On July 1, schools like Texas and Oklahoma officially moved to their new athletic conference, prompting The Athletic to analyze which college football programs have benefitted most from the latest phase of conference realignment.

The Athletic’s Stewart Mandel gave the 67 power-conference schools a score from -5 to +5 based on how recent shifts have affected their football team’s ability to win.

“Scoring a 0 means the school is neither better nor worse off. A score from 1 to 5 ranges from mildly better to far better, and -1 to -5 ranges from mildly worse to … uh oh,” Mandel wrote.

Along with assigning a score, Mandel offered a few comments on every program included in the list.

For example, he justified giving Oklahoma a -3 by saying that its irrational to expect the Sooners to perform as well on the field in the SEC as they did in the Big 12.

“From 1938-2021, the Sooners claimed a Big 8/Big 12 championship in 47 of those 83 seasons. No major program in the country has more league titles. Realistically, OU will not come close to enjoying that level of dominance in the SEC,” Mandel wrote.

Here’s what The Athletic said about BYU, which is entering its second year in the Big 12, and Utah, which will officially join BYU in the Big 12 in August.

Here’s where Utah and BYU landed in the Big 12 preseason media poll

BYU in the Big 12

BYU football may not have done well in this week’s Big 12 preseason media poll — the Cougars were picked to finish 13th, as the Deseret News previously reported — but they came out smelling like roses on The Athletic’s list.

Mandel gave the team a +5, arguing that the sky’s the limit now for BYU football.

“The Cougars have finally climbed the mountaintop after spending their entire history either in a non-power conference or as an independent. They now have direct access to the (College Football Playoff), and won’t finish ranked 16th with just one loss, as happened in 2020,” he wrote.

BYU was one of only two schools to get a +5 in The Athletic’s analysis. The other was SMU.

Utah in the Big 12

Utah football is in the opposite situation as BYU: The team was picked to finish first in the preseason poll, but Mandel thinks the Utes will be worse off in the long run after their move to the Big 12.

“Utah enters its new league as strong as any of its programs, but man, did the Utes have a good thing going in the Pac-12. Not only did they reach four league title games in five years, but they could lord their Power 5 membership over rival BYU. No more,” Mandel wrote.

He gave Utah football a -1. The worst score in the Big 12 — for Arizona State — was a -3.

Schools in Big 12 conference

As of Aug. 1, there will be 16 schools in the Big 12, including BYU and Utah.

Here’s the full list of Big 12 schools:


Arizona State






Iowa State


Kansas State

Oklahoma State



Texas Tech



West Virginia

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