Could independent BYU start its own bowl?

Published: Tuesday, April 26 2011 3:51 p.m. MDT

Lavell Edwards Stadium, September 19, 2009.

Kenny Crookston

Enlarge photo»

The BYU football program, which enters its first season as an independent this fall, is examining its postseason options. One of them, according to the San Jose Mercury News' Jon Wilner, is starting its own bowl game.

"As an independent starting this fall, the Cougars are a postseason free agent — there is no mechanism on the books to limit their future partnerships," Wilner writes. "Notre Dame is affiliated with the Big East bowls when it’s not BCS-eligible. Army and Navy have their deals with existing games. BYU is close to announcing plans for 2011 and is locked into the Kraft Fight Hunger and Poinsettia bowls in 2012-13. But beyond that, the Cougars can do as they please. The options include starting a 'BYU Bowl' (or 'Cougar Classic') with ESPN … or possibly joining up with a bowl waiting for certification. That would be the Christmas Bowl, which is based in Southern California, aligned with the Children’s Miracle Network and searching for future partners."

If BYU were to help create a new bowl, it could cause some problems for college football. Wilner explains that with 35 bowl games, there were barely enough teams eligible for the postseason last year.

“There is no structure on the books to deal with a ’sovereign’ university like BYU,” an NCAA source told Wilner.

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