BYU football: Joining a conference still an option

Published: Monday, Nov. 7 2011 7:41 p.m. MST

PROVO — Coach Bronco Mendenhall confirmed reports Monday that the Big East and BYU have had discussions about BYU joining that conference.

"There is a push, and there are conversations that are in place, for the Big East to convince, or to have BYU join that conference," he said. "I trust our athletic director (Tom Holmoe) and President (Cecil O.) Samuelson to deal with all that. I've been informed along the way, and at some point there will be a decision on what our intentions will be. I don't know how fast, nor do I think the time frame is relevant at this point. Certainly plenty of questions on our part ... but with the landscape changing, the main benefit that I could see on a short-term scale would be inclusion into the BCS system. That's up in two years, and whether the Big East is able to hold that spot, with the new teams going in, my guess would be yes. But I can't speak as to what we're going to do, other than just verify that ... we have been approached, but I wasn't involved in anything else."

According to reports, BYU is a candidate to join the Big East as a football-only member in a proposed western division of the league along with Boise State and Air Force.

Mendenhall's comments echoed what Holmoe said a few weeks ago when he addressed the topic of conference realignment in regard to the Big 12.

"We have had conversations throughout the country with various entities, conferences and people," Holmoe told KSL Radio on Oct. 15. "The people we are speaking with are well aware of what we are doing. BYU athletics is very important to our university and our administration is very supportive. We are going to do what is best for BYU. We are not going to take some strange step away from what we have been doing for decades which is trying to be the very best we can at what we do."

HERE COME THE VANDALS: BYU's opponent this week, Idaho, overcame a 20-0 deficit to knock off San Jose State, 32-29, on the road last weekend.

The Vandals outscored the Spartans, 22-7, in the final quarter. With the win, Idaho snapped a six-game losing streak.

BYU AND BYES: The Cougars have a 6-1 record under Mendenhall after a bye week. The last three years, BYU has outscored its opponents, 141-21, coming off a bye. Over the past decade, the Cougars are 10-2 after a bye.

email: jeffc@desnews.com

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