4 min read

Enjoy the week, BYU fans. We've earned it.

Enjoy the week, BYU fans. We've earned it.

Colorado is joining the Big 12. The PAC-12 will now feature nine teams in their conference and the chaos is just getting started. Does Arizona leave next? Does Oregon have something up their sleeve? Is the Big Ten expanding now too? Is Utah going to move with Colorado and save the incredible Rocky Mountain Rumble rivalry game? Does Stanford even know this is happening or are they still caught up in their own Presidential fraud problems?

Chaos is reigning supreme in PAC-12 Land. And my message to BYU fans everywhere? ENJOY. EVERY. SECOND. OF. IT.

I'm not one for trolling and I generally get annoyed by rivalry banter or back-and-forth on social media. I'm not advocating for that (and I mostly hate it), but I'm not advocating against it either right now. If that's what you enjoy, go enjoy it.

If you're more about quietly playing out scenarios in your head where Utah, Washington State, and Oregon State join forces with the Mountain West Conference in a few months? Enjoy that too.

If you want to add "Proud fan of a Power 4 Conference School" to your Twitter bios, great. I think you should do that.

You should enjoy this day. And this week. And this month. And however long the realignment chaos cloud looms over the PAC-12 Conference. You should be unapologetic in how much you enjoy it.

Why? Because for more than a decade, we've listened to every fan, every journalist, every talking  head, and every subtle comment from opposing conferences about how BYU was already dead. People were tripping over themselves trying to tell BYU how they should proceed with the future.

Some called for the program to be shut down (not just fans, either... like actual humans believed BYU's athletic program was on its way out... and believed to the point that they put it in writing for the world to consume.)

Those takes were asinine, and yet, we endured them all.

How about this howitzer of a headline from back in 2018?

"BYU needs to suck it up, go back to the Mountain West and breathe life into its football program."

Lest you think it was just a headline meant to grab your attention, the content of the article doubled-down.

"Taking that route might require the swallowing of some pride.

But it might also breathe some life back into a football program that is suffocating in an environment where it, temporarily at least, and maybe not so temporarily, is unprepared to capitalize on plans of ambition laid for it eight years ago, back when the coach leading the effort spoke in highfalutin absolutes, without a hint of a single chortle, about conquering all of college football.

Things have changed.

Independence, and all its goals of glory, might have seemed a bridge too far back then. Now, it, and they, seem a blown bridge too far, with little left lingering but the smoke of delusion."

We endured. It was stupid. It was belittling. It was difficult. And yet, we endured. Some of us fell along the way and the disease infected some of our own..

Who could possibly forget the diatribes from Jason Buck, complete with his plans to restore the glory days of BYU football.

“Just watch the rise of Utah State’s program in a conference and our decline in independence, and now we’re battling for our lives, for relevance, against Utah State,” says the former Outland Trophy winner.

Buck never shied away from that take, something he should be commended for. The take never improved or made any more sense, but he consistently stuck to his guns. All the way back in 2016, the Mountain West was the ticket to the expansion of LaVell Edwards Stadium.

“Jason Buck says right now, let’s fill the stadium,” he says, quoting, himself. “Expand it to 80,000 and sell out — and go back to the Mountain West and go to the Fiesta Bowl, and they can’t ignore you any more; the clamor is too high.”

Hard to argue with the logic, really. BYU had won dozens of conference championships before, and a National Championship, and kept the stadium at 65,000. But going to the Mountain West Conference in 2016 would have been the key to unlocking an even higher level of BYU fandom.

Fortunately, BYU gave Jason Buck's advice as much credence as they did Uncle Buck's.

San Diego State was also vocal with their thoughts of BYU's indepdent status. Forutnately, former head coach Rocky Long had devised a very simple plan to get BYU back into the Mountain West.

“I have nothing against BYU and I think they’d be a strong addition to our league,” Long says. “And the way to get them back is to not schedule them. Make them hunt and peck to find a schedule. I mean, half their schedule is Mountain West teams already.”

He might have been right about that. If anyone knew anything about finding ways to sheepishly crawl back into the loving arms of the Mountain West, it's the San Diego State Aztecs.

These kinds of things were commonplace for BYU fans. The number of tweets about going back to the Mountain West are innumerable. The criticisms of independence - citing things like BYU's ego and pride, or facetiously mocking 'Notre Dame of the West' - were also a constant barrage coming after BYU fans.

We endured it all. And now, the Big 12 is becoming the PAC-12 of the West.

It hasn't been fun being on the outside for the last decade. It hasn't been fun being the butt-end of every joke. But, now that the turns have tabled, BYU fans have every right to enjoy the chaos.

There are lots of things to enjoy about being in this seat, but the thing that I'm going to enjoy the most? Football season starts in less than a week. Do you know what BYU gets to talk about while the rest of the country is worried about their conference futures? BYU gets to talk about football.

And football is great.