In Spring 2011 I was bored of the drama in Jazz World, lamenting the time off between the SuperBowl and fall camp (knowing full well the NFL would likely lockout), and like most of the ardent Cougar fans, waited for Spring ball to conclude so I could catch a glimpse of my Cougars in action. Shortly before the Spring game, I discovered podcasts starting with the guys at Cougar Center. I found my second BYU podcast in the form of the Rise and Shout Podcast. I then made my foray into “enemy territory” and started downloading the Dog & Deuce podcast (both the hosts are the most passionate Ute fans.) I’ve been hooked on podcasts since.
In the Dog & Deuce podcast, episode 49, the hosts interview Jimmy Chesh who had just broken this story. While I was listening to this interview, a lot of thoughts came to mind. However, the two most prevalent thoughts were:
- In this whole “debacle” that was the Big East negotiations, how did BYU come off as the bad guy who was “difficult to work with?” Other than a one-year guarantee of BCS AQ access, what exactly was the Big East offering BYU that would make them give up independence, exposure, and higher pay days?
- My second thought is actually courtesy of Deuce who asked what was in this for Notre Dame. If they already have access, what do they care if the Big East continues playing football? (You really should download the podcast and hear it for yourself. Great line of questioning.)
First thing I did today was to send these two lines of thought to Carl for his thoughts in the matter. Quite frankly, his answers didn’t give me much to go on (in his defense, I sort of dropped this on him and shouldn’t expect a great answer without any forethought.) As I wrote my email to him I found myself answering the second query. The only solution I could come up with regarding Notre Dame would be that if the Big east folded as a viable football conference, the rest of those teams (Cincinnati, UConn, and Louisville would head to greener pastures and cause a tear in the basketball viability that would adversely affect the rest of the sports in the conference where Notre Dame plays all its non-football sports. That being said, it seems near hypocritical of Notre Dame to care so much about their own network that they would deny a partner school the right to do the same. But I digress since my point isn’t so much about Notre Dame as the first one.
I took my line of questioning to Twitter, specifically to @DogAndDeuce and @CheshSports because I didn’t feel anyone had taken the line of what BYU would get in return for compliance to the demands of the Big East. I had no idea my questions would start a firestorm of responses and conversations between not only the three of us, but others as well. I finally had to stop in order to compose my thoughts, but five hours later, the conversation is still carrying on.
My question was essentially, “What exactly was the Big East offering other than one guaranteed year of BCS access?” In all this, why wasn’t BYU allowed to negotiate some of their concerns? Why is BYU the bad guy for wanting an easy out if the BCS access was lost? Why is BYU the bad guy for wanting their ESPN contract to hold for home games? Was there anything else BYU was getting from this deal?
The first response was Deuce who said the overlying offer was the BCS Bowl opportunity and that it was a risk he was willing to take. It prompted me to ask him what the risk was if BYU took that offer and didn’t make the BCS game. At that point, others joined in and issues of stability, burned bridges, and conference championships came up.
Overall, I had a great conversation with Deuce, Chesh, Dog (albeit from 10,000 feet up), BYUGIFF, 1BigVic, and andrewfox5. I really wish I could fairly put up the conversation threads for everyone because it was really enlightening, but you’ll have to just start anew here. What I’m hoping is to get your feedback as a reader of our blog.
- Do you feel BYU fairly treated the Big East?
- Do you feel BYU was fairly treated by the Big East?
- Is BYU asking for too much in these conference realignment talks?
- Is Deuce’s postulation that a one-year flier on the Big East is worth the risk that you may not get the BCS game and if the AQ goes away you can just go independent again? BYU has shown an ability to pull it off. And yes, he acknowledged the unenviable buyout clause for an early departure from BYU.
- Did BYU burn bridges with either the Big XII or the Big East?
- Is it more important for you as a fan to see BYU on TV most every week or miss some of their games but know that at least you have a conference championship to play for?
Leave a comment here for me and I’ll get back to all that I can. I think this could be a great way to create an open and cognitive forum for further discussing this topic.