PROVO, Utah — The marriage between BYU and the Big 12 Conference is signed, sealed and delivered after the school announced Friday that it has accepted an invitation to join the Power 5 conference.
But the question is, who made out better in the deal? BYU or the Big 12?
The Big 12 was dealt a heavy blow last month after learning that it would be losing Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC. And unless Notre Dame suddenly wanted in, no available programs could match the fan bases and budgets of those schools.
That said, BYU brings a lot more to the table than most schools could, including Houston, Central Florida and Cincinnati, the three other universities joining the Big 12.
Here are a couple major pros BYU has going for it:
- THE BIGGEST STADIUM - Texas and Oklahoma have stadiums bigger than BYUs, but they’re leaving. Lavell Edwards Stadium is now the conference's biggest.
- THE BIGGEST ARENA - Everything’s not always bigger in Texas. The Marriott Center in Provo is larger than those of other Big 12 schools AND arenas at the University of Texas and University of Oklahoma.
- FOOTBALL TV RATINGS - This time BYU doesn’t top all of the remaining teams, but the Cougars have a lot more football viewers than the three other new schools, and BYU has suffered during a decade of independence. In 2023 and beyond, the Cougars will be playing more meaningful games that non-BYU fans will be interested in seeing.
- BYU already has a program worthy of a Power 5 conference. Collegefactual.com tracks the size of athletic programs and below is information on the four schools entering the Big 12:
- BYU: 740 athletes; 381 men and 359 women; 20 head coaches
- Cincinnati: 560 athletes; 311 men and 249 women; 15 head coaches
- Houston: 607; 315 men and 292 women; 13 head coaches
- Central Florida: 517 athletes; 245 men and 272 women; 14 head coaches