Dick Harmon: BYU football news seems to change by the hour

Published: Friday, Aug. 20 2010 12:00 a.m. MDT

It's interesting to see BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe at football practice Thursday and wonder who he and his boss, President Cecil O. Samuelson, talked to on the phone major parts of the day.

BYU has been breaking news and top headlines the past 48 hours. The Cougars have fired up the bloggers, tweeters and talking heads. They've been the object of much conjecture and commentary. They've been lauded, praised, second-guessed, criticized, blamed and flamed.

And neither Holmoe nor Samuel?son has said a word about going independent or staying in the MWC.

Plenty, however, has been said for them.

So, what's going on? Perhaps even they don't know for sure because things seem to change every half day this week.

It doesn't take much imagination to believe that even more fun stuff will be coming down the line in the next few days or weeks.

What if newly invited Fresno State and Nevada back out of invitations to the MWC? What if BYU stays, will the MWC give the Cougars some leeway with broadcasts even after the commissioner told the media that wasn't going to happen? What if BYU goes independent in football? What will BYU's 19 non-football sports do and with whom will they do it with?

What if this speculation of creation of a non-AQ super conference is true? That somebody like ESPN creates a best of the best from among the MWC and the WAC, forming a league that includes BYU, TCU, Boise State, Air Force, Nevada, Fresno State, SDSU and UNLV? In that scenerio, nobody has to pay an exit fee. Well, FSU and Nevada still owe the WAC $10 million.

What reward does Utah State deserve for being a stand-up school with the WAC and covering BYU's back as it explored options as a non-football league member the past month?

Yes, much has happened since Samuelson, in a Tuesday teleconference with the other MWC presidents, expressed his concern about the league's TV contract and lack of flexibility and exposure.

Since that little chat, we've seen a kind of fratricide: Two conferences in the region once aligned against the unfair BCS going at one another with razor blades.

And BYU watches with no comment.

And what does TCU coach Gary Patterson know?

Patterson, always a great quote, told reporters this week they don't know what he knows. And what would that be?

"Let's see what happens in the next two weeks before you make any judgments and see what happens on the national landscape, things I know that maybe you don't know," Patterson said.

Perhaps Congress will dismantle the BCS.

Maybe ESPN will help BYU get a deal like Notre Dame with the BCS.

The Big 12 could expand. The Pac-12 could expand some more.

SMU or Houston could be added to the MWC and there could be a championship game.

Perhaps Comcast will surprise everyone and redo its MWC contract to help out BYU with its own network. Or China may just write off the U.S. debt.

Maybe all this has cost silent BYU some respect and inflamed feelings against it that have always been under the surface.

Perhaps BYU has now forged a strong bond with the Worldwide Leader in Sports, ESPN, and the fruits of this relationship will be announced soon.


And maybe not.

"In this day and age, with conference expansion, teams leaving, everything is on the table," TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte said.

"Everything is in play. Every rumor is in play."

I like that.

Can't wait.

e-mail: dharmon@desnews.com

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