“We would love to be in the Big 12,” Mendenhall said. “I would love to be a member of that conference. I think that would make a lot of sense. In fact, if that was your headline, that would be great.”
The BYU coach also told the Austin American-Statesman, “Our attendance is high enough. And our winning percentage is high enough." The Cougars are 26-13 (66.7 percent) since they became an FBS Independent in 2011. While in the Mountain West Conference, BYU won at about the same rate by compiling a 96-54 record (64 percent).
BYU only has the 97th ranked strength of schedule for this season, but the 2015 schedule is beefed up considerably with notable games on the road at Nebraska, UCLA, Michigan, and Utah State as well as tough home matchups against Boise State, East Carolina, Cincinnati, and Fresno State. The home-and-home series against UCLA for the 2015 and 2016 seasons was recently scheduled.
Joining the Big 12 Conference would add stability to the program, but without any deals in the making, it would be best to continue selling the independence of BYU until a concrete proposal comes up. Volatile scheduling will always be a challenge as long as the Cougars are not a member of a conference.
“We have the entire Salt Lake City and Utah market as well as a worldwide following because of the church," Mendenhall added. "There’d be a ton to offer the Big 12, because it’s a money-generated world right now. You’re talking about an amazing kind of brand."
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