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Big 12 Coach: ‘Coast-To-Coast, People See BYU As A Power Five Team’

Sep 6, 2021, 3:59 PM | Updated: 4:12 pm
Big 12 Conference - Mike Gundy...
STILLWATER, OK - SEPTEMBER 19: Head coach Mike Gundy of the Oklahoma State Cowboys points to his team to get set as the play clock winds down for a delay-of-game penalty following a time out by the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes in the third quarter on September 19, 2020 at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma. OSU won 16-7. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – As Big 12 expansion talks move forward, it begs the question, what do some of the coaches in the current Big 12 think of BYU?

Count Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy as one who views BYU in high regard. In his playing days, the former Oklahoma State QB and creator of one of college football’s greatest quotes, he already looks at BYU as a Power Five team.

Oklahoma State, Big 12 Coach Mike Gundy on BYU

“Just coast-to-coast, people see BYU as a Power Five team,” said Gundy during his weekly media availability; when asked about the quality of football, the four reported Big 12 applicants put out on the field. “Like that logo? Like you would, too, right? …People think that if you see that logo, they don’t really know they’re an Independent. They think they are tied to a Power Five conference, okay?”

High praise from Gundy, who has been a mainstay in the Big 12 Conference. Gundy has been the head coach at Oklahoma State since 2005.

BYU would sure like to be in the same conference with Gundy’s Cowboys. The Cougars and Pokes haven’t squared off on the gridiron since the 1976 Tangerine Bowl. They’ve never squared off in the regular season.

Last week, Sports Illustrated reported that BYU, Cincinnati, Houston, and UCF were set to apply for the Big 12. Then a vote for membership from Big 12 Presidents would happen as soon as Friday.

Gundy on what he thought of the reported four schools joining the Big 12

Berry Tramel from The Oklahoman asked Gundy what he thought of the Big 12 getting back to 12 members with the four reported schools.

“I don’t have enough information to say other than I think there’s something going on,” Gundy said. “But I have a meeting on Wednesday to get brought up to par and I’ll know more. The only thing I can guess is based on what the other conferences have done where they’ve come together to say we won’t poach any other schools, which we all know that, to keep the league together, meaning our league through 2024. Is that going to happen? I don’t know. But that’s what the alliance is supposedly saying. The other conferences don’t have a reason to do anything. Why? They all their television money up through 2024 or 2026. If this conference stays intact through 2024, then this television money stays the same. If people leave, there’s penalities to be paid. So why would anybody need to step out there and do anything?

“So then I’m just guessing they’re down here and saying, ‘Okay, if this happens and we bring a certain number of teams in here, what’s the financial television stability of this conference if these teams come in?’ They’re trying to find out what the marketability of that is would be my guess. So do I know what conversations have taken place with any of those schools? No. Do I know how much interest there is in any of those schools? No. I just know some of the stuff you know. Maybe on Wednesday, they’ll tell me a little more.

“What I will say is this, I like that our president is proactive and aggressive. And I like that the conference is trying to come up with different avenues and ways that they can go if something happens. That I like. But I don’t know a lot about it, so that’s the best I can give you.”

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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Big 12 Coach: ‘Coast-To-Coast, People See BYU As A Power Five Team’