BYU Football Should Be Able To Win The Big 12 Sooner Than Later

Jun 17, 2022, 10:23 AM
BYU Football - Kalani Sitake...
BYU football head coach Kalani Sitake coaches up his team during a spring practice on March 14, 2022. (Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
(Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – The Big 12 is about to change with the addition of BYU next year, a trio of AAC schools in Houston, UCF, and Cincinnati are possibly joining next year but that is up in the air, and then there is Texas and Oklahoma who are on their way out within a few years as they move to the SEC.

The way the Big 12 is going and compared to how BYU football is performing, it would not be all that far-fetched for the Cougars to make the move and be one of the top teams in the conference. It took the University of Utah until its eighth season to get to the Pac-12 title game.

The two leagues are a bit different, when the Utes moved into the Pac-12, the first six years of the title game featured at least one team in the top 10, two teams made the playoffs, and in the final years of the BCS the league had two teams earn a bid twice.

The Pac-12 has been a bit more balanced and during that time. USC had been up and down but they still went to a pair of New Year’s Six games.

The Big 12 has been Oklahoma’s league for a long time and using the same timeframe of the massive 2011 year of realignment, the Sooners have been to the College Football Playoff four times, and three other times they went to a New Year’s Six game.

With the Sooners on their way to the SEC and Texas being an underachieving team with just one New Year’s Six appearance since 2011 but the Longhorns also went three seasons without appearing in a bowl game.

After those two blue bloods, the Big 12 is not the most difficult conference. BYU has already proved they can beat Power 5 teams, last year they defeated all five of their Pac-12 opponents and were 5-2 overall against Power 5 teams.

Baylor and Oklahoma State were really good teams last year and had the Cowboys won the Big 12 title game they would likely earn an invite to the College Football Playoff over Cincinnati. In the history of the New Year’s Six bowl games, the Big 12 is fourth among the Power Five with 14 appearances, with six going to Oklahoma and one to Texas. Baylor and Oklahoma State are the only teams beyond the Sooners who have appeared in more than one.

Why Can’t BYU Just Step In As Contenders?

All of this leads to the Big 12 not really having a consistent national power in this revamped league. The Cowboys, Bearcats, and Bears are all a step or two below elite status, as well as Iowa State which did reach the Fiesta Bowl but that was during the 2020 COVID-19 college football season.

Pete Fiutak of College Football News joined UnRivaled and he is a firm believer that BYU’s goal should be to enter the Big 12 with championship aspirations.

“Texas is gone, Oklahoma is gone, so what,” Fiutak said. “If you are BYU… that always seems to rise up and play well against the big guys. Really? Your season comes down to beating Baylor and Oklahoma State, that is not that bad.”

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