BYU Football: 4 Biggest Takeaways from ACC, SEC Decision

Samuel Benson@@sambbensonContributor IIIMay 16, 2014

BYU Football: 4 Biggest Takeaways from ACC, SEC Decision

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    Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images

    College football never stops.

    With the ACC and SEC deciding that BYU won't be recognized as a "Power Five" opponent, Cougar nation deserves to be confused. What does this mean for BYU's future? Will it join a conference, or be viewed as a middle-tier program?

    In reality, this was the ACC and SEC's decision—not all of college football's. But what does this mean for BYU? Here are four takeaways from the huge announcement.

Bad Losses Aren't Acceptable

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    USA TODAY Sports

    To be considered a legitimate power in college football, you can't lose to bad teams. Losing to Virginia, a team who won two games all year (against BYU and Virginia Military Institute), is not acceptable anymore.

    On that same note, with this new scheduling announcement, it will be harder and harder to get quality teams on the schedule. So, when BYU lands a game against a ranked or nationally recognized program, it has to capitalize.

    Since 2010, the Cougars have won one game in eight tries against ranked teams. That won't cut it anymore.

BYU Isn't Viewed as a BCS-Level Program

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    Morry Gash/Associated Press

    This may seem obvious, but it is hard to comprehend. As much as BYU wants to be considered a national power, it doesn't have the national brand to survive as an independent. At this point, it is far from Notre Dame.

    Independence was a great move to get out of the Mountain West. It set them on the path to being a big-time college football program. But being independent is not the long-term solution.

    As of right now, BYU is not viewed as a BCS-level program. That is the honest truth. This title can change in the future, but it is unlikely that independence will help.


'Exposure' Isn't Enough

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    USA TODAY Sports

    I have nothing against BYU using sports as a missionary tool for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Landing massive deals with ESPN and BYUtv are great tools to spread BYU's brand across the country and world.

    But being an average football team year-in and year-out is rarely bringing in the right type of exposure. Look at Tim Tebow: Would he have been such an icon for Christianity if he led Florida to 8-5 records every year?

    I know that spreading the gospel through sports is important. It's the main purpose of BYU athletics. But in reality, they aren't going to get far without winning.

It's Time to Join a Conference

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    If BYU wants to be part of future big-time football, it needs to join a conference. There's no way around it. That may mean giving up the ESPN contract or having a lot less scheduling freedom, but it's a necessary step.

    Obviously, BYU can't just decide to hop in a conference. But unless its future lies in remaining a middle-tier program, conference affiliation is something it has to do. 

    Tom Holmoe may not like the sound of it; independence is great for exposure. And if that is what BYU football is all about—publicizing the LDS church—it might as well permanently put Tradition, Spirit and Honor on the back of the uniforms.

    But if there is more to Cougar football than that, it's time to join a conference.