Looming Federal Regulation
Let’s be serious. In this world of budget pressures, are you are going to convince 535 members of the U.S. Congress, and the legislative assemblies of 50 states that it is best for collegiate sports, academia, and school budgets nationwide, that of the over 120 top tier schools in FBS football that the budget of the United States government is subsidizing, only 64 should be entitled to split the billion-plus revenue dollars from TV and a shot at a national championship? Really?
My guess is that very quickly Congress and the state assemblies will be looking at that revenue and eyeing it for a more equal distribution. They want their piece of the pie. In a budget cut, bent states and congress could cut back on subsidies and support to all colleges and athletics in an effort to gobble more of that pie, or equalize them in some way based on per capita school attendance. California in its budget squeeze has already raised tuition at state schools 22 percent over the last two years. That trend in California and other hard-hit states will continue.
That quickly will mean those who can afford to play on the big stage would; those who wouldn’t would fall to the FCS. There might not be 64 teams able to play on that big stage. BYU, Notre Dame, Stanford, USC (the California one) and a few other schools might be in a position to survive, but not 64. Which means an end to the super conferences within four years.
With trouble in both federal and state budgets, the future, in the long run, may dictate more regionalism and smaller conferences, not super conferences and higher costs.
All of that adds up to why BYU will reject the BIG 12, or any other conference. It has seen the light of independence and left behind all conference entanglements. BYU doesn't need the conferences as much as the conferences need BYU.