There will be a lot of talk about BYU playing a Big 12 team and some will coin this as an audition game as the Cougars take on West Virginia.
BYU’s Week 4 opponent takes them to a new conference for the first time all year after playing a trio of Pac-12 schools and now they move onto the Big 12, which just maybe their future conference.
With the Cougars taking on a Big 12 team in West Virginia, there is definitely going to be elevated chatter of BYU possibly joining the league and thus add a bigger spotlight for this contest in Washington, D.C.
“I certainly think it does for BYU,” West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen said during the Big 12 coaches teleconference on Monday. “They have been pretty adamant about wanting into the league. This game was scheduled, probably, 10 years ago. So this was scheduled a long time before West Virginia and the Big 12 were even a thought.”
The game was actually scheduled in 2010 before the Mountaineers were in the Big 12, nonetheless this game will be featured a bit more just like it was when Houston took on Oklahoma in the first week of the college football season.
“No secret that they’re trying to get into the Big 12, which is probably going to give them a little extra motivation,” Holgorsen said on Tuesday.
While Holgorsen wants to add teams to the conference he knows that his opinion and the rest of the coaches in the Big 12 have zero say about anything related to expansion.
“They don’t listen to us, are you kidding me?” he said. “Commissioner [Bob] Bowlsby, he’s told all the coaches if you want to voice your opinion, voice your opinion, but we’re not going to listen to you anyway. The ADs influence the presidents, the presidents influence the commissioner, and the TV people probably have something to do with it as well.”
On the other side at BYU, head coach Kalani Sitake is treating this as any other game and does not care that it is against a Big 12 team.
“That doesn’t add anything [to the game],” Sitake said Monday during his weekly chat with the media. “I am not worried about anything other than West Virginia, a well-coached team. They got some momentum. They are coming off a bye. We are focused on the opponent, not worried about all the politics and everything behind it. That has not even entered our minds. Right now we are focused more on ourselves, trying to get ready and making sure that we play assignment sound football so we can make some improvement on the offensive and defensive and special teams phases. That has no bearing on what we are doing, on our preparation right now.”
There will be some talk about BYU playing a Big 12 school and some will coin it as an audition game, but that will come from outside sources but do not expect any of that talk to come from the Cougars side.