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With conference realignment chatter rocking college sports, the Big 12 will host its football media days in Dallas this week and we will be there covering BYU’s future league. In the meantime, here is a look at the latest season predictions for BYU, Utah, and Utah State according to ESPN’s projections.

Cougar Insider predictions

Question of the week: New Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark will be addressing the media at the league’s football media days in Dallas today. Predict what he will say, what he should say and how he’ll come across.

Jay Drew: I’m looking forward to hearing new Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark speak Wednesday morning as the Big 12 football media days begin at Jerry’s World in Arlington, Texas, home of the Dallas Cowboys. I will be heading to Big D Tuesday night and will be there to bring Deseret News readers the latest from the Big 12. Baylor president Linda Livingstone is also scheduled to speak to reporters Wednesday morning.

Of course, everyone wants to know the latest on college realignment, after UCLA and USC announced a few weeks ago that they are leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten. I expect Yormark to address the elephant in the room — if the Big 12 really has tried to get four to six Pac-12 teams to join — but I seriously doubt that he will say anything definitive.

Then again, Yormark comes from the entertainment industry, so perhaps he will have some blockbuster news when the eyes of the college football world are on the Big 12. What I hope he says is that the Big 12, including the four newcomers, are bound and determined to stick together. At this point, the worst thing for BYU would be for the Pac-12 to pick off a couple Big 12 teams, rather than vice versa. I expect Yormark to come across as prepared, determined and in control. We will see.

Dick Harmon: No question Yormark is going to be the story at the Big 12 meetings. Can he do to the Big 12 what he did for NASCAR and the Brooklyn Nets? Can he sweet-talk Oklahoma State and Kansas, two of the old dogs in the league, to be loyal, true and strong?  Can he inspire league leaders to stick with solidarity in uncertain times of realignment? Can he use his huge Rolodex and begin working on a TV and streaming deal that can make the league No. 3 behind the Big Ten and SEC? What is his plan? How good is he? What’s he like?

I don’t think he will throw out a lot of answers to the media, in particular any behind-the-scenes designs he has for poaching Pac-12 schools or possibly merging the two leagues. It is too early for public pronouncements and he’ll keep that close to the vest. I do think he will prove to be intriguing as a personality. His strength is making deals. Perhaps he’ll throw out a bone to reporters, giving us a glimpse of what he is capable of doing. I think he’ll do a lot of rah-rah rhetoric right out of the gate and we’ll all gobble it up.

Cougar Tales

One of the most talented BYU women’s basketball players in years, Shaylee Gonzales, announced she will finish her career at the University of Texas. One of the primary reasons she is leaving is NIL opportunities. She was looking for a big deal and got it with the Longhorns. Here is Ryan McDonald’s story on her announcement. This week is the Utah State Amateur golf championship at Soldier Hollow in Midway. It goes on all week long with medal play Monday and Tuesday and match play the rest of the week. After the first round on Monday BYU’s Zac Jones was in the top five medalist chase. Men’s basketball Hunter Erickson announced he will play next season at Salt Lake Community College. 

From the archives

New BYU guard Jaxson Robinson looking forward to show what he can do

The latest on the BYU Cougars’ 2023 recruiting class

From the Twitterverse

Extra points

BYU lands 6-7 Hunter Webb (BYU Insider)

BYU’s depth chart features bulk (Deseret News)

View Comments

Is this the future of college tournaments? (Deseret News)

Fanalyst

Comments from Deseret News readers:

To the untrained eye, BYU has filled the rosters with no real splashy recruits. To those who follow the sport closely, these were some really quality players Pope brought in. They will finally have long, athletic wings who can both shoot the 3 and defend. This has long been BYU basketball’s Achilles’ heel.

BYU will have incredible athleticism at all positions. The only concern is they are a bit undersized.

—Befair

Jaxson: Congrats on a great choice. Great school, academically and otherwise. Fantastic opportunity for you. Take complete advantage. I pray you’ll have a great experience playing for my alma mater. Good luck in school.

From what I’ve read, I think you’ll fit in with coach Pope’s madcap pedal-to-the-metal fully court chaos. Let’s see what you and the rest of the boys can do wearing the Blue and White and bringing down the house with the roar of the ROC!

Go Cougs!

—Mowgli54

Up next

Aug. 13 | 5 p.m. | Soccer | North Carolina | Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Aug. 15 | 8 p.m. | Soccer | Cal State Fullerton | Fullerton, California

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