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Blue roundup: Greg Wrubell examines Cougars' independent status

Published: Monday, April 30 2012 10:05 a.m. MDT

In light of last week's announcement that college football is moving toward a four-team playoff and the elimination of "automatic qualifying" conferences, the Voice of the Cougars, Greg Wrubell, weighs in on BYU's current situation in a lengthy post on KSL.com's "Cougar Tracks."

"BYU has chosen independence over the Mountain West Conference, and has chosen independence over the Big East. BYU has not chosen independence over the Big 12. BYU has continually surveyed the landscape and decided that standing alone remains the best thing for the football program. It is the same thing Notre Dame has done for decades, and that school continues to stand alone," Wrubell writes.

"Notre Dame, you say? How can you compare BYU's decision-making to that of Notre Dame? Yes, Notre Dame is a brand unto itself in college athletics, but beyond the obvious difference in perceived athletics stature, the two schools share a somewhat similar profile, and are subject to many of the same current market pressures.

"Both institutions are religiously-affiliated, of course, although Notre Dame places no restrictions on Sunday play. Both schools have relatively high academic standards, and "honor codes" that are well-publicized (BYU's governs a wide array of student conduct; Notre Dame's is academically based). Both BYU and Notre Dame have football programs that have secured national TV contracts; BYU with ESPN and Notre Dame with NBC.

"As college football independents, both have to fill a 12-game schedule on their own. Notre Dame's schedule is annually one of the more difficult, as historical rivals and others line up for the prestige points that playing the Fighting Irish afford. BYU's independent schedules, while improving, were assembled on the fly for the first couple of seasons. The Cougars will play regional games, but also seek to travel the country and play programs with similar objectives and profiles, and also 'big names' that excite fans and TV audiences."

Read a recap of Jimmer Fredette's rookie season with the Sacramento Kings.

And, finally, BYU defensive lineman Jordan Richardson found an usual way to propose to his girlfriend — watch the video.

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