<em>“Just what makes that little ol’ ant,</em>
<em>Think he’ll move that rubber tree plant.</em>
<em>Anyone knows an ant, can’t, move a rubber tree plant.”</em>
—from the song “High Hopes”.
BYU just is not as important as they think they are. That’s it. Column over. Thank you for reading. I hope you come back next week for my next offering.
OK. I guess I can go on for a little bit.
No school, or alumni, whines more about purportedly blatant conspiracies regarding biased refereeing than BYU. No school has a disturbingly higher inflated false sense of self than BYU. BYU’s zealous followers are the Fans of La Mancha—a fascinating group of Don Quixote-esque defenders of the faith attacking enemies, nearly all imaginary, whose sole purpose is to eradicate BYU’s unmarred goodliness from existence.
Why? Jealousy of course. Everyone in America envies BYU’s magnificence. Untrue? Not if you ask a Zoob. They are the bee’s knees. Men want to be BYU. Women take education as a major hoping to home-school the children they will birth from men who are fortunate enough to attend BYU.
This bizarre belief that every single college football fan in America plans weddings, baptisms and birthday parties around BYU’s football schedule is laughable on its own. When you add the obsessive hope of Zoob Nation that they may be invited to enter the Big XII Conference, and what you have is countless hours of social networking schadenfreude.
In the 1990’s, many major college football programs started jumping from one conference to another. This caused many prominent independent programs to seek out conferences so as to not have a money shortage and major problems with scheduling.
The Western Athletic Conference, in which BYU was the most notable member, got in on the action during this time. The WAC rose its membership to 16 teams. This did not last long. BYU and the University of Utah, which had become a football and basketball powerhouse, soon fled this buffet of mediocrity and formed the Mountain West Conference.
Not long after this transpired, Utah was invited to join the Pac-10 (now Pac-12) Conference. BYU, unable to get the Pac-10 to comprehend its excellence, was left out. BYU then left the Mountain West, deciding to play football as an independent and all other sports in the West Coast Conference…which is made up of private religious schools, nearly all Catholic.
BYU thought they could pull off independence because Notre Dame does it without much difficulty. One major problem: BYU isn’t Notre Dame! BYU pretends to be on par with Notre Dame. This is pretentious thinking. Notre Dame IS college football. Notre Dame has more national championships in reality than BYU believes they have won in Fantasyland, a place where the refs are paid off to stick it to BYU.
Notre Dame has their home games shown on NBC, a major network which accommodates the Irish by giving them the 3:30 PM slot on Saturdays. BYU likes to call their agreement with ESPN a “partnership”. Ummm, no. ESPN owns BYU so as to put them on Thursday and Friday night games. BYU is filler. To be fair, BYU plays a more reliable Saturday schedule in 2016. But big time programs never play Friday night games at 10 PM, eastern time. BYU has done that with regularity the last few years. That is what you do when ESPN tells you what to do.
And that is the problem. BYU talks like they are an elite program. They act as if the Big XII is sitting outside their door with a garland of roses, wooing them with ditties of passionate longing. The Big XII could have picked up BYU years ago. They did not. When the Big XII announced they were considering expanding a few weeks back, they could have stated unequivocally that BYU was a lock for admittance. No such edict came.
BYU was told to prepare a resume, put on its sexiest dress and heels and get in line with the rest of the wannabe chorus girls happy for an audition.
And what about that resume. Let us look at it in bullet points:
<ul><li>43-22 record in its five years of independence, including just one 10 win season.</li><li>Only one national championship, which was won in 1984, and with much controversy.</li><li>Television ratings for games against weaker opponents is abysmal. They don’t carry viewers outside of games against more quality teams.</li><li>They will not play sports on Sunday, which the Big XII does frequently in many sports.</li><li>They have only played on New Year’s Day once. That was 1997. I know that because I agreed to let 8 Mormon missionaries serving in Philadelphia watch the game at my house.</li><li>A recent reputation for playing dirty.</li><li>A longstanding reputation of not “playing well with others”.</li><li>In an era of tolerance towards the LGBT community, BYU’s stance against “gay rights” has been called out frequently. And a group representing the LGBT community recently asked the BIG XII to give BYU a rejection letter for this stance.</li></ul>
On that last matter, BYU apologists have used the word persecuted. That is a loose and irresponsible use of the word. Criticism is not persecution. Calling out facts is not persecution.
Do you know what is persecution? Having local law enforcement officials give the names of female BYU students who claim they were raped to the university to see if they committed any violations of BYU’s honor code. That level of insensitivity and intimidation is abhorrent to the senses. That alone should disqualify BYU from membership to any conference.
And that is my last argument. BYU fans suggest that current Big XII member Baylor University, which is a religious school with a strong moral code that is currently under investigation for covering up multiple sexual assaults lowers the bar for admittance. Essentially, the Zoobs argue that because Baylor is under a cloud of suspicion that BYU should not be ruled out of consideration. BYU is making a moral equivalency argument based on its lack of morals being comparable to Baylor! Stay hot, Provo.
BYU fans are delusional. They do not have a national fanbase, as half the LDS Church’s members live outside the U.S., and many that do live here are not necessarily BYU fans. The BYU fans that do travel to games do not spend money. BYU’s record is not so great as to demand attention. BYU is a good program with a ton of red flags that make it a risky commitment.
BYU is not elite. The harsh, irrefutable fact that BYU begs for acceptance that has, so far, not come proves that point.