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BYU 'Aggressively Pursuing Full Membership' In Big 12, According To Report

According to a report from Deep Shades of Blue, the Rivals.com affiliate site for BYU, the school is "aggressively pursuing" the possibility of joining the Big 12:

DSB has also learned from sources with knowledge of the situation, that while BYU continues to flesh out its schedule as an independent, it is also aggressively pursuing full membership in the Big 12 Conference for all of its athletic programs.

BYU, a private school with a large international fanbase due to their affiliation with the Mormon church, is in a unique position in the conference realignment picture.

While they have a much larger TV foot-print than the average school, that same religious affiliation prevented the Pac-12 from seriously looking at them when the conference selected their arch-rival Utah in 2010.

They've been widely linked to the Big 12 since the conference lost Nebraska and Colorado, but the rumor mill has quieted in recent months after TCU and West Virginia were added to replace Missouri and Texas A&M.

Many have questioned whether the school wanted to join a conference or whether they were more interested in boosting their national profile as an independent, as BYU already has a national TV deal with ESPN.

However, a report from a site this connected to the university seems to indicate that the school's power brokers don't want to get left out of one of the BCS AQ conferences, especially if a plus one system is created in the next few years.

And while BYU would likely have been invited to get the conference back to 10 schools, it's unclear whether they bring in enough money to be worth coming in as the 11th school, especially since adding them would likely necessitate a 12th member.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.