Everyone welcome in Matt Brown of LGHL and VTF fame to talk some TV markets and Big XII things!
It’s pretty common knowledge that BYU doesn’t play on Sundays. How big of an issue do you think that is for the Big XII?
I think it's clear that it is *a* issue, but it's hard to see it being *the* issue. BYU, after all, has figured out ways to make this work with the MWC and the WCC. Football isn't played on Sundays. Not very many men's basketball games are. The Big 12 has a handful of tournament events on Sundays, but none of sports that really couldn't be moved around. It's probably the biggest issue for baseball and softball, but are you seriously going to make a realignment decision on softball? Probably not. If the Big 12 likes BYU for what it can bring to the table on other matters, I'd have to think they can come to an agreement on Sunday play. Maybe that means affiliate membership, or something far less drastic.
Memphis just offered up a pretty lucrative deal if the Big XII takes them: 500 million dollars worth of renovations and a FedEx sponsored title game. Can BYU match or beat that?
I wouldn't look it at quite that way. Memphis is looking at $500 million in renovations (again, this also includes a lot of academic buildings) because their faculties are so far below B12 standards. BYU's aren't. Is FedEx sponsorship of a Big 12 title game nice? Yeah, but does the conference worry that they wouldn't be able to get a sponsorship without it? Probably not!
There are plenty of corporate partners in the greater Salt Lake Valley, and I imagine more facility improvements would come with Big 12 money, but I can't see BYU offering anything that jaw-dropping in a prospective bid. But I'm not also not convinced that they, or another candidate, would need to.
What’s it like being on the proverbial outside looking in? What’s plan B if BYU doesn’t get in?
It's been very frustrating for most BYU fans, even if independence has had some exciting moments. Watching your biggest rival gain power conference money, status and success compounds the factor. BYU's athletic budget, history and success don't really feel "P5", but not having a conference home just compounds that feeling of otherness that is already part of following BYU's program. Having to worry about what happens when this ESPN contract expires without P5 membership is also a concern. There isn't a real Plan B....if the Big 12 doesn't work out, BYU will likely be stuck being an indie and trying to make that work in a world of tighter $$$, unless a conference falls apart.
Unfortunately, distance matters in this debate. How big of a deal do you think the distance between y’all and WVU is?
It is a factor, but also, not the only factor. It's worth pointing out that BYU to WVU is a shorter distance than UConn to Texas Tech, and UConn is still apparently being considered. I fully expect, if the conference expands, for them to add a team closer to WVU (likely Cincinnati), but the I don't think that they'd necessarily have to take two.
If y’all get in, can we clone Taysom Hill and watch him run over UT every single year?
We'll think about it.
A huge thanks to Matt for doing this on real short notice. You can keep up with him on Twitter @MattSBN.