Kalani Sitake Talks Conference Realignment, Colorado To Big 12

Aug 2, 2023, 1:29 PM

PROVO, Utah – A lot has changed in college football since Kalani Sitake took over as the BYU football coach in 2016. The Playoff is expanding from four teams to 12, Texas and Oklahoma are going to play in the SEC, USC and UCLA to the Big Ten, and of course, BYU to the Big 12.

Joining BYU in the Big 12 Conference next year is the Colorado Buffaloes.

The Buffs announced last week that they would be leaving the Pac-12 for their historical home in the Big 12 beginning in the 2024-25 academic year. By adding the Buffs, it creates the possibility for Kalani Sitake to have head coaching battles against Coach Prime, Deion Sanders.

Sitake was asked if he ever envisioned himself coaching against Sanders in the same conference.

“I respect all coaches that do their job and Deion has done a great job of mentoring young men,” Sitake said after BYU’s first fall camp practice.

Sitake pointed to his fandom of the San Francisco 49ers and the memories he has of Coach Prime the player.

“As a fan, I liked him when he played for the Niners and I didn’t like him when he didn’t play for the Niners,” Sitake jokingly said. “I can’t really speak for [Colorado to the Big 12] other than that. I’m just a big college football fan. So I really appreciate what all the coaches do.”

Conference Expansion rages on

While all of the conference expansion noise continues in college athletics, BYU, for once, knows its place in the power structure of college football. A big change from all of the uncertainty they experienced as an Independent during the previous decade.

“I’m just happy that we’re in the Big 12 going into this year,” Sitake said. “I’m glad that Brett Yormark has done a great job as Commissioner. I mentioned at [Big 12] Media Days that I like his leadership and I’m willing to follow it and I’m having fun being part of the conference and I can’t really say much more than that.”

When coaches get to fall camp, they become entrenched with practices and the season ahead. BYU opens its inaugural season as a Big 12 member on September 2 against Sam Houston. So when asked if he keeps tabs on conference realignment moves, Sitake chuckled and said he had to ask his SID (Sports Information Director) Brett Pyne, if there was any news he needed to be aware of.

Kalani Sitake is sticking to football

Against the backdrop of Sitake’s BYU squad kicking off practice, the Pac-12 Presidents and ADs learned about their reported media rights opportunity with Apple. Then there are the reports of Oregon and Washington being courted potentially by the Big Ten. All of these moves are not at the front of mind for Sitake.

“I just put my head down and go to work,” Sitake said. “There are a lot of other people that are smarter and have the right responsibilities that can do all of that with conference realignment and administrative stuff. I just stick to coaching football.”

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on Twitter and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.

Take us with you wherever you go.

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’ssports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

Are you on Threads yet? Let’s connect, give us a follow @kslsports.

  • BYU Cougars Scoreboard

  • BYU Cougars Team Leaders

  • BYU Cougars Standings

BYU Cougars

BYU Steve Sarkisian Utah Steve Smith East-West Shrine Bowl Hall Of Fame...

Jeremy Mauss

How Would 1996 BYU Football Fare If There Would Have Been A 12-Team Playoff?

How would this Cougar Cotton Bowl team fared if there was a playoff?

2 days ago

BYU Football, Tucker Kelleher, Commitment...

KSL Sports

60 in 60: #31 BYU’s Jack Kelly (Linebacker)

The countdown is on for Hans & Scotty’s 60 in 60 for the 2024 college football season. Coming in at No. 31 is BYU linebacker Jack Kelly.

3 days ago


Brian Preece

Locals In MiLB: Justin Sterner Gets Second Cup Of Coffee With Tampa Bay Rays

The life of a minor league bullpen arm is rarely straightforward, as former BYU Cougar standout pitcher Justin Sterner can attest.

4 days ago

Chamberlain Burgess, BYU Basketball, Offer...

Mitch Harper

BYU Basketball Offers Orem High’s Chamberlain Burgess

BYU basketball offers a forward prospect from Utah County.

4 days ago

Kedon Slovis, BYU Football, UFL Draft...

Mitch Harper

Former BYU QB Kedon Slovis Selected In 2024 UFL Draft

Former BYU QB lands in the USFL Draft.

4 days ago

Puka Nacua, Jaren Hall, BYU, NFL, Camp...

Mitch Harper

BYU Greats Puka Nacua, Jaren Hall Reunited To Host Camp For Youth

NFL players return to the community to host a camp for the youth.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles


KSL Sports

Utah Hockey Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Want to get the latest info on Utah's newest sports franchise? Sign up for the Utah Hockey newsletter!


KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.


KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.


KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Kalani Sitake Talks Conference Realignment, Colorado To Big 12