Big East Football: Time to Heavily Recruit BYU Cougars

Erin Sorensen@erinsorensenContributor IJuly 2, 2012

DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 30:  Cody Hoffman #2 celebrates his game winning touchdown with Braden Hansen #76 and Bryan Kariya #33 of the Brigham Young Cougars during the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl at Gerald J. Ford Stadium on December 30, 2011 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Big East may have courted BYU last fall only to be turned down, but it's time to try again.

With the four-team playoff in place, Brigham Young University can no longer be independent. While it may work for Notre Dame, it most likely will not for BYU. Notre Dame has longstanding rivalries that help fill its late season schedule. BYU, on the other hand, struggles in this area.

Big East conference play would give the independent school a chance to play teams like Cincinnati, Louisville and now Boise State. The Cougars could gain national attention, especially by using Boise State as their Thanksgiving weekend rivalry. This would not only be good for BYU, but also the Big East.

Last fall, the Big East did make a play for BYU. At that time, however, there was no playoff to be considered. The Cougars didn't need the Big East. Much has changed since then and the Big East is poised as a better option now than it's ever been.

A win-win for both sides, BYU would provide the Big East with the positive attention and relevance in the new tournament system. Finishing with 10 or more wins in five of the last six seasons, the Cougars are extremely desirable. For BYU, they would get guaranteed late-season matchups that would ultimately help their strength of schedule for the playoffs. Without strength of schedule, BYU will be resting heavily on their win-loss record and that may only be worth so much to the selection committee.

The only downside for BYU in this negotiation would be their television contract. The Cougars have been able to handle this on their own and signed an eight-year contract with ESPN before last season. BYU also has BYUTV, which they will definitely leverage in any conference talk.

The benefit is definitely there for the Big East, and the need for a conference is building for BYU. While once a "no," this may be the perfect time for the two to get together. After all, there are no guarantees with this new playoff system.

Both the Big East and BYU need to be prepared.