Comments about ‘BYU football: Rumors fly that that Cougars are going independent’

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Sources say that all sports except football will compete in the WAC

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 18 2010 2:00 a.m. MDT

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Staying in the MWC gets BYU Boise State and TCU every year but it also gets them New Mexico, UNLV, CSU, San Diego State, Wyoming along with a non-conference game with Utah State almost every year and that is the problem. Being Independent allows them to upgrade their schedule overall and to avoid having to share broadcast revenue with five or six teams that nobody wants to watch anyway. I don't think its a stretch to say that BYU could replace the five before mentioned teams with better games. The upper half of the schedule could remain the same caliber as it is now - Utah, Washington, Florida State, Nevada and add teams such as either Boise or TCU once in a while. Last year New Mexico was rated 117th, CSU 105th, SDSU 99th, UNLV 91st, Wyoming 72nd - just throw five games in there like Navy, East Carolina, Houston, Fresno State, and Arizona and you have a substantially better schedule already. Utah, Washington, Florida State, Boise or TCU, Nevada, Air Force, Navy, Arizona, Fresno, Utah State,Houston, East Carolina - that's a reasonable expectation, a better schedule, better TV exposure, higher BCS ranking.


I think this is a VERY bad idea that could lead to the “nuclear Option” for BYU which is to dismantle the athletic program in Provo the way it was up in Rexburg a decade ago. These have been the options for the BYU athletic program with respects to alignment over the years:
A: Join the Big-12 or PAC-10 Conference to get better TV revenue and BCS AQ.
B: Strengthen the MWC to BCS AQ. With Utah now gone that is off the table. Adding Boise State merely perpetuates the status-quo as for league strength and perception.
C: Go Independent in football or try and broker a deal to remain in the MWC for other sports including men’s basketball.
D: Do as was done up in Rexburg when Rick’s College became BYU-Idaho and just implode intercollegiate athletics in its entirety.
If this is just “saber rattling” by BYU then this is understandable. But it isn’t going to be easy getting football OOC contracts with all the major BCS leagues going to 9 and possibly 10 game schedules in the next 2-3 years, especially into October and November.

Jonathan Eddy

No offense to any other schools, but one thing is certain. BYU will always be more of a leader rather than a follower. Utah made the right decision to go to the Pac 12. The Utah decision gave BYU the chance to gracefully break away to follow their own path. If it happens, BYU would be right to go independent. Utah, indeed is a better fit for the Pac 12. BYU is a better fit as an independent.


Though the money and exit from the current tv/bowl situation in the MWC is a bonus from this move, that is not the reason BYU will make the move to independence. Wether you agree with the mission of the school or not, it is one thing and one thing only. BYU has athletics not to generate money, but to promote the school, and the Church that runs it. If you re-read all the talk about independence the administration of BYU have made, there isn't a mention of Money. They want visibility for the Mormon Church, thats it. They don't have the #1 broadcasting system for sports, they have it to get their brand out their, and that would be the reason for the jump to Independence, not to get into a BCS bowl.

I think they do it regardless of what the BCS says, because its not their reason for doing it. Years ago, the church almost eliminated the athletics department because of the bad image it was giving the Church that runs the school.

As a side note, I think many of you will be surpirsed how well BYU will do if they move.


Dave S

"Why would the third or fourth best team in the MWC think they could possibly compete on a national level..."

See Utah...

which has finished 3rd or 4th in the MWC four of the last five years.


ESPN is reporting that the MWC tried to sway Fresno and Nevada-reno on tuesday with no luck. Ouch! Well, I think southern utah would be available, lol.

BYU is smart to try to leave a sinking ship, but they aren't going to get the same BCS treatment ND gets. In fact, ND has become a punchline and will probably be in a conference soon. I just don't think BYU will prosper with this move, unless their ultimate goal is a spot in the Big 12, and they are trying to use this as a stepping stone.


Sounds to me like BYU might be pulling a Texas of the Big 12 trick... Try and Stir up some mud to get themselves some money.
Get the Mtn channel to re think the contract or they lose BYU, give us more money to stay, or they lose a lot of money with BYU bolting.
Worked for Texas. No, we arent Texas, but The Mtn West isnt exactly the Big 12 either.


“Nice to see that after only about a month, the spotlight is back where it needs to be.”

Congratulations Fiddler.

A desperate and delusional scenario with as a titanic size hole in it will keep the spotlight on BYU for ohhh, about 35 minutes. BYU is and will forever be a “mid major” and little brother.

Otis Spurlock

This is the Lord's University and if BYU wants to go independent then it was the Lord's decision.

Old Scarecrow

It's all about TV, which includes REVENUE and EXPOSURE. BYU can't get the $ and exposure it wants in the MWC. It isn't about Utah at all, except that Utah and BYU had always worked together to improve their positions, which is what led to the creation of the MWC. Now with Utah gone, BYU knows that there is no motivation in the MWC to let BYU maximize its REVENUE and EXPOSURE! Add to that the new TV capabilities that BYU apparently has, and the siren song of change is getting pretty loud. Joining the WAC again would be disappointing, but it sounds more like a warning shot across the MWC's bow.

the longview

Sacrificing the 'non-football' sports:

all the rest of byu sports go downhill with a move to the WAC-- can you picture recruiting basketball, volleyball players to compete in the WAC? Soccer? Track?

These 'other' sports aren't where the money is, but it is part of what has been impressive about byu sports -- that they are pretty solid in most sports.

DEW Cougars

I don't have the crystal ball here- it is a step back for other sport to go wac. Only ND of Ind. (w/bcs contract) will go bcs if 10-2 but BYU going 12-0 it is more lilely will not be granted w/o contract (if that is how it works). Other Ind. schools are not in the bcs. Yes it would be sweet to see most games on KBYU with HD and Greg Wrubell - mtn is a joke but has been pretty nice to see most games along Greg Wrubell on KSL. The question here who BYU going to face during regular football season - Weber State, E. Wash, Cal Davis, etc - not good!
Well stay tune if announce. Have fun utah after 2010.

Go Cougars!


No surprise here, word is coming out that the Colorado State twitter was hacked.

@ Y Grad/ Y Dad

You really need some help if you think BYU will ever be bigger than Texas. A venture outside of your mom's basement might do you some good.


I think going independant in football would be a good way to preserve the Utah/BYU rivalry game, as well as the BYU/USU game.
And as an aggie fan I would love to see their basketball team move over to that WAC. We are a lot more competative basketball conference than people give us credit for, and lets face it, the aggies have been a much better rival in basketball for BYU in the past few years than the U has.
The only thing more fun than fighting it out with BYU every year in basketball would be doing it twice!

Gorum The Old

Scheduling would be my biggest worry. Like the article mentioned, would they be able to get ND type scheduling, or would they be stuck with a Navy type schedule. Lets look at the BCS or ranked teams each of the independents play this year.
3)Michigan St
5)Boston College

All high profile teams BYU would love to play.

2)Wake Forest

If it was basketball, it would be great. For football, not so much. None of them had winning seasons last year.

BYU currently has trouble getting home and away matchups with good teams. Lets looks at the BCS teams they've managed home and home games with in the past couple years and who they have on schedule in the future:
2007: Arizona and UCLA. Both finished with loosing seassons.
2008: Winless Washington ang 4-8 UCLA
2009: FSU
2010: Washington, FSU
2011-2012: Oregon St.

I think that they will need at least 2 marquee games against powerfull ranked teams, at least 4 middling to good BCS shools, and then fill out the rest with whoevere.


This will be a great move for football and a lateral move in basketball. The other sports are simply for fun and entertainment, so it's really not a big deal whether BYU is playing Fresno State or TCU in baseball or women's basketball.


As long as the right deal is made (TV), I think that this would be great for byu.

If they can get close to the deal of ND, I would jump on it for sure.

I guess we will see if this is all smoke on Sept 1st.

Floyd Johnson

Re: Reality Check

Utah's decision does influence BYU. The MWC as an organization was on track to gain automatic BCS status (with Utah and Boise in the conference, it was guaranteed). All the conference had to do was wait another couple of years. With Utah out, it makes it less likely that the MWC will obtain that status. The question of becoming independent is, therefore, more significant.

Also with BYU leaving the MWC, it voids the contract with the Mtn Network. BYU could leave for two years and then return without the restrictions of a terrible TV deal.

The other "impetus" taken into consideration is the Texas independent TV deal. BYU considered that example and realized that they are decades ahead of any other school in regards to independent TV.

I would like to see BYU TV contract with Texas and the WAC to broadcast games. Texas has the right to broadcast, but they do not have the ability to do so. If BYU TV began broadcasting Texas football and WAC non-football athletics, cash flow would be guaranteed. The LDS Church would be thrilled to see another 10 million people tuning to BYU TV.


If this means no more Todd Christensen calls on TV, BYU should go independent regardless of any other consideration. I'll be able to finally watch BYU football without a thesaurus.


The ESPN article sheds a bit more light on this. It states that BYU would play 4-6 WAC teams in football every year. Although many fans will not like this it has worked out pretty good for BSU. The remaining games BYU could also schedule in their favor to include keeping the BYU-Utah and BYU-USU rivalries intact.

At first blush this looked like a bad idea but it could be beneficial. Even if all BYU can muster is a 2nd tier bowl it still keeps the 1-2 million for itself instead of spliting revenue. If it somehow makes a BCS bowl then all that money comes directly to the Y giving them more money than they make now over a 3-5 year period from bowl games.

Additionally the ESPN article states BYU is in discussions with ESPN on a TV contract. Being back on ESPN would be huge exposure with games ESPN does not pick up being broadcast on BYU-TV or, heaven forbid, even the free channels (KSL).

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