BYU fans are going to enter their first football season as a member of the Big 12 very cautiously, which they should.

BYU is coming off a lackluster year where they only won seven games in the regular season and they've lost their top offensive players to the draft and some others to the transfer portal.

But here's why BYU will achieve a winning conference record in the BIG 12 faster than Utah did when they entered the PAC 12 a decade ago.

PAC 12 in 2011 was better than it is now

Think of the coaches in 2011 in the PAC.

UCLA Bruins v California Golden Bears
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Jeff Tedford at Cal. When's the last time Cal had a competent head coach? Even Sonny Dykes couldn't get the Bears to bowl games.

Oregon v California
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Chip Kelly at Oregon

Washington State v Oregon State
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Mike Riley at Oregon State

Washington State v Stanford
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David Shaw at Stanford

Syracuse v USC
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Lane Kiffin at USC

Oregon State v Arizona State
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Dennis Erickson at ASU.

That's a pretty competitive group. Oregon was on the main stage during this era and competing for national championships. USC was on probation but still ok under Kiffin even though he was a turd. Mike Riley was an institution in Corvalis...

Plus, you had star power in the conference in 2011 with guys like Andrew Luck at Stanford, Matt Barkley at USC, Marcus Mariota at Oregon and position players like Keenan Allen at Cal, LaMichael James at Oregon and Robert Woods at USC.

It took Utah four years to get a winning record within conference play. I don't think it's going to take BYU that long.

Where Does Kalani Fit in the BIG 12?

Here's the top eight coaches in the BIG 12 right now:

  • Sonny Dykes - TCU
  • Mike Gundy - OK St
  • Steve Sarkisian - Texas
  • Gus Malzahn - UCF
  • Dana Holgerson - Houston
  • Matt Campbell - Iowa State
  • Dave Aranda - Baylor
  • Brent Venables - Oklahoma

Where do you have Kalani in that list? Holgorsen is burnt out. Venables had a lackluster first year as a head coach (and Oklahoma is gone after this year), Gus Malzahn had two good years a long time ago, Gundy has won seven games four out of his last five seasons, and Sarkisian has never been able to live up to expectations.


BYU fans are right to be cautious heading into this first year, but they are going to fit in great in the Big 12 and will have a winning record within the conference by year three.

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