BYU is a school of serious interest for the Big 12, and the various religious considerations that would be necessary for the school owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have become a popular discussion topic when analyzing their chances to get picked for expansion.
By allowing so much of this process to be played out in public, the Big 12 has both educated the average fans to conference dealings and unintentionally created a popular topic for college football speculation. We should be predicting the College Football Playoff participants, but instead we're guessing which schools will make it into the Big 12.
BYU doesn't hold athletic events on Sunday. That doesn't impact college football, but it does impact the other sports the Big 12 is also considering to add to its membership. That, plus a letter from 25 LGBTQ advocacy groups urging the Big 12 not to take BYU, have been the buzzy topics, but so far there hasn't been much to shed light on the school's chances.
Iowa State's Steven Leath is one of 10 university presidents with a vote on expansion. A university meeting on Wednesday (which was streamed on Facebook Live) turned into college football news when Leath started discussing the Big 12 expansion and, specifically, BYU.
"It's a school of integrity. They play by the rules, quality program, and people that have been there had great experiences and we should consider BYU," Leath said. "I'm getting an equal number that send me their Honor Code, their (discomfort) with a number of social issues. And then there's a smaller group that says from a logistical standpoint, the fact they can't compete on Sundays ... make it unworkable."
Another revelation from Leath's Facebook Live meeting included a loose time frame of "now until Christmas" for Big 12 expansion. What was first hopes of preseason expansion news got pushed to October, and now we're told the process could last until December.
At this pace, though, it might take that long for eight of the 10 schools to agree on the two or four new members.