With Texas A&M notifying the Big 12 on Wednesday of its desire to join another league, the focus turned to Provo, Utah, home of Brigham Young.
Jay Drew of the Salt Lake Tribune reported late Wednesday that BYU officials have had discussions with Big 12 officials within the past week about joining the league. The talks have included ESPN and there has been input from Notre Dame representatives. BYU, which left the Mountain West to become a football independent, has an eight-year deal with ESPN and a six-game series scheduled with the Fighting Irish.
Some of the discussions, according to the report, involve BYU joining the Big 12 for football only. The rest of the school's teams would compete in the West Coast Conference, an arrangement that was agreed to when the Cougars left the Mountain West. Latter-day Saints officials are said to be hesitant about breaking their new relationship with the WCC.
Cougar fans were also tracking a private jet on Wednesday that left from an airfield near Big 12 headquarters north of Dallas. The aircraft landed in Provo, but a Big 12 spokesperson told the Tribune that he was "not aware" of any Big 12 officials on the private jet.
As for Texas A&M, its move to the Southeastern Conference is expected to be made official next week. The Aggies are hoping to play football in the SEC next season.
The Twitterverse was ablaze Wednesday with rumors of the Pacific 12 making another run at what's left of value in the Big 12. That would include Oklahoma and Texas and to a lesser degree, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State.
Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Arkansas also have been mentioned as Big 12 targets, but a move by any of those teams is considered a longshot.
One thing is clear. The future of the Big 12 is hanging by a thread. Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman wrote that if one more team decides to depart, the league is finished. Bohls writes:
"Should Oklahoma act upon its earnest desires and seek an invitation to join the Pacific 12 Conference — something I'm fully expecting to happen within days, if not hours — that decision could well be the killing blow to the Big 12 while also providing Texas the political cover to follow suit and ask for admission as well."
But once again, the Longhorn Network could come into play. When (then) Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott make a play last year to bring Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech to the Left Coast, one of the sticking points was the Longhorn Network. Texas insisted on going forward with the network while Scott was interested in creating a Pac-16 network to benefit all members of the new league.