Will somebody please explain to me in great detail why the Pac 12 is out of discussion for BYU inclusion

It is my opinion that( if) the Pac 12 and the Big 12 equally does or equally does not want BYU in their conference, the Pac 12 would be a far better fit for BYU than the Big 12.

Yes, at this time, the Big 12 has more need to expand than does the Pac 12.

Location, location, location is one reason that the Pac 12 would be a better fit.

Membership, membership, membership is another great reason why the Pac 12 would be a better fit because there are more Mormons in California than there are in Utah. (not per capita).

Recruiting, recruiting, recruiting is another reason because most of our great recruits come from the Pac 12 neighborhood.

Finally, fans traveling to games would find on the most part, traveling to Arizona, Colorado, California, Utah, Oregon and Washington easier and more tempting than traveling to Texas, Oklahoma, West Va., and Kansas.

Our rival, Utah is in the Pac 12. The (other team) that most of the BYU fans that I know follow, come from the Pac 12, i.e USC, UCLA, Oregon, Washington etc.

I have heard that it is our politics that keep us out. (Cal Prop 8). It is our lack of Research that keeps us out. What are the real reasons that we do not consider the Pac 12 over the Big 12 other than the fact that the Big 12 currently is in greater need to expand than any other conference in the nation?

I don’t think that the PAC12 is out of the question. Money drives this and there is substantial evidence that BYU-Utah is a big money draw. With that said, I think that the current regime at Utah would oppose BYU inclusion for recruiting reasons. What I could see down the line is, if BYU does get into the Big 12, Utah and the PAC12 might come calling because there is no longer a recruiting advantage in keeping us out.

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Thanks RB. Yes, recruiting battle is always an issue.

If the LDS church would just give in to: 1) including LGBT+++ and women and non-members into the priesthood and full fellowship including full temple blessings, 2) allowing anyone access to the temple, 3) stop it with those weird practices like the strange underwear, 4) abandon all those teachings of a conservative nature and come out strong for abortion and other women’s reproductive rights, LGBT+++ rights, letting anyone and everyone into the USA, free everything for everybody, forgetting the work ethic, fighting hard with money and people power to stop global warming, full push for all human rights including letting anyone who desires into the local, regional and general authority clergy, 5) admitting that Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon are frauds and that Sunday is no different than any other day, to be enjoyed in whatever fashion individuals or families so choose, including participating in and purchasing ticketes to any and all sporting activities - then I am sure the PAC 12 and Big 12 would very seriously consider BYU for inclusion into their conferences, especially if the church would cave in to all future demands. After all, all of this is just politics and so the LDS Church should not substantiality be different than any other church. Gaining P5 membership is what it is all about. (This message is NOT directed at any one person(s) but is intended as a general comment)

RU: You have got to be kidding. The PAC 10 + 2 doesn’t want BYU nor did it ever. With the liberal schools like Cal Berkeley, Stanford, Washington, Oregon, OSU and Colorado they find all kinds of excuses to exclude a BYU. To me number One is anti-Mormonism and anti-religion, then comes things like Sunday play, research institutions ( i.e. use of Federal and State monies), you name it: liberal philosophies vs. conservative philosophies. Now Utah has jumped on the band wagon. Listening to Utah AD Chris Hill on the BYU-Utah basketball thing, he sounds like
another Coach K. It really sounds like Dr. Hill’s intent is to get BYU off the schedule in every sport that he can. Listen to his SL Tribune Press Conference. If that is what they want, so be it. BYU does not need to bow down to the Great University of Utah. All the LDS Church did is found the U of U as the Deseret University.

Stop playing the U of U in ALL sports and stop any and all other non-sport associations with the U.

One issue that limits BYU from being invited to the PAC12 is that Cal (Berkley) and Stanford will never vote in favor of BYUs inclusion due to social/religious issues. My understanding is that with the addition of Utah and Colorado, there are enough potential votes to overcome this issue. Unfortunately, in order to be included, Utah has to vote in our favor which is not currently in their best interests due to recruiting issues. In my opinion, if BYU were to get into the Big12, this recruiting issue goes away because we would be in a P5 conference. At that point, if the Pac12 were to expand, it would be realistic for BYU to be included in an expansion.

If BYU was a Big 12 member and then switched to PAC 12 - how does that negate recruiting wars with Utah?

Here is the reality of the Pac-12 situation. To be admitted, it requires a 3/4 vote of the university presidents - 9 of 12. University presidents are not the same type of folks as ADs or boosters. They care about the money for and from athletics, but care about academic prestige and total endowment more. Athletic contributors and boosters contribute to total endowment, but are only one group that does. There are other contributor groups that care more about academics, research, politics, and other issues. The presidents also have faculty, boards of trustees and other stakeholder groups to deal with. With that in mind, the PAC12, its schools and presidents have traditionally been committed to and used the following criteria in their expansion decisions (not necessarily in order of importance): 1) public universities (Stanford and USC being the only exceptions as original members from way back who also meet the other criteria), 2) secular educational philosophies (USC is the only school that ever had a religious affiliation, long ago abandoned, and it was with a denomination that favored secular education over religious and Stanford was always a secular school), 3) research universities, preferably members of the Association of American Universities, a very exclusive, invitation-only group of research universities (there are only 60 American members and ironically 2 Canadian universities) - USC, Stanford, Cal, UCLA, Arizona, Oregon, Washington and Colorado are all members of the AAU and only the Big 10 has more AAU members among major conferences (more on this later); the academic prestige of AAU membership can overcome a lot of negatives in an expansion decision (see, e.g. Colorado), 4) academic and athletic competition with the Big 10 (see 3 above), 5) loyalty to donor bases that are mostly left coast, liberal/progressive and non-to-anti religious constituencies, including the entertainment, computer and green technology communities. When I went to USC, the mostly-true joke was that USC and Stanford were the only Pac 8 (yeah, I’m that old) schools where you could find a conservative on campus. USC was one of the few PAC schools that would play BYU in the days of the Black Student Union boycotts against BYU, and one of the few that didn’t shut down during the Cambodia War Moratorium. However, both USC and Stanford have largely abandoned any conservative roots they used to have, academically, though both still have a more tolerant attitude towards conservative faculty members than the other PAC 12 schools (such as Condie Rice at Stanford).

While university presidents want to enhance the finances of the conference, they will not do so at the expense of these other considerations or they will find themselves at odds with their Boards of Trustees and looking for a new job. Therefore, sports money will likely not drive a decision on expansion, though it will be a factor. If finances are anywhere close, the other factors will control.

Let’s apply these factors to BYU on a 0-10 point basis: 1) BYU is a private, religious institution known to be one of the most religiously committed institutions in the country. 0 points

  1. BYU has a religiously-oriented educational philosophy and mandatory religious education requirements. 0 points

  2. BYU is ranked RU/H (Research University - High Research Activity) by the Carnegie Classification of Higher Education and is therefore a legitimate research university (despite what our Ute friends say about us). However, EVERY Pac 12 school (including Utah) is ranked RU/VH (Research University - Very High Research Activity) by Carnegie. Furthermore, BYU is not now, nor ever likely will be invited into the AAU. In fact, I don’t believe BYU will ever even want to be a member of AAU. The AAU publishes its “indicators” for “consideration” for membership. Remember there is no automatic qualification, its an invitation-only club run by academics on their own terms. The indicators are grouped into “phase one” and “phase two” on their website. Phase one consists of: 1) Competitively funded federal research support (BYU accepts no federal funds), 2) Membership in the National Academies, 3) Faculty awards, fellowships and memberships, and 4) “Citations” related to research volume and quality. If the review panel feels that an institution has the basic qualifications in this phase, the phase two indicators are: 1) USDA, state, and industrial research funding (again, BYU accepts no federal funds or other government grants that could require surrender of academic control or philosophy), 2) Doctoral education, 3) Number of postdoctoral appointees (this criteria is tied very directly to federal grant funding), 4) Undergraduate education. Since federal and government funding are the #1 criteria at each phase, and BYU’s philosophy values undergraduate education as its highest priority, which almost an afterthought with the AAU, AAU membership is not going to happen for BYU (and I’m fine with that, by the way). maybe 5 points

  3. academically, we do not help the PAC v. BIG, since they are focused on the research component rather than undergraduate education. Athletically we would help, and might be at least a wash as to the finances. So, maybe we get half credit on this criteria. 5 points

  4. this is where the political/religious philosophy issue comes in to play. The donor class for the Pac 12 schools are largely liberal, environmentalist, pro-abortion, pro gun control, anti-Religious Right, pro-big state welfare-ism, etc. Many of the Pac 12 powers that be - presidents, trustees, donors, etc. remember BYU from the black student boycott days and associate the Church members and BYU with Prop 22, Prop 8, anti-abortion, pro-guns, opposition to federal power (much of which is exercised through those federal research grant programs they value so highly) All of this analysis would apply to any religiously conservative institution. Any overtly anti-Mormon sentiment would merely be icing on the cake. 0 points

Final score 10 out of 50.

The anti-Mormon thing, if it exists, would only be a small part of one factor. Even without it, I don’t see us getting more than 2 or 3 of the 9 votes needed to get in to the PAC. Wish it weren’t so.


Many of the things you point to in your analysis is tied in to the Church, they are like 2 peas in a pod. I have more chance to win the big powerball lottery than BYU has of getting into the PAC 2 - and I have not purchased any lottery tickets, ever.

If BYU was in the Big 12, they would be on the same recruiting footing as Utah for athletes that want to play in a P5 league. At that point, Utah does not benefit from keeping BYU out of the Pac 12 because their recruiting advantage is already gone.

However, U of U could decide they do not want to scrap with BYU over Utah recruits and California recruits, since they are both P5 schools and in that manner are on the same footing.

Yes, Utah could decide that the California recruits that they likely lose to USC, UCLA, Cal and Stanford are so valuable that they need to avoid competing with BYU for them.

Nice sarcasm and I am knocked down a couple of rungs. But. Would Utah want an equal footing with BYU for recruits from State of Utah, Idaho, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and yes California (guess there are no quality recruits left from California after USC, UCLA, Cal and Stanford gets theirs or actually competing with those schools. So actually I am not knocked down a couple of rungs and my comments are valid.

If the PAC12 wants to expand, Utah will have to compete with whomever they add for recruits within the PAC12 footprint. My point was that the only way Utah approves adding BYU would be if they already were on even footing (regarding p5 membership) with BYU for Utah recruits. They may still reject BYU inclusion. They are Utah after all. However, unless BYU is already in a P5 conference, I see no way that they vote in favor of BYU.

One snowflake, by itself, has as much chance of surviving on the surface of the sun than BYU does of ever getting into the PAC 12, no matter the Y’s status.

It’s certainly not something I’m losing sleep over.

No sleep lost here either.

here is the good news about the big 12


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Right on BobH, you are putting the truth right out there.