BYU Pokes Fun At Utah After Utes Join Cougars In Big 12 Conference
Aug 5, 2023, 10:53 AM
Utah joins BYU in Big 12 Conference
On Friday, August 4, the University of Utah officially voted to leave the Pac-12 and accept an invitation to join the Big 12 Conference, the same league that the rival Cougars officially joined in July.
Along with Utah, Arizona and Arizona State announced they would also join the Big 12 next summer. Earlier in the day, the Pac-12’s Washington and Oregon announced a move to the Big Ten in 2024.
ITS OFFICIAL ‼️
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) August 5, 2023
BYU on Utah joining Big 12
In 2011, the Utes left the Mountain West Conference for membership in the Pac-12. At the same time, BYU, which also desired an invitation to a power conference, went independent in football and joined the West Coast Conference in most of its other athletic programs.
Fast forward to Friday, the Utes joined the same league as the Cougars with the Pac-12 on the brink of collapse.
After the official announcement, the @BYUCougars Twitter account shared a funny video clip from NBC’s “The Office” in which one of the show’s characters messes up saying the phrase “how the tables have turned.”
“We look forward to many @Big12Conference matchups, @utahathletics,” BYU tweeted.
— BYU Cougars (@BYUCougars) August 5, 2023
“We are excited to now welcome, Arizona, Arizona State and Utah to the Big 12, in addition to Colorado. Having 16 member institutions will be a great strength to the conference moving forward,” BYU president Shane Reese said in a statement.
“I’m grateful to the Big 12 leadership for seeing this through. The conference keeps getting stronger, and we are thankful to add more Big 12 rivals in closer proximity,” BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe added.
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Utah on joining BYU in Big 12
“I am pleased to announce that the University of Utah will join the Big 12 Conference at the beginning of the 2024-25 athletics season,” Utah president Taylor Randall said of the move. “I am very enthusiastic about the University of Utah’s future within the Big 12. Joining our Pac-12 and Association of American Universities peers from Colorado and Arizona is important to our mission and makes sense, as does, renewing our historic in-state rivalry with Brigham Young University.”
“This decision represents the best interests of the University of Utah, our student-athletes, coaches, staff, alumni and our tremendous fans, and we look forward to continuing our growth as a member of the Big 12 Conference beginning next year,” Utah athletic director Mark Harlan said.
— Utah Athletics (@utahathletics) August 5, 2023
Former Conference Foes
Before their time in the Pac-12 and as an FBS independent, Utah and BYU competed together in the Mountain West from 1999-2011. Prior to the Mountain West, BYU and Utah were members of the Western Athletic Conference from 1962-99. Before that, BYU and Utah were in the Mountain States or Skyline Conference from 1937-62. From 1918-38, BYU was a part of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. Utah was in the RMAC from 1910-38.
2023-24 will be BYU’s first year in the Big 12 and Utah’s final season in the Pac-12. The two rivals will once again be conference foes in the 2024-25 academic year.
Kyle Ireland is a Sports Producer and Locals in the NFL Insider for KSLSports.com. He’s also co-host of the Yards After College Podcast. Follow him on X/Twitter (@kyleireland), Instagram (@kyleirelandksl), and Threads (@kyleirelandksl).