Comments about ‘BYU football will go independent, join WCC in other sports’

Return to article »

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 31 2010 4:00 p.m. MDT

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended

So the university tried to negotiate a special deal, a deal that if the Cougars and the Western Athletic Conference's bungling commissioner, Karl Benson, had gotten away with it, could have led to the demise of the MWC.

Except that the mole in the room told MWC commissioner Craig Thompson what was about to happen, and Thompson immediately extended invitations -- special invitations -- to Nevada and Fresno State.

Suddenly left without a special place to roost its basketball and baseball teams, BYU went back to the MWC and asked to be given special considerations in TV revenues, and the conference declined.

Backed into a corner of its own making, BYU officials announced Tuesday that it was leaving the MWC and that its football team will begin play in 2011 as an independent.

---- Gil LeBreton (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)


Your theory that BYU "held all the cards like Texas" turns out to be wrong. Enjoy the shiny HD truck playing in the WCC.


Dear Utefans...



@Wildcat I lived in AL for years. You have no idea what you are talking about as far as Auburn and U of AL are concerned. You lose that game and you eat dirt for a year. There is no mercy.

The Utah BYU rivalry is jr. high in comparison.

AK Cougar

Glad to hear it. Footballs move to indpendence next year and I will get a TV and subscribe to ESPN just to watch every game, except during hunting season. Time will tell if it is a good move and the same for our friends at the U jumping to the MWC and for BSU jumping to the MWC.

I would look for more changes next year as the BCS moves to protect its clout and 4 super conferences develope and adjust to reposition their status.

Go Cougars. One last season to win the conference.

Alex 1

I am fully aware of the potential risks and benefits that go with this move to go independent. Nevertheless, I am pleased with the move. Independence has its own reward: ownership.

There is something so satisfying to me about breaking out and being our own man. Tough row to hoe? Yes. Easier said than done? Most likely. Potential failure? There always is.

But then again, we have greater freedom to pursue our own schedule. Imagine how hard BYU will work when it has no safety net. Honestly, I think it will spur BYU on to greater success.

Yes, I think independence is the least safe but wisest move for BYU.


Why is there even talk about BCS? Right now, Byu can't do better than the Las Vegas Bowl.

Exposure? Why not buy some billboards or TV air time to advertise the Church. The Church does not need football players being the ambassadors to the US of the Church.

Hugh Nibley hit it on the head when he stated: "Nothing could be more retrograde to [Brigham Young's] philosophy than the present-day practice of combining the splendor of the gospel with the lowest fashionable idiom of the day...it is like trying to raise the standard and status of a school simply by giving it the cheap and easy title of 'the Lord's University.' Indeed, when that expression was first used about 1950, some of the General Authorities found it foolish and offensive--clearly a case of claiming the prize before one has earned it." Brother Brigham Challenges the Saints, page 370.


For all of you Dissing the WCC, it might be good to note that in all sports, the WCC has 24 National NCAA Team Championships among it's members, The Mountain West has 3 - all won by BYU (and no, this does not include the 1984 FB team). (source-conference websites) In non NCAA sanctioned national championships, the MWC does have 6, 2 from BYU, 2 From TCU and 1 each from Utah and New Mexico. I can't find anything about any national champions from the WAC website, but I know they had at least one - BYU in 1984.

In just the last 10 years, the WCC have had 5 NCAA championships. Sounds like a real patsy conference, right?

Looks to me like we are upgrading all sports with this move.

As far as scheduling goes, the only reason we have had trouble in recent years is the stupid MWC contract - who wants to play on a network no one can watch? The new situation will make it much easier to schedule good and medium teams. I think reports of BYU's demise are greatly overstated.

Bay Area Dude

All I will add is that this is a great, great day for BYU fans in the Bay Area.

Great move. Love it.


@ utesovertide Thanks for an intelligent comment.

I am not saying BYU will do this as they have many options but look at it this way.

Say BYU schedules Texas Tech at Provo and it is not picked up by ESPN.

BYU broadcasts it internationally on BYU TV and also cuts a deal with KSL and any other station that wants to cover BYU locally.

They also send a feed to all of the stations in the Tech network (most of TX). Tech gets to keep all of the advertising revenue generated by their network. All they have to do is dub the Tech announcers over the BYU feed.

That is a powerful reason why schools like Tech may find a way to schedule BYU.

That is why the Big 12 North Wants BYU as an anchor to replace NE.

BYU gets the international reach it wants plus the local advertising. Tech gets tons of ad money from its local network affiliates. Tech gets guaranteed money from a 65,000 gate receipt.

The same thing works for the minor sports on a less lucrative level. It is a win win for both teams.


This is awesome - we can FINALLY see BYU football on tv. The alumni base for BYU is spread all over the US, particuarly the western US and it has been very frustrating to not be able see them play. BYU has voiced and even yelled their concerns about this to big hair commish for years only to be ignored.

As for the WCC. They did better in the NCAA tournament than the MWC, the WAC or that other west coast league - the PAC-10 1/2. My high school traveled to Gonzaga multiple times to compete in tournaments there. It is a great campus with great people.


@ TMR. Following heart instead of head? Yeah, that is BYU. Impulsive, jumping off cliffs without a plan. HA HA! They will make $1 Million per game next year on ESPN on up to 5 or 6 games, then be in position to join the BIG 10/"14" in 2012 when that league's TV contract is up. So when the Utes bailed on the MWC, I knew BYU was ready to follow.

Have they no honor to leave the rest of the teams behind? Umm... excuse me... every one of those teams bailed on a previous conference to join the MWC. HA HA! Happens all the time. I think it is funny that the MWC is basically the WAC now. The MWC would have never gotten the national attention it wanted. For one thing no one can watch the games nationally!

I was in Notre Dame for the BYU game a few years ago and the locals were going nuts trying to find the game on TV. If nothing else I will be glad to see us rid of the Mountain. BYU provided 70% of their revenue, so this should be the death nail. Finally!


Well, the move seems somewhat ok, but it seems like BYU just walked away from playing perennials TCU and Boise State and can I throw up now prior to the 2011 season; BYU has signed to play USU? How pathetic is that...a patsy team in a patsy league in a game that is absolutely a waste of time and money. For the love of Mike I hope 2011 will be the LAST time they schedule USU. So what happens to volleyball and baseball and soccer? BYU should definitely schedule TCU and Boise State, unless they are too chicken to play either, especially TCU since TCU seems to have BYU's number the last 2 seasons. Oh well. Let's wait for the press conference later today; if nothing else, it should be interesting.


And TMR: BYU saw the Utes leave and paniced? Is that really your take on this? Seriously? You don't think they have been contemplating such a move for years? Really? You think that them being blocked from a BCS game after a perfect season back with Doman & Staley, and seeing Utah shunned when they were perfect and not allowed to play in the national championship... you don't think that had anything to do with them planning this move for years? Seriously? HA HA!

Also, you do realize that the Utes were only picked over BYU to be in the PAC 10 because they were willing to play on Sundays - and they were not a religious school. HA HA! BYU would have been an obvious choice given their national following and tradition - every bit as good if not better than Utah. Apparently Stanford was the main voice against BYU joining according to certain national sources - the same sources that told many of us over a month ago that BYU was headed to independence. So far they have been right on :)

Kyle loves BYU/Jazz

BSU, Texas, Oregon State, possibly Utah and Notre Dame. Sounds like an awesome football schedule even if they do play Utah State, Hawaii and a Weber State or two to finish out the schedule.

I've been thinking about the athletes of the other sports. The WCC compares pretty well to the MWC for the most part and think about it, instead of going to NM, Wyoming and CSU they will be playing in California, Washington and Oregon and their games will be on TV!! I don't think too many of them will be upset. Not to mention less hate coming from other private religious schools.

The basketball team still has decent competition and can afford to be more aggressive in their non-conference scheduling. The best part is they don't have to play the conference tourney in Vegas every year.

I imagine ESPN is excited to make a deal with BYU if they can get access to BYU's broadcast facilities. Exposure and money were two things not coming from the MWC and the mtn.

The football team is going to have to win for this to work. I hope Heaps is the real deal.

Kyle loves BYU/Jazz

The BBall conference tourney will still be in Vegas every year, but it won't be on another schools home court. I don't mind Vegas but having it on UNLV's home court every year was ludicrous.


What a courageous and smart move! Eschewing a loser of a TV deal for 5 to 10 times revenue just makes cents...and when the Big 12 comes calling the Coogs will have their own network deal in place...just like Texas wants. Smart. Some might even call it inspired. And hoops against Gonzaga? The Jags are better than any MWC or WAC basketball program by far. Nice work Pres. Samuelson.


Dear Uteology

I read Gil's article long before you did. It sounded like he bite a lemon and suck really hard on it before he decided to write his article. It made me wonder why, if TCU had some magic move up their sleeve?

The article has no credibility other than to ferment the sour grapes of a few TCU fans. It was also clearly a selected distorted creation of reality that ignored most of the facts in the situation involving BYU going independent.


How many catholic schools are in the wcc? Remember when the church said the catholics were the Great and abon... How the worm turns in the quest for exposure.

Cougars --Best Little Brothers

from ESPN...
...BYU is going independent in football with the full knowledge that it won't be guaranteed a seat at the BCS table. BYU will be an independent like Army and Navy, not like Notre Dame, which is guaranteed a BCS bid if it's in the top eight in the final BCS standings...

It's true. BYU will be more like Army and Navy, anyway. Good luck in earning more money. ESPN will only carry games with good teams. It's a laugh to think they will carry BYU-Idaho game.


Word to the wise: KBYU and BYUtv are not the same thing. I had no idea.

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments