Blue roundup: BYU to Big East attracting more attention

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 8 2011 9:36 a.m. MST

In this file photo taken Sept. 23, 2011, Brigham Young Cougars head coach Bronco Mendenhall waves to the crowd after the UCF game in Provo. BYU won 24-17.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News archives

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Coach Bronco Mendenhall's acknowledgment and confirmation Monday that there have been conversations between BYU and the Big East has attracted plenty of attention around the country.

The Star-Ledger in New Jersey and the Orlando Sentinel are among the East Coast newspapers that are reporting that BYU is the Big East's next expansion target.

"BYU would help the Big East create a strong Western division, a requirement of potential new member Boise State, which was authorized last week to accept a Big East invitation by the Idaho state board of education. The Broncos are waiting to see if the league can form that Western football division before accepting an invitation as a football-only member," writes Tom Luicci of the Star-Ledger. "Air Force, SMU, Houston, Central Florida and Navy are also expected to be asked to join the Big East, with the academies being added for football only. The league's stated goal is to have two six-team divisions once Pittsburgh, Syracuse and West Virginia leave following the 2013 season, after all three sit out 27 months as part of the Big East's exit penalty."

Boise State coach Chris Petersen says BYU would be a good partner with the Broncos in the Big East, according to the Idaho Statesman.

Meanwhile, the Tulsa World is publishing numerous emails at the University of Oklahoma that deal with conference realignment. One email is from a BYU alum, and OU professor, telling school president David Boren that the Cougars should not be a member of the Big 12.

Another email is from a San Diego State official, who writes Boren to tell him that the Big 12 should consider SDSU rather than BYU as a potential member of that league.

"Is there anything that [SDSU A.D.] Jim [Sterk] or I can be doing to share the message about all San Diego State's advantages?" writes Jenny Bramer, SDSU Associate Athletic Director. "Or for that matter sharing all the disadvantages of being in the conference with BYU!"

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