There's a strong possibility that Brigham Young University will open the 1991 football season with Mickey Mouse and Pluto and the gang at the second Disneyland Pigskin Classic at Anaheim Stadium next August.
The Cougars played in a similar game in 1985 at the Meadowlands - The Kickoff Classic against Boston College.The Pigskin Classic is the same kind of event - a preseason "bowl" game if you will, that tries to put together a marquee matchup. Both games are sanctioned by the NCAA and are under the direction of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).
The preseason football games committee of NACDA determines the teams for both games, said Tim Gleason, NACDA's assistant executive director. That way, the selections are done in an orderly fashion so that both events are not vying for the same teams, he added.
"I think BYU would be an outstanding prospect (for one of the games), now doubly so because of the Pigskin Classic," Gleason said Tuesday. "We'd love to consider BYU."
The Cougars are eligible to return to The Kickoff Classic (a team must wait five years before repeating an appearance) but Gleason thinks they're a more logical choice for The Pigskin Classic.
"I think there'd be a tendency for them to go west rather than east. They're closer to Anaheim than New York City," he said.
The quality of players and teams, gate attraction and TV attraction all go into the selection of the participants.
BYU ranks high on all counts, according to Gleason.
"They have a big following in the West," and would likely send a large contingent of fans to Anaheim, Gleason believes. Cougar followers are familiar with Anaheim Stadium, since the Cougars have played there twice in the Freedom Bowl, against UCLA in 1986 and against Colorado in 1988.
And, BYU has perhaps the player with the highest profile in the collegiate ranks - Detmer, who will be a senior next year. "Given the fact that Ty Detmer is the quality athlete he is and BYU is the institution it is . . . I think they (Cougars) have a very good shot," Gleason said.
BYU's 28-21 victory over No. 1 Miami on ESPN has given the Cougars a national profile they probably haven't had before. Two weeks later their 62-34 dismantling of San Diego State went to 80 percent of the country on network television.
This season's Pigskin Classic - a 31-31 tie between Colorado and Tennessee - was on a Sunday, which would eliminate BYU. However, next year's game will likely either be Thursday, Aug. 29 or Friday, Aug. 30 because those dates fit in best with the schedule of the California Angels, who play their home games at Anaheim Stadium, Gleason said.