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One way BYU’s move to the Big 12 will likely affect the Pac-12

SHARE One way BYU’s move to the Big 12 will likely affect the Pac-12
Utah Utes safety Brandon McKinney and Utah Utes linebacker Hayden Furey try to get to Brigham Young Cougars QB Jaren Hall.

Utah Utes defensive players Brandon McKinney (28) and Hayden Furey (54) try to get to BYU Cougars quarterback Jaren Hall (3) as BYU and Utah play at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. BYU won 26-17, ending a nine-game losing streak to the Utes.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

BYU’s move to the Big 12 Conference is notable for many reasons, but certainly one of them is how the move could affect its rivalry with Utah in the future, especially as it relates to football.

Well, it could actually affect Utah’s entire conference, the Pac-12, in a significant way on the gridiron.

In a story on Tuesday, Pac-12 insider Jon Wilner outlined how BYU has 15 games currently scheduled with Pac-12 teams, and cancelling them (BYU will almost certainly have to cancel a bunch to make room for a conference schedule) will hurt the conference’s schedule strength.

“Internally, BYU moving to the Big 12 presents us with significant scheduling issues,” Wilner quotes Pac-12 senior associate commissioner and chief of football operations Merton Hanks as saying.

Wilner observed that all of the game contracts were signed before BYU joined the Big 12, and most, if not all, should have a clause that allows BYU to get out of the game if it’s in a conference.

“The Cougars are an ideal opponent for Pac-12 programs because of their proximity, the quality of the competition and their ability to sell tickets in opposing stadiums,” Wilner wrote.

“In some ways, they have played the role of a conference member, all while wanting — but being denied — entry into the league.”