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The Future of BYU Football: How will conference realignment impact BYU in the next 10 years?


(Photo: USA TODAY Sports)

“What does the future hold for BYU football?” Over the course of this week, we here at CSI are going to make an effort to answer this very important question. To make things that much more difficult, we won’t limit ourselves to what we see happening this coming season. Rather we’re going to explore what we think could happen to the program ten years from now. Each day we’ll break down a specific subject, with today’s subject being the style of play.

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Conference realignment is a tale as old as time for Cougar fans. Our hopes and dreams are routinely crushed every time it makes an appearance in the news cycle. On today’s segment of BYU Future Week I’m going to break down the different hypothetical options on the table for future alignment.

HISTORY

When LaVell Edwards was hired as an assistant coach in 1962, BYU was one of the 20 worst programs in the country with an all time winning percentage of just 42%. A decade later when he took the reigns as head coach, it hadn’t improved much – just a tick up to 43%. For comparison – programs with similar numbers as of 2020: Rice, New Mexico, Indiana, Arkansas State. The tide would change quickly as the Cougars became the face of the WAC, and the major non-power brand not just on the west coast, but in all of college football.

In the early 1990s with the Big 8 looking to expand, it appeared that the big league call up finally came until Baylor Alumna and then Texas Governor Ann Richards said the Baylor Bears must be included in the package deal or else it the Texas Board of Regents would not allow the 3 public schools (Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech) to join with their neighbors to the north. That ended that chance.

There are various rumors of potential PAC-10 pushes in the 90s, and discussions and straw polls held, but those also never materialized. Then came the 2010 and 2016 sagas of which anyone reading this is well aware. Despite the numerous conversations, an invitation really never came that close for various reasons.

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