Made a few calls Friday about the topic of conference realignment, and wanted to pass along two tidbits.
1. A Kansas State source told me he was in favor of BYU joining the Big 12. The source’s reasoning was that the Cougars, currently a football independent and member of the West Coast Conference in all other sports, would be a solid addition for a conference in need of a new member with a strong football tradition. Beyond that, the source said BYU joining the Big 12 would bring the conference some much needed positive publicity at the national level. That would increase the Big 12′s chances of attracting two more new members and returning to a 12-team league.
There are other obvious reasons for the Big 12 to covet BYU, which the Salt Lake Tribune reports is in talks with the Big 12. The Cougars have a strong national following, and could enhance the league’s TV appeal.
Other possible Big 12 expansion candidates are Air Force, Louisville, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Arkansas, Houston and SMU.
2. The possibility of Kansas and K-State splitting up and joining different conferences in the event that the Big 12 crumbles is a very complicated matter. Though KU chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little told the University Daily Kansan the two could separate, the Kansas Board of Regents would need to approve such a move for it to actually happen.
Though Topeka regent Dan Lykins told me yesterday he’s not sure how the board would vote in such a situation, it’s hard to imagine the regents supporting a move that isn’t beneficial for both schools.