited Colorado, Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State to make 16. Colorado was the only one that accepted so he went to plan B (Utah) to make it an even 12. u’re wrong and your school was plan B, but u still got in and, more importantly, got out of the MWC. First couple years have been rough but u’ll get there. Good Luck. Go Cougs.

    • Navl Vet

      More Simpler Math:

      “…Larry Scott invited Colorado, Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State to make 16.”

      Not so my Indy-WACey little brother. Scott only invited CU and Texas. Those other Big 12 South teams were never extended an invitation. Their invitations were predicated on Texas’ acceptance.

      As for Utah, it had already been reported prior to Texas’ official invite that A&M had no intention of going west, but rather had an eye for the SEC should the Big 12 break apart, so they weren’t going. It had ALSO been reported that Okla. St. wasn’t going to get an invitation either. The Pac-12 was manuevering to push them out of the deal. That left Utah and Kansas to fill out the 6-team merger. And since the Pac-12 did not intend to merge into a Pac-14, it’s clear Utah and Kansas would have been the final two invitees.

      On the OTHER hand, should Texas balk (which inevitably they did) the Pac-12 would add ONE team. But that one team would NOT be Kansas. Or Oklahoma. Or Texas Tech. Or the Indy-WACers [*snicker*]. It was your big brother! And it still just KILLS you to know that. Haha!

  7. BigCougar

    @navel lint
    “You’re obviously so devastated by Utah’s superior station that you’re left with nowhere to go but posting disingenuous fantasies”

    Don’t be so frantic and emotional

    • Naval Vet

      …said the Indy-WACer who could not refute a single thing I said, so he he came back with a frantic and emotional reply. Typical hypocritical coug.

  8. Fazeman

    There is no doubt in my mind that the PAC-12 would be so stupid NOT to add BYU and Boise State to their Conference. But the “PREJUDICE” against BYU is so great and there is a fear that BYU can beat any team in the PAC and win the Conference Title. They don’t want that. Too bad too, all that BYU can do is add to the Power of the Conference, not take it away. Sad that there is such a PREJUDICE towards them. They bring FANS where ever they go. Stadiums are always full with BYU Fans, and that’s revenue.

    • Naval Vet

      Fazeman:

      It’s interesting to hear how our Indy-WACey little brother likes to refer to the 2-time BCS bowl busting Utes as conference “bottom feeders”, yet somehow believe that the loser of 8 the last 11 Holy War matches would fare better than the team that had OWNED you, and be a threat to win the league title.

      • Fazeman

        Naval Vet, First, let me be the first to say Thank You for your service to our Great Country. My Father was a Naval Vet as well.

        Second, I think you should re-read my comment, I have never said the Utes were Conference Bottom Feeders, and never implied that either.

        I just felt that the PAC-12 would be a much Better and stronger Conference if they would add Both BYU and Boise State if they go to a 14 or 16 team conference. I also said that the Holy War Game would be in tack and is one of the best Rivalries in the Nation.

        Let’s go back when ever the Utes played the “Y”, the “Y” was a door mat. Then the “Y” hired a guy named LaVelle Edwards. The Utes became the door mat to the “Y”, in the last few years the Utes had their revenge. But I believe the game can go either way.

      • Todd

        Nice to see you back Naval Vet (you seemed to drop away for awhile). You seem to be a bit more non-emotional in your recent posts or am I just missing the posts?

        I’m with FAZEMAN … huge respect for your service to protect the freedoms that allow us to all ‘trash-talk’ a bit here.

        Good luck to the U this year. We are both in a pickle with the injuries; both have a tough schedule, BYU lucky to be independent and Utah lucky to be in PAC12 – and hopefully can keep the comp level up to snuff (both-ways). Another year like last year would be terrible (for both).

        Complete toss-up on BYU-UTAH game this year … and it seems to be that way going in every year over the last few (8-11) years. No question, BYU has had it’s helmet handed to them a couple of times … hope we reverse that trend this year.

        Best of luck to you Naval Vet … hope you don’t get to emotional over all these opinion posts.

    • TrueBlue

      @Fazeman “PREJUDICE” against BYU is so great and there is a fear that BYU can beat any team in the PAC and win the Conference Title.”

      I agree that there is ‘PREJUDICE’ as you stated. However, I think it’s quite a stretch to say that there is fear that BYU would beat any team in the PAC, take the Conference Title, and win the national title, any more than there is fear that Utah would do the same.

      We may never know what the full decision criteria were for admittance and frankly it doesn’t matter. Utah got the invite, we’re extremely happy for them because it legitimizes Football even further within the state from an AQ Conference perspective. BYU receives the benefits of that move. BYU is Independent with a FANTASTIC contract with ESPN and a very difficult schedule to play this year. There’s never been a better time to be a football fan in the State of Utah … not purposely leaving out Utah State which has climbed up to respectability on a national scale for the first time in decades. We also celebrate their accomplishments.

      I will also say that I love reading the near mind numbing posts from Y and U haters.

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