PROVO — On the day, nearly one year ago, that BYU announced its football team would be going independent in 2011, it also announced a six-game series with the most successful independent program, Notre Dame.

It makes sense, since the two schools have numerous things in common. The other two independent teams are Army and Navy.

In this article, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick offers advice to BYU as it embarks on its first year of independence.

"The biggest thing is you really have to embrace it," Swarbrick said. "Schedule nationally and distribute your media broadly. Take full advantage of it. You need something that distinguishes you. You also need that core element of holding fan interest and having a really cohesive fan base, and that thing has to span geography. Religion does that, and so does military affiliation."

Writes's Brian Bennett: "Swarbrick said he thinks BYU has everything in place, especially with its own TV network and an ESPN deal. But even though there has been speculation that Texas might try the independent route, Swarbrick doesn't expect much more company on Notre Dame's island.

"We could see another team or two," he said. "But I don't think we'll see a lot of it because of the emerging power of conferences." also has a story on the relationship between BYU quarterback Jake Heaps and offensive coordinator Brandon Doman.

"Doman is implementing an offense that should hearken back to the days when he played from 1998 to 2001," writes Andrea Adelson. "Not so much spread, but more a version of the West Coast offense, there will be some noticeable differences. Heaps will be dropping back to pass from center, a new development for a shotgun-style quarterback."

USA Today breaks down the risks and rewards of BYU going independent.