BYU Big 12 Expansion: Latest Rumors on Cougars' Potential Move to Big 12

Zachary D. Rymer@zachrymerMLB Lead WriterSeptember 29, 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

The possibility of BYU joining the Big 12 has been a hot topic for most of the month of September, but it sounds like the Cougars may actually be poised to make the jump.

It was first reported by the Salt Lake Tribune back on Sept. 1 that BYU officials had held discussions with Big 12 officials, who, of course, were trying desperately to save a ship that was rapidly sinking. Since then, things have calmed down a bit in the Big 12, which is looking to rearrange its structure and add more schools in the process.

On Thursday, the word around the campfire is that the union between BYU and the Big 12 is more or less official. Scroll down for the latest.

Thursday, Sept. 29 at 5:35 p.m. ET

In addition to BYU being on the verge of joining the Big 12, it sounds like TCU could also join. Here's this from Chris Level, who handles Texas Tech coverage for Rivals.com:

For the record, Level did clarify that he meant to type "now" instead of "not" in a subsequent tweet.

The interesting part here is not so much that Level is hearing about BYU joining, but TCU joining as well. The Horned Frogs are supposed to depart for the Big East in 2012, but it seems they may like the Big 12 more.

Given the current landscape in the Big East, that doesn't strike me as being even the least bit surprising.

Thursday, Sept. 29 at 3:00 p.m. ET

Here's today's breaking news from The Upset Blog, which covers college sports in the West:

As for when the news could be officially announced, the folks at Utah SportCenter can shed some light on that matter:

Naturally, you have to take these rumors for what they're worth, but they may be more valid than you think. I say this just because BYU and the Big 12 have been dancing around each other long enough for things to come together at this point. I also say this because, as good as BYU has it as an independent, there are reasons for them to join the Big 12.

First and foremost, there's the obvious monetary implications. You can debate the financial merits of independence, but joining the Big 12 is a lucrative opportunity and a more stable situation as well.

Then there's the chance to play in a BCS conference. The Cougars have never played in a BCS bowl, and joining the Big 12 offers them a better chance of doing so.

To be sure, BYU would be just fine if it chose to remain an independent. But the issue here always seemed to be the stability of the Big 12. Now that it's more stable, it makes sense that these rumors would come out now.

Stay tuned for more.

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