fighting muskie wrote:
I think BYU messed up by making heavy handed demands the last time they Big 12 called them. That bridge might be burned now.
Concur Muskie, that's a significant point.
BYU's big problem is that their President and AD (with input from their coaches), need to be allowed to negotiate these decision. It's the frontline people close to the situation that have a full grasp in understanding BYU's options that need to drive the decision-making. Their elders in the LDS upper hierarchy have good intentions as to what they see as best for BYU athletics, but have assumed too much in terms of BYU's perceived desirability to others. Control is very centralized and matters such as conference affiliation get meshed with other agendas external to BYU's athletics.
(Recall big elements of the Illinois legislature recently advocating that another Illinois school join the B1G? Governing bodies, public and private, loose or tight, can deliver opinions and decisions while being under-informed and not understanding appreciably how the system actually works. We've seen politicians advocating for a action on behalf of a particular school, but not fully recognizing his/her influences have limits with outside constituencies and organizations. Oftentimes, leverage has to be more than something perceptual.
Such can work---as with the Virginia Governor getting VPI into the ACC back in 2003. But it takes one who knows well the gamesmanship involved and had real leverage.)
A BYU representative has little to no flexibility in negotiating the no-Sunday-play issue. The policy is tied to theological practices. Even to change or adapt to new broadcasting/TV methodology would have to go through a rigorous process at the higher authoritative levels.
Beyond the no-Sunday-play factor, there has been an ongoing complaint that other schools have directed at BYU for years. Due in part to BYU's missionary requirements, BYU tends to field comparatively older players on average. This matter may now not be so intense given the adjustments made in NCAA transfer and period of eligibility rules and red-shirting. Still, those subtle complaints shall flare from time to time.
BYU has some strong merits and it would be nice to see them included instead of seeing biases (internally and externally) hampering their opportunities. But BYU certainly has to understand, that they will need to adapt more to the system than the system adapting to them. If BYU cannot find more flexibility, they'll stay right below the top echelon in a constant state of looking-in and being frustrated.