Big East Expansion: Bringing in BYU Smacks of Desperation

Johnathan CaceCorrespondent INovember 19, 2011

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 28:  Riley Nelson #13 of the BYU Cougars dives for a touchdown during a game against the TCU Horned Frogs at Cowboys Stadium on October 28, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. The TCU Horned Frogs defeated the BYU Cougars 38-28.  (Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
Sarah Glenn/Getty Images

During all of college football’s conference realignment, one thing remained certain: The teams that changed conferences made at least some sense geographically.

But with the Big East reportedly on the verge of adding BYU as a football-only school, you can throw that rule out the window.

You can also throw out any respect you had left for the Big East. In terms of basketball, the conference is still one of the best—even with the impending departures of Syracuse, Pittsburgh and West Virginia—but conference realignment is all about football. Bringing in BYU, a program whose glory days have come and gone, shows how desperate the situation has become.

The fact that the Cougars are the best the Big East could do speaks volumes about the status of the conference as well as the national college football landscape. The only reason why BYU is even considering this move is so that the team can join a conference that retains its automatic-qualifying status for a BCS bowl.

But with reports coming out earlier this week about the BCS possibly doing away with automatic bids from certain conferences, this move is just plain dumb for the school.

The Big East is in self-preservation mode, I get that—desperation is one of the only modes of survival at this point. There is, however, a seemingly obvious line that should not be crossed, and that is adding a mediocre team from Utah to a conference with the word “east” in it.

If the conference wants to gain respect, it has to do so on the football field and nowhere else. Adding BYU is a step in the wrong direction.