SALT LAKE CITY – Saddle up everybody; convention realignment craziness is again. We’re right here for all of the motion, particularly if it consists of BYU.
It was fairly superb to see the Houston Chronicle report that Texas and Oklahoma have reached out to the SEC not simply because that might be a seismic shift within the faculty panorama. However the quick hypothesis on social media from the likes of Greg Swaim, Frank the Tank, Tuxedo Yoda, and others. If you happen to’re confused by that sentence, did you not expertise 2010 or 2016?
The insanity surrounding convention realignment is all the time spectacular. Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC has a lot of traction. However what kind of ripple impact would that transfer have on the remainder of faculty athletics, and the place would BYU slot in all of this?
Within the phrases of Heath Ledger’s The Joker, “And right here. We. Go!”
Texas, Oklahoma to the SEC, beginning Convention Realignment
This is a wonderful transfer for Texas, Oklahoma, and the SEC. Two of the most important manufacturers in faculty athletics probably teaming up with the most effective convention in faculty soccer. That’s next-level realignment motion.
Within the proposed 12-team Faculty Soccer Playoff period, going 9-3 in a 16-team SEC that options Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas, LSU, Auburn, Texas A&M seemingly may nonetheless seize an at-large Playoff bid. It makes a lot sense for everybody concerned and would set up the SEC because the one true energy convention.
How does the Large Ten reply?
The Large Ten Convention has taken its bumps and bruises over the previous yr underneath the route of latest Commissioner Kevin Warren. However the Large Ten nonetheless carries plenty of weight within the faculty panorama. So in the event that they make calls to packages, they’re a tough league to show down.
The Large Ten at the moment sits at 14 groups. Including Kansas would make plenty of sense for the reason that Jayhawks are an AAU (Affiliation of American Universities) member. Their soccer is horrendous, however the Large Ten as soon as added Rutgers, making it clear on-field efficiency isn’t a driver of those realignment selections. Additionally, KU basketball is a model that might improve the already loaded Large Ten hoops convention.
Like Kansas, Iowa State can also be an AAU member. They’ve seen a resurgence in soccer underneath head coach Matt Campbell, however would the in-state Iowa Hawkeyes need Iowa State within the Large Ten? The footprint makes plenty of sense for the Jayhawks and Cyclones to go B1G.
Large 12 leftovers band collectively to keep away from extra convention realignment?
Dropping Texas and Oklahoma could be catastrophic for the Large 12 Convention. There are not any packages that may change the worth Oklahoma and Texas deliver to the league. Again in 2016, Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard stated the Large 12 with out Texas and Oklahoma would basically be the Mountain West Conference.
Large 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby in 2016 said in response to that comment, “I don’t share that vantage level.”
Regardless of the large hit Texas and Oklahoma bolting would trigger to the Large 12 model, would the remaining eight Large 12 members attempt to keep collectively? In the event that they did, that is the place packages like BYU begin to perk up.
Retaining the present eight Large 12 groups collectively and including, say, BYU, Houston, UCF, and Cincinnati, isn’t nice, however higher than fully disbanding. It feels unlikely the Large 12 leftovers would take this route. Particularly once you learn the emotional statement from Oklahoma State after the Texas/Oklahoma bombshell report emerged stating, “Whereas we place a premium on historical past, loyalty and belief, be assured, we’ll aggressively defend and advance what’s finest for Oklahoma State and our robust athletic program, which continues to excel within the Large 12 and nationally.”
Every man for themselves is how I have a look at that.
New Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff is about to go head first on the earth of big-time faculty athletics. He acknowledged as a lot with a funny tweet in response to the Texas/OU stories. The former MGM Resorts President may have the chance to reshape the narrative round his convention that took a beating underneath former commissioner Larry Scott.
Raiding the Large 12 leftovers is a straightforward thought. Choose up Baylor, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, and TCU; abruptly, you’re at 16 groups. Do these packages have sufficient clout to pressure DirecTV to hold the Pac-12 Community and drive up carriage charges?
If issues transfer this far, it could be attention-grabbing to see how Pac-12 Presidents would view faith-based establishments resembling Baylor and TCU. If they’re adequate for Pac-12 inclusion, why not BYU at that time?
Keep the course as an Impartial
Independence has gone higher than anybody may have predicted for BYU since they took this unprecedented path in 2011. The Cougars have pieced collectively schedules which have allowed them to play “Coast to Coast Football” whereas additionally having these video games featured on among the greatest TV networks. Because of this, independence has been successful for BYU.
However there are drawbacks.
Making an attempt to maintain up financially with the facility conferences is troublesome, particularly when BYU is scheduling as many as attainable of their Impartial schedules. However BYU continues to seek out methods to compete.
What will be tough shifting ahead with Independence is the potential 12-team Playoff era. If you happen to’re an SEC workforce in a 16-team league that options Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, LSU, Georgia, why do it’s worthwhile to problem your self out of the convention? Particularly when there isn’t any cap on the variety of at-large Playoff bids that might come from one convention.
The proposed 12-team Playoff may probably create challenges that find yourself far better than realignment may trigger for BYU.
Return to a Group of 5 convention
The proposed 12-team Faculty Soccer Playoff has made a Group of 5 convention extra enticing than ever for BYU. If the mud settles on this potential subsequent wave of convention realignment, and BYU finds themselves outdoors of an influence convention once more, wouldn’t it lastly be time to get right into a G5 league?
I’ve all the time felt the American Athletic Convention as a football-only member would make plenty of sense for BYU. It provides BYU the prospect to stay on ESPN networks, play coast to coast for his or her nationwide following whereas additionally enjoying in the most effective non-power soccer league.
To take one other line from the late Heath Ledger as The Joker, “You wanna know the way I bought these scars?” Convention realignment, child. Convention realignment.
Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports activities Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Observe him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.