BYU Big East: Cougars Serious About Joining Awkward Big East Party

Zachary D. RymerMLB Lead WriterNovember 15, 2011

PROVO, UT - SEPTEMBER 19:  Cosmo the mascot of Brigham Young University Cougars gets the fans going before the game against the Florida State Seminoles at La Vell Edwards Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Provo, Utah.  (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak via Getty Images)
Melissa Majchrzak/Getty Images

Having lost Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the ACC and TCU and West Virginia to the Big 12, the Big East is willing to take on pretty much anyone in order to save itself.

As long as interested parties have reputable football programs, it really doesn't matter where they call home.

One of the teams in the mix is BYU. It has been rumored that BYU is interested in joining the Big East, but the word from ESPN's Joe Schad on Tuesday night is that the Cougars are "seriously considering" joining the Big East as a football member.

Let the record show that BYU is currently an independent, having left the Mountain West this past year. Before the powers that be made that decision, I presume they seriously considered it.

If BYU's serious considerations do lead it to join the Big East, it likely won't be alone. Schad's source claims Houston, UCF and SMU are ready to join the conference, and Air Force and Boise State could also join. The latter two are still busy scoping out how the western component of the conference would be composed.

It's a legitimate thing to be concerned about. The Big East's name may say it's in the east, but right now it is looking to add programs that are scattered throughout the country. Exactly how all the pieces would fit together and how scheduling would work out is at best obscure.

The one thing the Big East has to dangle in front of all these schools to hasten their decisions is the conference's automatic BCS bid. BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall sounded excited about it when he spoke about the Big East earlier this month.

"With the landscape changing, the main benefit I can see on a short-term scale would be inclusion to the BCS system," Mendenhall said. "That is up in two years, and whether the Big East can hold that spot with the new teams going in, my guess would be yes. I can't speak as to what we are going to do other than just to verify we have been approached."

It's worth noting that BYU was rumored to be a fit for the Big 12 not too long ago, and there were even reports that the deal was done at one point. Instead, the rumors ended up leading to a dead end, and now the Cougars are looking to settle for joining the ugly duckling of the six BCS conferences.

It's a strange match, but it makes sense for both sides. BYU wants to be in a BCS conference, and the Big East wants enough members to be able to stay alive.

It may be an awkward fit, but nobody ever said conference realignment had to be pretty. As you may have noticed, it's not.


Follow zachrymer on Twitter