BYU COUGARS

BYU To Big 12 Conference Is Biggest Athletic Achievement Ever

Jul 13, 2023, 11:55 AM | Updated: 11:56 am

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Big 12 Conference Football Media Days at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on July 12, 2023. (Photo by Kyle Ireland, KSL Sports)

(Photo by Kyle Ireland, KSL Sports)

SALT LAKE CITY – BYU football is celebrating its first Big 12 media days this week and it has been a long time coming for the Cougars.

Joining the conference should rank as one of the best achievements ever in Cougar sports history.

There are a few events that could come close with BYU’s national title in 1984, going to the Cotton Bowl with its 14-1 season back in 1996 and then there is the Jimmer Fredette-era with the NCAA Tournament run.

The independence time in football brought a lot of excitement to BYU football by playing teams like Wisconsin, Tennessee, Nebraska, and Texas.

Winning matters for fans but being in a big-time conference that has been decades in the making has more of an impact than even winning the 1984 national title in football. That title started the motion of the Bowl Alliances, the BCS, and the current four-team playoff.

Now, the Cougars are in that club and this off-the-field achievement has to be considered the most important achievement in BYU sports history.

Now, the athletics department is on a different level and on Unrivaled Harper said getting to a power conference is bigger than even winning the national title.

“I think this is the greatest moment in this athletics department’s history,” Harper added. “You have the national championship in ’84 and an Elite Eight run in basketball. This goes further back than the early 2010s, you go back to the 80s when the Pac-10 was looking at BYU after they won the national title.

“This has been an ongoing dilemma for BYU for so many years when it comes to conference affiliation. For them to actually be in the mix and be a faith-based institution and still have their standards. Having all that intact and being welcomed as an all-athletics member – not only football – that is a remarkable accomplishment.”

Now that BYU is in the Big 12 it won’t be easy to build up to be a contender. It took teams like Utah and TCU about a decade to really make it to the top of the league.

The Big 12 will be losing Texas and Oklahoma which will make it a bit easier in football to compete, but basketball could take a long time as the Cougars are now in the best basketball conference in the nation.

Tune into Unrivaled every Monday through Friday, 3-6 p.m. on 1280 AM and 97.5 FM, or subscribe to the podcast. Also, download the all-new KSL Sports app on iOS or Android.

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BYU To Big 12 Conference Is Biggest Athletic Achievement Ever