While plenty of national writers are trying to figure out who will get into the Big 12 (should it expand), ESPN's Jake Trotter had a Big 12 roundtable with Mitch Sherman and Max Olson to discuss how candidates, such as BYU and Houston, would actually fare on the gridiron.
With the FPI projection that BYU would win 6-7 games with West Virginia's conference schedule, Olson says, "I do think BYU would be well-equipped to handle the road challenges, since they've been playing teams all over the country as an FBS independent. And Big 12 teams could have a tough time in their first trips to Provo."
While Trotter doesn't give a specific win projection, he has some very positive things to say about how the Cougars would do. He writes, "Even though BYU isn't as explosive as Houston, I actually believe BYU might be better equipped for an immediate transition to a Power 5 league. The Cougars have been playing challenging schedules for years — their first four games this year are Arizona, Utah, UCLA and West Virginia — and the track record of their depth, from the quarterback position on, seems to be more on par for a Power 5 program. BYU wouldn't challenge in the Big 12. But I could see the Cougars pushing the likes of West Virginia, Texas and Kansas State for the No. 5 spot in the standings."
Patterson writes, "BYU is a school of serious interest for the Big 12, and the various religious considerations that would be necessary for the school owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have become a popular discussion topic when analyzing their chances to get picked for expansion."
So much so that Leath answered questions regarding BYU in the Facebook Live meeting.
Patterson quotes Leath as saying, "It's a school of integrity. They play by the rules, quality program, and people that have been there had great experiences and we should consider BYU. I'm getting an equal number that send me their Honor Code, their (discomfort) with a number of social issues. And then there's a smaller group that says from a logistical standpoint, the fact they can't compete on Sundays … make it unworkable."