PROVO, Utah – BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe has been busy for the past nine months. There’s no shortage of tasks on his agenda since receiving a coveted Big 12 Conference invite.
The same goes for the Big 12. One of the top tasks in front of the Big 12 is establishing schedules and the structure of Big 12 football. Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said earlier this year that October is a potential target date for the 2023 football schedule. So time is ticking.
Yesterday, at BYU football media day, Holmoe said the Big 12 would continue with nine conference games. That has long been the expectation, but divisions or no divisions are still up for debate.
BYU joins the Big 12 on July 1, 2023
Along with BYU, Cincinnati, Houston, and UCF will join the power conference on July 1, 2023. Those additions will bring the total membership to 14 universities.
Early in the process, the idea of the Big 12 returning to divisions –something they had from 1996-2010 – appeared to be a slam dunk. But last month, the NCAA passed legislation that drops the requirement of conferences having divisions to hold a conference championship game. (Big 12 has received a waiver since 2017 for its title game.) That clears the path for the Big 12 to continue operating without divisions if they wish to do so.
Tom Holmoe says no to Big 12 football divisions
With divisions no longer required, does the Big 12 stick with a no-division model in football?
Holmoe was on SicEm365 Radio in Waco, Texas, to discuss that topic.
“For someone that’s not been in a conference for a number of years but has watched and seen what the Big 12 and the various conferences have done with their divisions – or not with the Big 12 -, I think it’s the best thing [to not have divisions], ”Holmoe said to SicEm365 Radio. “And I look now and see that a number of the other conferences are going without divisions. I feel it’s in the personal best interest of the Big 12 to not have divisions. ”
The tricky part in all of this is where do things stand with Texas and Oklahoma. Administrators and athletic directors during Big 12 spring meetings appeared to be operating under the thought the Horns and Sooners will remain in the Big 12 through June 30, 2025.
Holmoe continued, “As we do this, we may learn something from not having divisions that would change in the future. But I think, going forward, especially, since we’re going to have Oklahoma and Texas for the near future, and then you’re going to change the number of teams. Would that change the divisions? I think it’s a lot easier and I think it will be better, in the long run, to not have divisions. ”
Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.