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Dykes concludes that the Big 12 is stronger than ever

Sonny Dykes remembers when Houston joined the Southwest Conference in 1976 and became one of the league’s most innovative programs.



in San Antonio Sonny Dykes, the head football coach at TCU, recalls the tales of the late 1970s Southwest Conference expansion that included the University of Houston.

The son of late former Texas Tech coach Spike Dykes remarked, “I don’t think anybody thought much of Houston when they were joined to the Southwest Conference in 1976, and they won the Southwest Conference championship in their first year in the league. The divide between the haves and the have-nots was in some ways even wider back then, and football was then considerably tougher to break into.

Dykes is getting ready for his debut season in Fort Worth after spending four years at SMU. He will be reunited with his former American Athletic Conference foes, including the University of Central Florida, Cincinnati, and Houston, in a year. Beginning in 2023, all three AAC schools will join BYU in the Big 12.

Dykes claimed that the Big 12, which would eventually lose Texas and Oklahoma to the Southeastern Conference, will immediately benefit from the addition of the three AAC teams.


During a Sunday appearance at the Texas High School Coaches Association convention, Dykes said, “Sometimes I think we all — and I’m as guilty as anyone — have impressions about brands.

“Because it’s Dove, the soap must be superior to what Walmart sells. Doves can be seen on the television, and there are advertisements. The same, in my opinion, applies to football. School A is always believed to be superior to School B because it is a larger institution with more alumni, a larger stadium, and successful football teams in the 1950s. That simply isn’t how I believe it operates.

Under Dana Holgorsen’s leadership, UH won 12 games last season. This season, the team is anticipated to contend for a New Year’s Six bowl berth. Cincinnati is off to a strong recruiting start this summer and became the first club outside of the Power Five to make it into the four-team College Football Playoff. BYU has a strong national brand and just completed a 10-win season. In the previous five years, UCF has achieved 10-win seasons three times and gone to the New Year’s Six.

“If you look at those teams entering the Big 12, some of those teams are already competing in the Big 12,” You didn’t want to play those four teams, I can assure you of that,” Dykes said.


Dykes used Cincinnati’s 24-13 victory over Notre Dame as an example. UH has recently recorded significant wins over famous Power Five institutions including Florida State, Oklahoma, Louisville, and Auburn.

According to Dykes at Big 12 media days, “I think — and it’s not an indictment on any teams leaving the league — but if you go back and look at last year’s teams (UH, Cincinnati, and BYU), and then you throw Central Florida in there, you can make the argument that those teams are as good as the teams that are leaving.” “And without a doubt, they were better with one of those teams, Cincinnati” (last year than Texas and Oklahoma). You see, that’s the fact, and that’s how things stand. Football success is determined by who wins and who loses.

Just two seasons after the team went 0-11 under Dana Dimel, Baylor coach Dave Aranda accepted his first full-time coaching position at UH.

Aranda, who worked for Art Briles as the Cougars’ linebackers coach, admitted that recruiting was difficult.


Aranda has witnessed the transformation of the UH football program over the past nearly two decades.

Aranda stated, “I see the stadium now, and I see the recruiting reach they have now. You can tell how aggressive they have become.

Jimbo Fisher, the coach at Texas A&M, noted that joining a Power Five conference comes with rewards.

“It enables Houston to pursue the national championship. They are much different than they were before, Fisher said. In terms of money, the (TV) network and any agreements they have benefit the school, which benefits football, which is good.


According to Dykes, college football in the state of Texas has survived and even grown in certain areas, much like it did when the SWC was abolished in the past.

Everyone believed that the Southwest Conference’s dissolution would spell the end of college football in this area, but Dykes noted that has not been the case. We will deal with the adjustments, even if they will occasionally be uncomfortable. Although it’s not perfect in some respects, it will eventually lead to new rivalries and provide a chance for something new to happen.

@joseph duarte on Twitter