BYU fans are not at their normal chipper selves as their heated rival Utah is heading off to greener pastures in the Pac-10, but there is some hope coming from the University of Houston. The Cougars who just announced plans for a new stadium, is getting all political in trying to get Houston into the Big XII with a letter signed by the 26 Texas legislatures that are U of H alum:
he prestige of Big 12 conference membership accrues several advantages to participating universities. These benefits include improved athletic opportunities and a boost to a school's national prominence. The latter phenomenon is certainly a boon to any school's athletic and academic recruiting. Plus, the fact that Big 12 membership augments a university's revenue-making capacity is hard to overlook. In light of these advantages, the University of Houston would be well-served by being included in the Big 12.
The University of Houston is ready for the Big 12. The Cougars concluded an inspired, well-played 2009 football season where they ranked as high as 12th in the nation. Already, pre-season 2010 polls place the team in the top 25. Looking further ahead, the University of Houston plans to invest $120 million in a new football stadium with a 40,000 seat capacity. This new stadium, along with a newly-renovated basketball arena, will serve as a fitting home for an athletic program that has produced winners of the Heisman Trophy, All-American Award, and the Olympic Gold Medal to name a few.
The Texas legislature has some pull but getting Houston into the Big XII is very difficult, and they do not have the governor on their side as was the case when Anne Richards used her political muscle to get Baylor into the Big XII over BYU and the other Texas schools.
Dan Bebee has consistently said that he wants to stay at ten teams, even though Jerry Jones is not all that happy with the league breaking a contract that has a Big XII title game in his Starship through 2013. The money for a title game could net the league over one million dollars per team, plus more exposure. There is some truth that adding Houston does not add much more since that town is owned by Longhorns and Aggies, but sitting at ten makes no sense.
Houston has been competitive in football and looks to stay that way with Kevin Sumlin keeping the parts moving ever since Art Briles left for an arguably worse job in a BCS league at Baylor. The move is a power play to show Houston is interested. There is minimal chance of Houston being added this summer, but they are being proactive which is something the Cougars are not know for.
With four of the six major leagues at twelve teams and with the Big East entertaining the idea of adding Central Florida and Memphis will put the Big XII from near the top of the BCS leagues to near the bottom. The money is too good for a title game.
A twelfth team that could come along is BYU who has a great tradition and would be behind only Texas and Oklahoma in on field performance over the past five years, and Texas A&M in regards to a rich tradition. Adding BYU would bring in a nice Utah market that is the fastest growing state, plus a similar -- albeit smaller -- national following like Notre Dame.
BYU is a choice the Big XII wanted back in the day, but currently they are getting left behind in the Mountain West and are along side Boise State as the two power teams in a non-BCS league. If Houston is able to find their way into the Big XII it can be nearly assured that BYU would come along as well. BYU has everything the Big XII needs with a competitive team in a soon to be top 30 market. BYU just needs to be aggressive and try to find a dance partner to get into the Big XII.
There is also a Facebook fan page that wants Houston to the Big XII and they have 1,800 member and counting.