Comments about ‘Commentary: What if Boise State, BYU, TCU and Utah had all stayed in the Mountain West?’

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Published: Tuesday, Jan. 28 2014 8:20 p.m. MST

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East Salt Lake City, Utah

@Ed Grady

I clearly said going 10-3 in the MWC is meaningless, going undefeated and beating 4 ranked teams is anything but.


Which Urban Meyer recruits? Name some from the 2008 undefeated season.

The last three years in the MWC Utah was having the same coaching and injury issues that we have in the PAC-12. In particular:

* Annual OC changes
* Annual injured QB

The difference? Utah went 33-6 in the MWC, only loses to AP ranked teams.

Adirondack Cougar
Loon Lake, NY

I believe the record will show that in fact BYU was invited to the PAC-12. It is my understanding that all was a go until the other 10 school presidents voted, two voted no, and not becaause of the athletic program. So bigotry is still alive and well. If BYU wanted to have a chance of getting to the national stage it had no choice but to go independent in football. Football is king and provides the lion share of the revenue so a school needs to make sure that program is in the best position possible. No one knows what the future might hold, but the chances of getting those four programs back together is beyond slim. I also think that over the next several years the playoffs will expand and as that happens confernce affiliations will matter less and SOS will matter more (providing you win). Good luck to the U and the Y, I hope they work out like both fan bases dream, but each has its own unique problems to overcome to get where they want to be.

Qwest Perfected
Salt Lake City, UT

I think the simple answer is three out of four of those teams have been to BCS games and have been a part of elite level success in the BCS era of football. The other program would be clinging onto the past success of their program.


I wonder how you feel about the Utes still owning your team for all of these years with all of that "mid-level" talent they have. What exatly does that say about your beloved cougar program. Seems to me you should count yourself as one of those delusional "fans".

Durham, NC

I am a former Uta and Cougar..... .loved my times at both schools. And I have nothing against either program. But with the way realignment is going, and the fact conference playoffs are now playing a key role in the bowl selection process, BYU (and other independents) will be missing that marque opportunity to prove themselves worthy of consideration in the national playoff picture.

BYU has put them selves in an extraordinarily hard position to get themselves into a premium bowl game now. They will not be able to close out their season with a branding games. BYU will continue to find itself in the B or C slot on the ESPN schedule... if it was all about the money.... they did good. If it was about getting on the national stage.... independence hasn't helped them much. Marque losses to good teams don't buy you much.

And what you did 10 years ago.... means nothing.

West Valley, UT

MWC is good luck for Utah teams regarding recognition. USU has been getting more attention even with losing to BYU and the Ute's. And BYU being INDY is a slow death. And finally the Ute's need to start to win more games since I work with a lot of Ute fans and they are getting really tired of losing seasons. It is a good time to be an Aggie.

DEW Cougars
Sandy, UT

Still no news and why talk about it? Tell us when news is really here. Indpendent is fine the way it is along with our espn and byutv. Well, I like to see wcc go away but Dave Rose said last May 2013 "wcc fit perfectly".

Murray, UT


Try looking at the Wall Street Journal dated January 5, 2014 in an article by Darren Everson. Utah is ranked 39th. BYU is not on the list of 50.

My critique of this Deseret News ariticle is that it offers no new information and is a rehash of previous articles that have appeared in this newspaper dealing with the same subject. What is the value in speculating what might have happened if all these teams had stayed in the MWC? Nothing. The Deseret News should have Dan Jones and Associates go out and poll the fans of these schools or at least the fans of Utah and BYU and see how the fans feel about the current situation their school athletic departments find themselves in. Also, the article ignores the opinions and feelings of prep athletes in this State. How do the preps feel about the changes? How do they feel about the opportunity to play on a bigger stage in a conference like the PAC 12? Also, what is the economic benefit of these changes to the State of Utah? Every study I have seen so far points to the State benefiting by having Utah in the PAC 12.

Draper, UT

@ Just Wondering

A loss to Arizona, though ranked #1, is still a loss. No rocket science there, but I feel better about losing to them than I would losing to Portland, LMU, and Pepperdine.

There are no moral victories and losses are never fun, but consider it this way...was beating Idaho State more meaningful than beating Texas? Thought so. As a fan base, BYU of should understand this basic concept...beating an elite team is more fun and means more to your program than beating cupcakes.

BYU hasn't had much success against the likes of Notre Dame or FSU, but they have beaten them so I'm guessing those wins are pretty valuable considering how difficult they have been to come by against top competition. BYU plays top competition and they lose more than they win, but the wins are sweeter than beating up on ISU, Nevada, LMU, or Pacific.

Would BYU rather compete at the highest level and risk losing more games or continue to dominate lower tiered teams and have it mean nothing? If you play tougher competition you are going to lose more games (see BYU as an independent in football).

Holladay, UT

People talk about the "Big Bowl" or "Major Bowl" access and how it affects BYU. People we are debating about 1 game. Yes, 1 game at the end of the year and lets face it if it isn't the playoff games what is the difference from the hunger bowl and the poinsettia bowl or even the sun bowl. It is all the same. If BYU goes undefeated, which keep in mind any team in the country whether it be from the big conferences or the smaller conferences they will have access to the playoff game. Let's all pump the breaks. And the TV exposure, people talk about BYU only getting B or C slots on ESPN. Well a B or C slot is a lot better than being seen on regional coverage on the pac 12 station. The thing that really sucks is that BYU is not in a major conference. My preference is that we join the BIG12 or even the Pac. But for now BYU has every opportunity that everyone else has and even better when it comes to exposure. All they have to do is win.

Bleed Crimson
Sandy, Utah

Why is this article written?

Utah and TCU made the right decision by accepting Pac-12 and Big 12 invites. Both those conferences will benefit them for the long run. If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. Utah and TCU are in a conference where they can play the best week in and week out. They have the opportunity to be the best, but they need to start winning first and find their footing.

Boise State made the right move joining the MWC because it's the best option for them to succeed.

BYU I believe made a mistake in going Indy. What do they have to play for anyway? National exposure is great with their ESPN contract. But what good is their national exposure when they get embarrassed by the BCS teams on their schedule? The MWC offers a conference championship for the cougs. It will also offer them a possible berth in a BCS bowl when the new postseason system begins. Being independent they have no BCS bowl tie in.

If BYU, TCU, Utah, and BSU were in the MWC. Nothing would have changed!

Ole Ball Coach
Sandy, UT

Mute point, because nobody could predict what ESPN, FOX, CBS, ROOT, etc would have done if BYU, Utah, and TCU would have stayed in the MWC. I do think they would have been a major player in the conferences, but who knows for sure.

One thing I do know is this....Utah is not respected in the PAC 10.2....BYU made a knee jerk reaction to not being invited with Utah, and TCU will never challenge OU or Texas in the B12. Was it profitable for them....you bet, but it is starting to weight heavy on the minds of Ute, Cougar, and Frog fans who's teams are not getting the attention they once enjoyed...

The winners were Fresno, USU, Nevada, San Jose, and Boise.... I say Boise because they will reach the playoffs in the MWC before Byu or Utah due to playing the schedules of the Pac and Indy status.

BYU back to the MWC???? Not if SDSU, Wyoming, New Mexico, CSU, UNLV, and AF have anything to say about it.... The Cougars made their bed...know lie in it!

Fight On!

Mission Viejo, CA

RealBlue's comments echo mine (or vice versa). Of the 100 teams or so in the "big conferences" how many have EVER won a national championship? Before 1910 it was all Ivy League schools. Then we see the same old names over and over: Michigan, Penn State, Notre Dame, USC, Oklahoma, et cetera.

The vast majority of college football teams have NEVER won a national championship.

BYU won one.

They may never win one again. Utah and TCU will probably never win one. But at least they will have a non-zero probability to win one.

Does BYU have a non-zero probability? Yes. 12-0 will get them in the playoffs. Notre Dame and Penn State won lots of NC's as independents.

Maybe sometime I'll calculate the odds of BYU, Utah, Boise, and TCU winning the NC. Maybe I'll assign that to some of my students at UCI. Hmmm. That's a good idea. I'll let you know how it works out.

Bleed Crimson
Sandy, Utah

@ RealBlue

"Yes, 1 game at the end of the year and lets face it if it isn't the playoff games what is the difference from the hunger bowl and the poinsettia bowl or even the sun bowl. It is all the same"

The difference is, playing in a BCS bowl offers a school more money, better national exposure, and playing a marquee BCS opponent in the post season that will catapult a team going into the next season. The Hunger bowl and Poinsettia bowl don't offer that. You get a mediocre bowl opponent with less exposure and money.

BYU won't make the final four at all because the playoff system is designed to favor the Big 5 conferences and no one else. With that said, BYU as an Indy has no BCS bowl to play for and will have to settle playing in a mediocre bowl game. The MWC at least offers you a chance at a BCS bowl.

Lincoln City, OR

@81ute and oleballcoach... I don't want to see the Cougars back in the MWC but I think you are dead wrong about your assertion that a handful of MWC teams would not welcome them back... The Cougs have already played SDS in Football and they are scheduled home and home over the next couple of years with UNLV... In addition UNLV took BYU's assistant Basketball Coach and made him their Head Basketball Coach 2 years ago (in the heat of the battle) and just last year the UNLV AD made a passionate pitch to reach out to BYU and see if they could get them back in the Conference... WYO still bears a grudge I understand, but they are the tip of the tail and carry no weight with Conference members.

@Dutchman... I found your article... It's a listing on the worth of Football teams in the eyes of a Finance Professor by the name of Ryan Brewer out of University-Purdue University Columbus.... Interestingly though that this same Finance Professor is the basis of the January 7,2014 WSJ Article that I referred to in my earlier post where Utah is ranked #46 and BYU #43.

Snack PAC
Olympus Cove, Utah

Ed Grady

Re: Utelogy "So I guess going undefeated and beating Alabama in the Sugar Bowl was meaningless since Utah was a MWC team. You said it - not me."

BYU hating Utah fans are so obsessed with diminishing anything BYU might accomplish as an Independent or WCC member, that they're willing to marginalize EVERYTHING Utah accomplished as a WAC and/or MWC member.

What's laughable is the two greatest accomplishments in Utah men's athletic history happened in 1998 (while Utah was a member of the WAC) and in 1944, when Utah, technically, wasn't a member of any conference.

Since joining the PAC, the Utes haven't accomplished anything of any significance in any men's sport.

Ogden, UT

A Utah man am I, til the day I die. And I'd rather die than go back to the mtn. I've always watched Utah ball. To be honest, now that my team competes in the Pac I realize how dull playing in the Mtn was. Sure, I do miss churning out wins and never missnig out on a bowl game but having tasted what the Pac 12 has to offer and playing quality teams every week, I wouldn't go back.

Boise, ID

As far as national exposure is concerned, of the four teams mentioned in the article, I believe BYU is currently in the best situation. As an independent, they certainly have more control with the flexibility of scheduling. True, they have to schedule good teams and be able to beat them on the road. Arizona State and Arizona left the WAC in 1977. Since that time the two schools, as members of the PAC-10 and PAC-12 have combined for a total of 0 National Championships in football, according to NationalChamps.net. That's 37 years of toil for no titles. What are Utah's chances of improving on the Arizona schools' record? Somewhere between slim and none in my opinion. With the exception of Boise State, all four schools have good coaches. What they are able to accomplish with the talent they recruit is what ultimately makes a difference. History doesn't favor any of these programs, but, as it presently stands, none of them are going to be playing for a national championship in football any time soon. (Except maybe the Cougars).

Mister J
Salt Lake City, UT

"Only a fool trips on whats behind them" - Ray Lewis.

Its water under the bridge and way down stream, move on. - Me

Charlotte, NC

I would love to see TCU and Utah succeed in their respective conferences.. It would only add credibility to the teams they once played in the MWC. If they don't succeed, it will only indicate to the rest of the world that BYU & BSU will never belong either. The sooner they climb their way to success, all the better.

I agree that I would rather be playing with the "Big Boys" and losing (all the while getting a little bit better each year), than conceding to a lesser level of play and feeling content with mediocre success.

Give each of these teams a little while to adjust, and they will come up to par and compete in their new environments. Looking forward to one of them having a break out year, and blazing a trail for the others.

East Salt Lake City, Utah


Go ahead and look at their year to year records and the places they finished in the mwc, it is lower upper end for the most part and not particularly impressive. You utah "fans" just suffer from a delusion of what you think utah once was and that delusion is feeding into another delusion of what you think utah is now.


In the MWC:

* Utah 7 seasons with a better win-loss record as compared to BYU which had 5.
* Utah had 4 titles (BYU also had 4)

So you're not impressed with:

* Utah had 4 AP ranked teams (BYU had 5), including two top 5 rankings (BYU had 0).
* Utah had two undefeated seasons (BYU had 0)
* Utah had two major bowl wins (BYU had one "Quest")

That's okay, Utah's not trying to impress you. They've impressed enough top in-state recruits to make BYU irrelevant.

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