Hello, old frenemy. The Big 12 and BYU have been like the jr high kids who text each other and flirt over the phone, but when actually together in the hallways ignore each other and act like each other don’t exist.
At times it has seemed like BYU was minutes away from joining this conference while at other times it has felt like the Cougars don’t exist to them. Geographically this is a great fit, and the conference really does need to expand to keep their seat at the P5 level. Nobody really takes the Big 12 Conference Championship seriously because with only ten teams, they have already all played each other.
Why BYU could be invited: As mentioned, the Big 12 should expand. While BYU is further west than all the other teams in the conference, there are seven schools within about 1,000 miles of Provo. With the likely expansion of the conference, one would assume that the Big 12 would target AAC teams (Memphis, Cincinnati, Houston and a fourth team), but if the AAC is able to retain their teams, the next options would definitely be BYU, Boise State, San Diego State and probably either Coastal Carolina, App State, North Dakota State, or Air Force.
Why BYU won’t be invited: It hasn’t already happened. There have been plenty of opportunities for BYU to be invited to this conference in the past and it hasn’t happened to this point. Even though it seems to be in both groups’ best interest, the agreement hasn’t happened. Also, as I mentioned, I think that the Big 12 would go after AAC teams first because geographically they fit, and don’t clog up recruiting with an exception to Houston.
Finally, the Big 12 has always been the odd one of the P5 and may decide that even though everyone else has 12 or 14 teams, they can just stay at 10.
Chance of happening: 15%