BYU Football: Big East "Not Likely"; Can This Be the Start of Something Bigger?

Lou MartinContributor IIINovember 22, 2011

FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 16:  Head coach Bronco Mendenhall of the BYU Cougars heads his team against the TCU Horned Frogs at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 16, 2010 in Fort Worth, Texas.  TCU beat BYU 31-3.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

What was seen as an eventuality as little as a week ago—BYU to the Big East—is “unlikely,” according to reports on

In related news, BYU’s hopes of ever becoming relevant in the BCS picture are likewise dwindling.

BYU’s unwillingness to relinquish the TV rights to its home games is at the heart of the apparent thwarting of the Big East plans.

All BCS AQ conference members give up TV rights to home games, while only independents keep those rights. Why does BYU think it should be any different?

Presumably, conference members relinquish these rights in exchange for a shot at a huge payday in the event the school qualifies for a BCS bowl, or, better yet, the whole enchilada—the BCS Championship game.

So where does BYU go from here? Will last-minute talks and concessions save the day or will confusion and anxiety reign as the Cougars continue on their morale-killing, fan-alienating—but money-making—path of independence?

Whichever path it chooses to pursue, BYU’s conference negotiations are at least keeping fans interested in the program, something its on-field product is struggling to do.

(Soft music as dream sequence begins.)

We hear a lot about schools being lured from one conference to another or from independence to conference affiliation, but there's nothing about independents luring conference-shackled programs to the green pastures of independence.

In honor of its pioneering heritage, BYU ought to spearhead a grassroots movement and create a sizable group of independents—one that includes programs that have been on the short end of their conference situations for a long time.

Give us your tired, your poor...

You know the spiel.

BYU could use its eight-year megadeal with ESPN as the standard around which independent-minded schools could rally.

A massive migration from conference servitude to the freedom of independence could—drum roll, please—do away with the BCS and force the implementation of a college football playoff.

This movement would gain instant credibility if even one BCS favorite (aka SEC top-tier team) declared its independence.

I’m sure there’s plenty that’s wrong with this idea, but something drastic needs to happen if college football is ever going to get its long-overdue playoff.

So, why can’t the whole conference realignment mess be the catalyst for a movement like this?

(Dramatic instrumental ends dream sequence.)

It appears as if BYU fans and players alike will have to stay tuned to learn where and who the Cougars will play in 2012 and beyond.

At the moment, independence—and its lack of excitement and competition—are looming large, while the Big East and Big 12 are fading further into the rearview mirror.

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