Or at least I soon will be… kind of, in a roundabout sort of way. Just roll with me on this one. E and I, which when said out loud sounds like B&I (shout out to the readers from the 253; if not from the 253 Google: Michael Jackson and gorilla) watched the BYU press conference today. Football Independence and all other sports going to the WCC are official; we knew that before. What we did not know before hand, was the 8-year deal Brigham Young inked with ESPN to have each and every home football AND basketball game air on ESPN’s network. I’m gonna be on TV. Every men’s basketball game I will be dead center, decked in white, right above the Cougar Club floor seats. On E-S-P-N. Told you I was going to be famous.
Tom Holmoe, BYU’s Athletic Director, said the ESPN deal made for some provisions stating, “If BYU has team that is really good, the games will be aired on ESPN’s primary channel, and if BYU has a season where they do not do so well, those games will be aired on ESPN2 or ESPN3. We’re comfortable with that.” Games can also air on ABC, an ESPN affiliate. Holmoe further announced a six game series to be played over the next couple of years with Norte Dame and if BYU finishes in the Top 14, they will receive an At-large Bid, a bid that some believed to be the reason behind the jump.
Over the last couple of weeks there has been speculation over the exact motives to move to independence. Some believed it was a coy to get invited to the Big XII in a couple years’ time. Other questioned it as a “panic move” and “rush decision”. My read on the news conference is to the contrary. It is certainly not a stepping-stone to an AQ Conference invite. It had more of a feel like BYU was announcing its swagger. You know what… this is exactly what we wanted. You’re all in deep, deep trouble. We know we’re good and have known it for a long time. We just signed a kick ass TV deal, so pretty soon everybody else will know we’re this good too. We are now positioned to make butt load of cash. That means better scholarships, better facilities and better everything. We’re now going to be able to sign high-caliber recruits with ease. Recruits that used to go and play for you. If the Big XII invited us five years down the road, we’d probably say no. It looks that good for us. Watch out.
Some journalist scoffed and ridiculed the program for even thinking about going independent. That it would be fool’s errand. All they had to do wait two more years and the MWC would become an AQ Conference. Going independent to reach the BSC would not proffer them anything. If anything it would make it harder to reach the goal. Tom Holmoe stated specifically that this move was about national exposure, not about the BCS, and this has been in the works for more than five years. Hardly a panic move. But let us endorse that claim for arguments sake. I like to play the Devil’s advocate. I’m good at it.
Suppose this move was entirely about the BCS and had nothing to with national exposure and the dump truck loads of cash to be made. Somebody please explain to me how the move is not smart? Actually don’t because you look stupid. You say this was a dumb move because the school was on the precipice of becoming a BCS conference? I want to know who said that the MWC becoming an AQ was a sure thing. It is under a four-year “review”. What does that even mean? Listen to who is saying this: The BCS. This is the same committee that sent two 9-2 teams to the National Championship game over an undefeated Boise State. And you trust these guys?!
“Don’t be so naive Calvin.”
This review is being talked about like it is supposed to be some undeniable sure-thing sign. The only sure thing that I know about the BCS committee is its insatiable ability to fascistically endorse the six AQs and rape over everybody else. Then there is the claim that BYU will not get anybody to schedule games with them. They already were getting big schools to schedule games and that was with the worst TV deal ever. Texas has been talking about building crown jewel TV network. BYU already has one and will finally be able to use it. I’m so done watching them play games on the type of channels you have to go over to your grandma’s to be able to watch. (Admit, you’ve secretly wondered where the channels your grandparents’ watch/get come from). An 8-year deal with The Worldwide Leader in Sports to broadcast every home game clears that up.
You mean to tell me, that a BYU football schedule including games played against Texas, Norte Dame, Boise State, Utah, and USC cannot crack the Top 14, and you believe this how…? Even if BYU loses two of those games they still get in. They lost two games last year, with a weaker RPI than the aforementioned schedule and finished the season ranked #12. This move to independence was not done as an attempt to crack the BCS or done as a panic move. However, I do feel that the University of Utah leaving for the Pac-10/12, quickened the process, but definitely was not the spark. The crappy TV deal with The Mountain and Versus is your culprit. Nothing else. I will not listen to the contrary. What I am most excited about is the recognition that will begin to take place over the next decade.
This afternoon at work, I was sending a fax to the University of Alaska and in the spot where it asks you for a return e-mail, I mistakenly put my personal e-mail and sent it off before realizing what I had done. I consider it lucky I noticed at all and I corrected the mistake and went about my day. It got me thinking about how most of us are creatures of habit and do things without really thinking them through. The order of operations in taking a shower, tying our shoelaces, logging in to a website, brushing our teeth and even filling out a fax return with the wrong e-mail. We don’t process what our actions are but rather what we’re trying to accomplish. We just do do do. I don’t know how that correlates with what BYU did in their quest for independence or why I brought that up, but I do know how I’ve felt by following the Mountain West Conference these last couple of years. It has been seasons of frustration from trying to attain some amount of credibility, watching teams from other conferences endure the same sentiments, and complaining the current system/format isn’t right. I never thought beyond two things.
1) getting rid of the BCS by replacing it with a playoff system or;
2) hoping to go undefeated and get a BCS bowl
Independence didn’t cross my mind, but luckily it did in Tom Holmoe’s. Even if the exposure reason is not the BCS reason, it still allows for a better chance to clear those hurdles. I’m tired of being a victim of habit. The habit of being snubbed. I’m not speaking just on the behalf of BYU either. I mean Utah, I mean Boise State, I mean TCU, and any other good D-I team that works just as hard as the LSU’s, Alabama’s and USC’s.
I sincerely hope that the MWC does become an AQ conference in two years. I really do. TCU and Boise deserve it. I’ll still be content with independence if it happens. I don’t hold contempt for Utah darting for the Pac-10/12. Sometimes you got to look out for number one, ya know? Never fault anybody for trying to better themselves and their situation. All I know, is that this is going to be one heck of a final season, and the last game in Rice-Eccles Stadium (as MWC teams) will be one for the ages. Oh yeah, one more thing:
I’m gonna be famous!