Everybody and their brother is getting involved when it comes to politicking for Big 12 expansion. Houston has the Governor of Texas tweeting his support. Cincinnati has the Governor of Ohio reaching out. Memphis has...uh, Justin Timberlake. The list goes on.
BYU hasn’t had anybody with that level of star power reach out yet, but that may have changed, as BYU’s most powerful alum is reportedly now making phone calls on behalf of the Cougars.
No, not Ken Jennings. I’m talking about Mitt Romney.
According to Kirk Bohls at the Austin American-Statesman, the former presidential candidate is lending a hand and hitting the phones. Per his latest column:
Bob Bowlsby remains very mum about the process that could lead to Big 12 expansion, but one Big 12 school official said 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has called power brokers, including Oklahoma State’s T. Boone Pickens, lobbying for support for BYU to join the conference. Romney is a BYU grad.
Laugh if you want to, but that seems smart to us. Romney has a previous relationship wth Pickens, and if there is anybody who has the credibility to advocate for BYU’s interests among this group, it might be him. After all, every Big 12 state except for Iowa voted for the guy, and maybe that matters for something, even the more progressive halls of university administration.
If everybody else is calling in their political big guns or famous alumni, why can’t the Cougars?
Will it be enough? Who knows. But it probably can’t hurt.