Dick Harmon: Mountain West Conference will sorely miss BYU, Utah

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  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    March 30, 2011 12:09 p.m.

    @mormon ute

    Playing St. Mary's did not hurt utah states rpi, it enhanced it. St. mary's had a top 50 rpi and the 2nd highest rpi of any team utah state played. BYU had the highest one.

    i see the point you are trying to make but your example was not a good one at all. Now certainly BYU will be playing teams in conference that overall have lower rpi's than the mtn west teams had but BYU still schedules aggresively out of conference and that will not change. That is how Dave Rose does things. There is also the fact that the top half of the WCC is strong and has rpi's close to those in the mtn west. Check the rpi of gonzaga, st. mary's, portland and san francisco. compare them to all but a couple of mtn. west schools and it is not far off. That means BYU will play maybe 7-8 games per year that might be worse for their rpi than playing in the mtn west. But of course BYU was a huge contributor to the mtn west rpi so they will do the same for the wcc.

  • Anonymous Infinity American Fork, UT
    March 30, 2011 9:40 a.m.

    The thing I won't miss at all about leaving the MWC were the amateurish TV broadcasts and commentators on the Mountain Sports Network. What a flyby night outfit. It is a joke just to be kind. No HD and the rest of it. Now we have the BYU TV network; HD and all; can't wait. The Mountain didn't give us any of the other sports either, as in track and field. Yeh, I know they had those snipits of programming, but those are totally obsurd. I just hope ESPN won't do what they did in the past, by putting mountain time zone games on at 10 p.m. and all that baloney. The jury is still out on those details. Now BYU keeps all the money or most of it anyway, I hope, and can schedule decent teams and not play hail mary techs for half of the season in the major sports. Their recruiting should also be enhanced. But they will always have the christian university situation of not being able to bring in the bigtime hoodlums in sports. But that is okay. Leave that to the other schools.

  • mkSdd3 Ogden, UT
    March 29, 2011 3:42 p.m.

    Mormon Ute

    I say BYU has an easier route to a football championship because they have more control of their schedule (some good teams and some bad) and it will not be as tough a schedule as Utah will have to deal with in the PAC-12.

    Utah's money is large and guaranteed, while the money that BYU generates is all their own. They do not have to share it. They can get very creative in how they sell their games. Selling to foreign markets, small markets, and any number of creative ways to generate money. That may even include advertising rights and other things. The sky is the limit as long as they are creative they can generate a lot of money. If BYU has an off year everything will come tumbling down. Big risk Big reward.

    That being said I am not sure I would take the risk BYU is taking, but it could pay off better and faster than the route Utah is taking.

  • '90Cougar Hampstead, NC
    March 29, 2011 1:35 p.m.


    I agree that "soul crushing bitter rejection" is way over the top. They were another's words, not mine.

    Trust me, I feel no desire to "legitimize myself to the Utah trolls." We would be much better off without the tired comments of trolls from both sides of the aisle.

    I was trying to make the point that there are many BYU fans that were surprised and disappointed that they weren't the MWC team the Pac 10 invited. If I "distorted" the comment, I did in unintentionally.

    I appreciate your looking out for a fellow fan. But Fresnogirl is very level-headed, well-spoken (or written), and able to stick up for herself.

    Please don't question whether I am a "fan," just because I don't see things exactly the way you do. If I read another fan's comments that spark my interest, I might comment on them. Isn't that the point of these "comments" sections?

    Bye the way, when you said "with the benefit of hindsight many of us can see where football independence is actually going to be better," what you are really claiming is foresight.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    March 29, 2011 12:51 p.m.


    You concluded with, "...I don't see how you could say one is better than the other." But before that you said, "...if I looked at it I would have to say that BYU has the easier rout to a championship, with a potential for greater money." So you clearly stated you think BYU's situation is better. So which is it?

    I'll give you my opinion and reasons. The Utes have an easier path to a football championship, because they will be playing top ranked oponents every year in a BCS conference. They don't even have to go undefeated to get into the championship game, if the other BCS conference champs struggle during the year. BYU doesn't even have the assurance of a BCS bowl, even in an undefeated season. They have no conference affiliation and are not specifically included like Notre Dame. That's a tough road.

    As far as money goes. The latest news on early talks about PAC-12 TV money says it could approach $20 million per school. That's a lot more than BYU's $8 million and it doesn't include the bowl money the Utes will get.

  • mkSdd3 Ogden, UT
    March 29, 2011 11:57 a.m.

    Arguing over who got the better deal is pointless. Utah got a great deal in the PAC-12 invite. It is far better, and much safer than the route BYU has chosen. Utah will be getting a lot of money just being part of the PAC-12. If it can string together 1 undefeated season it will be crowned national champions.

    BYU on the other hand didn't take the safe route, it's route of independence is much more risky. However with the risk comes greater reward. If BYU preforms well it could easily make more money than Utah. Also if BYU will string together 2 undefeated season in a row it will also be crowned national champion. With it's ability to control its scheduling (when and who), I do not think it is that far fetched.

    Neither route is easy, but if I looked at it I would have to say that BYU has the easier rout to a championship, with a potential for greater money. All in all I say the deals both have advantages and disadvatages, and I don't see how you could say one is better than another.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    March 29, 2011 9:13 a.m.


    You started out sounding really good, but then you ended on a really sour note. I agree, it is no good trying to make one school's move sound better than the other. Both are going in the best directions available to them.

    I would like to correct a couple of inaccuracies in your statements. For the past 10 years Utah's football program has at least been equal to BYU's and in some years better. The win loss records, rankings and bowl game invitations bear that out. Utah's basketball team was far better than BYU's for many years under Coach Majerus and even since then has made some NCAA tournament appearance. So to say Utah's athletic program has been in BYU's shadow since the 1970's is not accurate.

    As far as the money goes, the TV revenue sharing alone is expected to be in the range of $20 million a year per school for the PAC-12. That beats the $1.2 million from the mtn and the bowl revenue, tournament revenue, etc. is all added on top of that. By the 3 year mark we will be a full partner.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    March 29, 2011 8:56 a.m.


    The problem BYU will have going forward is their conference schedule. In the MWC (#4 basketball RPI) BYU and Utah have both had the good fortune of playing against teams like UNLV, SDSU, New Mexico, and CSU which have kept their RPIs strong through the regular season. As BYU plays the lower RPI teams of the WCC in the regular season, their RPI is going to suffer. There is no way around that. The evidence of this was right in front of us when USU played St. Mary's late in the season hurting their RPI and dropping them in the rankings. There is no way around the fact that the move to the WCC was not ideal nor was it what BYU wanted. When the WAC deal fell apart, BYU's other sports took a serious hit. There is really no way to sugar coat that.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    March 29, 2011 8:38 a.m.

    Wow, some of you really need to chill out. There is really no value to arguing whether BYU will be better as an independent than Utah will be in the PAC-12. The two athletic programs are taking different paths and I believe each have chosen the best path for their own programs, given the circumstances they were each put in.

    Utah went to the PAC-12, because we need a strong conference affiliation to be successful. Any Ute fan saying different is not being realistic. The Utes could not survive as an independent. We don't have the national presence to do that.

    BYU did not get invited to join a BCS conference and that is unfortunate. Any Ute fan who says BYU wouldn't add value to any conference is denying reality. Any BYU fan who says BYU didn't want to be part of a BCS conference is also denying reality. BYU's football team will do well as an independent. They have the national fan base to do it. The current situation is unfortunate for BYU's other sports, but hopefully that will be rectified in time.

  • Utah'95 FPO, AE
    March 29, 2011 6:03 a.m.

    Riverton Cougar,

    There's no question that BYU has strong athletics. If the Pac 10 was basing their decision on who to invite by conference championships and the size of the respective fanbases, the numbers say that BYU should have been given the nod. But it was the Pac 10's invitation to extend, not ours.

    The Pac 10 has always said they were also looking at academics. You're right, "a little research" says BYU may be as good a fit as Utah," but a little more research suggests otherwise.

    US News and World Report ranks BYU highly in undergraduate academics, but the only BYU postgraduate programs ranked highly in their graduate school rankings are the School of Business, Accounting, and Law.

    According to the US News, Utah and Colorado rank much better than BYU in post-graduate education. And there are other entities out there that rank schools other than the US News. Some of them think more highly of Utah than BYU.

    Regarding "culture," BYU's conservative views aren't shared by the Pac 10 schools. But that doesn't mean they "hate everything BYU stands for."

    Lastly, don't call people bigots, it sounds bigoted.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, Utah
    March 28, 2011 10:23 p.m.

    "The "whY?" was not a academic, athletic, or cultural fit for the Pac-10. So said the Pac-10."

    The Pac-10 may have said that, but it's just an excuse. A little research shows that BYU is just as good of a fit academically, if not a better fit, than Utah is (see US News and World Report rankings). Athletically, BYU has 137 conference championships to Utah's 48. Sounds like BYU belongs in the "conference of champions" more than Utah does.

    Culturally, the Pac was exactly right. They hate everything BYU stands for, which would explain why they didn't invite them. Am I bitter? Not really. Why would we want to join a conference that hates us? It is too bad they are bigots, but it's their problem.

    hedgehog, don't think that BYU scheduled Utah because they NEED to. They did it because they want to. That's the same reason Utah agreed, buying out a series with Boise State to do it; because they wanted to. The schools are still loyal to each other, even though the liberal PAC hates BYU too much to invite them.

  • sammyg Springville, UT
    March 28, 2011 9:43 p.m.


    "Basically Utah allowed the LES to hold it's only AQ game of the year.... now that sounds kinda "needy"....don't way think?"

    Me thinks the charity is the other way around hedgie. Now that BYU holds a very lucrative ESPN contract. Here's some charity ESPN coins for playing in the 'tincup' game.

    Glad BYU can help U.

  • MiP Iowa City, IA
    March 28, 2011 9:40 p.m.

    My guess is few teams/fans in the MWC will actually miss BYU and Utah. Soon, they'll also come to dislike Boise State.

  • -PSUYB- Scranton, Pennsylvania
    March 28, 2011 9:23 p.m.

    I dont understand why Ute fans feel the need to compare their move to the PAC with BYU's move to Independence? Is it really so hard just to appreciate both programs are heading both different and respectable directions?

    I applaud Utah for their move to the PAC, what a great jump for a program that was not even heard of 10 years ago. Since the 1970's Utah has lived in BYU's shadow,now has moved into an AQ conference.

    But I fail to see how this is better than BYU's Independence deal?

    Utah is now in the shadow of USC, Oregon, UCLA, Stanford, and Cal.
    Sharing what little money they bring in with bigger and better programs, and also taking a share from those bigger and better programs (after 4 years I believe?). With a bigger and better conference comes bigger and greedier mouths to feed. Remember the 16 team "super-conference" with the Texas market was the original ambition of the PAC-10.
    Once that fell through, Larry Scott resorted to plan B; Adding 2 teams to allow a Conference Championship.

    Kinda like asking Santa for a Pony and getting a Hamster.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    March 28, 2011 8:16 p.m.


    No BYU won't be just like usu because BYU actually schedules a respectable out of conference schedule. BYU's pre conference rpi this year was 1st or 2nd in the country pretty much every week. usu on the otherhand played only one decent out of conference game all year, BYU.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    March 28, 2011 8:01 p.m.

    Please Please bring USU into the MWC. I can't comprehend why BYU would leave a conference with two teams in the sweet 16 and ranked in the top 10 for a conference with only two teams I have even heard of. Except for Gonzaga and Saint Mary's I can't name one team in the WCC. BYU and Gonzaga will dominate the conference. They will be just like USU in the WAC. No matter how hard they play BYU will be just like USU, a 12 seed in the NCAA. Think about this year. BYU a 3 seed, SDSU a two seed. They can go undefeated next year and it will mean nothing to the NCAA. Sad.

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    March 28, 2011 7:00 p.m.

    "So, since BYU is independent, they rely on nobody. Yet you say "BYU NEEDS Utah"."


    No, I said BYU NEEDED Utah. That is needed Utah to help get into a legit AQ conference. Now that Holmoe was forced to move in a direction he never wanted to go...I supposed the don't need Utah.

    Although they certainly lapped up the charity game Utah will give them this year. Basically Utah allowed the LES to hold it's only AQ game of the year.... now that sounds kinda "needy"....don't way think?

  • sammyg Springville, UT
    March 28, 2011 5:55 p.m.

    Are the polls still open?

    I was not 'bitter and jealous' when the Utes announced their deal. I was happy for them but didn't buy the bull 'hocky' story of the Utes marching to glory to conquer all foes of the Conference of Champions... still don't. But I say this. Sure it would have been nice for BYU to go to a better conference but going 'indy' made the most sense to me.

    So goodbye MWC. Your best years are behind you and now you'll come up short in the cash column. I feel bad for BSU and for USU but things will work out.

    As far as Denver is concerned, eat the collective dust as both programs march on.

    Now a comment about my "soul crushing" pit of dispair and depression I had last summer. It didn't happen wedgie.

    So let me try something... as they say, imitation is the highest form of flattery.

    Wedgie, how does it feel to be forever falling into a "soul crushing" pit of depression over Jimmer's continued success? I hope you see Jimmer's Oscar Robertson Trophy in your dreams. Night, night little hedgehog!

  • Deep Thoughts Salt Lake City, UT
    March 28, 2011 5:53 p.m.

    I would like to thank Honor Code and evanston for reminding us what we will be leaving behind.

    It's a great time to be a UTE!!!

    (Oh, and '90 Cougar, give it up. Anyone who has read even a few of your comments knows you are not a BYU fan).

  • fresnogirl Fresno, CA
    March 28, 2011 5:40 p.m.


    If it was "behind the mountain west's back" then how is it that the story was leaked from Denver and not anywhere in Utah or from any team in the WAC?

    How is it that if you search it, you can find articles talking about BYU moving to Independence in football and to the WAC in other sports years before it actually played out?

    I've never been one to go out of my way to cheer for Fresno State, but I think you've just convinced me to cheer them on for at least one of their MWC games.

  • fresnogirl Fresno, CA
    March 28, 2011 5:33 p.m.


    But did you or they feel "soul crushing bitter rejection"? I highly doubt it. If you did, it's probably time to reevaluate priorities.

    BTW, I graduated in '94 and never heard anyone even mention wanting to go to the PAC-10. All in all, I lived in Provo for 10 years and did not hear that even once. I'm not saying some wouldn't have liked to see it happen, but I don't think their souls were crushed because it didn't.

  • evanston Evanston, WY
    March 28, 2011 4:57 p.m.

    byu went behind the mountain west's back and tried to hook up with the WAC. They then turned their back on the WAC. Isn't this institution supposed to be all about honesty and integrity? what a Joke! Good riddance.

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    March 28, 2011 4:57 p.m.


    If Utah's invitation to the Pac-10 (rather than the "whY?") wasn't "soul crushing", why would Dick Harmon feel compelled to justify to ESPN the "real reason" Utah was invited was because they weren't ybU? Why else would Dick Harmon deem it necessary to fabricate baseless remarks about some mysterious, anonymous kingpin in the LDS church's HQ who so magnanimously refused to allow the cougars to go anywhere else without affording their so-called "little-brother" an opportunity to tag along on their majestic coattails? Why all the lies?

    The "whY?" was not a academic, athletic, or cultural fit for the Pac-10. So said the Pac-10. Neither were they for the Big XII. Or the BigTen. Or the Big East. So said they. That's why they weren't invited. Nobody hogtied the cougars to the the Utes or the MWC. The "whY?" was free to go at anytime; they just didn't have any place else to go. Harmon just needed to whitewash and embellish the cougars history and tradition because he.....

    ....needed to assuage his own very real, very personal, heartbreaking "soul crushing bitter rejection".

    And you bought it.


  • Eliot Santaquin, UT
    March 28, 2011 4:52 p.m.

    I like BYU, and Utah is a pretty good school too.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    March 28, 2011 4:22 p.m.


    Sure alot of fans were disappointed but that is a far cry from it being a "soul crushing bitter rejection". You seem to be one of those BYU "fans" that thinks he needs to legitimize himself to the ute trolls by calling out other BYU fans on their comments. The sad part of that is that when you do it you distort what the BYU fan actually posted to try to make your false point.

    Sure there are alot of BYU fans that wish BYU had been invited to the PAC10, Probably even most BYU fans wish that, but "soul crushing" is hardly correct and the move to independence was a great one and made the disappointment much less.

    Also with the benefit of hindsight many of us can see where football independence is actually going to be better in many ways. No not in every way, but in many ways it certainly will be and the fact that fans like PSUYB will now be able to see almost every game is something that is definately better for a huge segment of the fanbase.

  • -PSUYB- Scranton, Pennsylvania
    March 28, 2011 3:53 p.m.

    I am new to the comment board here on DSNews, but have been a BYU fan since I was crawling even out here in the Pennsylvania.
    The past decade or so has been miserable dealing with the Mtn. network, which is virtually unreachable in the area, the only games I have been able to watch were in South Bend, or the few aired on ESPN. So the news of BYU's independence is a BIG deal to myself and every fan outside of Utah. I have family in Utah that don't even get the Mtn. on their dish network deal. How sad is that?? But NO MORE!

    Every game will be showed Nationwide in HD on ESPN or BYUtv.

    No team in any conference has that kind of guarantee for exposure. All of the big 6 conferences have regional coverage for interstate fanbases, but no team has a TV contracts that stretches coast to coast save Notre Dame.

    To me, Independence is far better than ANY conference BYU could be invited to. Not only for televised games, but for scheduling games so BYU faithful throughout the Country can attend!

    Heres to a great jump to Independence!

  • trueblueBYU Provo, UT
    March 28, 2011 3:49 p.m.

    Re: roquetman

    It's hard to imagine anything more delusional that your statement. Having watched the two teams play each other for 60 years now, I have to tell you that your statement is exactly 180 degrees out of phase. I could certainly document it for you but I'm sure you aren't interested in the truth.

  • Brak Fruit Heights, UT
    March 28, 2011 3:42 p.m.

    Mr. Harmon, is the "person" who told you about BYU not leaving the conference with out Utah the same source that you quoted when you broke the story about Kyle Whittingham accepting the BYU head coach position?

  • '90Cougar Hampstead, NC
    March 28, 2011 3:38 p.m.


    I'm sorry, I've got to call you on your recent post.

    Claiming that there aren't any BYU fans that felt scorned when the Pac 10 didn't invite them to their expanding conference is silly. If I had a quarter for every time I heard reference to "when we go to the Pac 10...." while I was a BYU student, I wouldn't need to work anymore.

    I know of numerous Cougar fans that wished they had been invited to the Pac 10. There's no shame in admitting it, and it doesn't take anything away from BYU's move to independence.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, Utah
    March 28, 2011 3:09 p.m.

    "What I'd really like is if BYU would disband like Ricks. But I supposed the next best thing is for them to be cast into exile....I mean independence."


    What is the opposite of "independent"? To save you from having to google it to ind out, the answer is "dependent". What does "dependent" mean? Again, in case you didn't know, it means "relying on someone else for aid or support".

    So, since BYU is independent, they rely on nobody. Yet you say "BYU NEEDS Utah". And since Utah is NOT idependent, they must be.... Well, you know how it goes. Who is the one who is in need?

  • fresnogirl Fresno, CA
    March 28, 2011 3:07 p.m.

    Anyone who felt the "soul crushing bitter rejection" described by hedgehog for not getting a Pac-12 invite raise your hand.

    Sorry, hh no the only hands that went up were in your imagination.

    Once again, I suggest, refocusing your life onto something positive like cheering FOR your team instead of against a team that you have stated you no longer think about....

    Mormon Ute

    I agree with you. I think it is petty for anyone to begrudge another school making a move that will be beneficial to them. I really don't understand the silly "yeah, well OUR deal is better" banter going on from both sides.

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    March 28, 2011 2:28 p.m.

    "I'm told LDS Church leaders who govern BYU never would have allowed BYU to leave a conference on its own without Utah." -- Dick "Homer" Harmon

    Nope. I don't think so. If somebody had really told Dick that, that person's name would have been included in the article. And by "somebody", I don't mean the frantic and emotional tdS fans who post comments after every Harmon article. I'm talking about the LDS Authorities who would have been the one(s) responsible for holding Holmoe back. "Who" is a pretty important piece of respectable journalism. That was quite a fish story.

    Mr. Harmon....just get used to being irrelevant. It's your fate. Nothing ever tethered the "whY?" to the U. In fact, by my recollection, the only "tethering" I witnessed was the tdS attempt to hogtie Fresno State and Nevada to the WAC. It was the Y who couldn't go it alone. The tdS didn't join the Pac-10, the Big XII, the BigTen, or the Big East, because none of those conferences wanted them. The only MWC schools that were in demand amid last summer's conference carousel were Utah and TCU.

  • PAC man Anaheim, CA
    March 28, 2011 2:12 p.m.

    Mormon Ute

    The problem is Craig Thompson didn't try hard enough. If he'd really been interested, he would have insisted on the verbal agreement being written into the contract and then he would have sued the new owners to honor the original terms of the contract. But, it wasn't important enough to CT to exert any more effort than a phone call or two.

  • mkSdd3 Ogden, UT
    March 28, 2011 2:00 p.m.

    I love going back and reading all the stuff that has gone down about the MWC realignment. My favorite by far is when Craig Thompson said there was no way BYU could stay in the conference in the other sports because the by laws prohibited it. He said a school had to have football, men's and women's basketball, and volleyball to be in the conference. Then a couple of months later Hawaii is invited in just football. I guess by laws can be changed for the right guys.

    So long to Craig Thompson and the MWC I don't think I will miss anything there.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    March 28, 2011 1:32 p.m.

    I learned something from Dick Harmon's column. I shouldn't judge anyone unfairly. I have been condemning Craig Thompson along with most other MWC sports fans ever since the mtn was formed. I now believe that was unfair. He tried to preserve the unwritten agreement, but the TV partners refused to put it in writing and when new ownership took over they refused to change it. Too bad for the mtn and the MWC. They have lost the best 3 athletic programs they had and the two biggest TV markets they had and the TV deal is to blame. The mtn's days are numbered. It doesn't have a big enough TV market left to generate the advertising dollars needed to support the contract. When it comes up for renegotiation, the conference will run as far away as it can as fast as it can.

  • SportsFan Orem, UT
    March 28, 2011 1:27 p.m.


    "What I'd really like is if BYU would disband like Ricks."

    That would be the absolute worst thing that could possibly happen to you, hedgehog, because life would be meaningless without your BYU obsession. Just admit it; after a season of Jimmermania, you're scared to death of what Heaps may have in store for you this fall.

    Guaranteed, your gloom and doom predictions will once again start popping up on every BYU article this fall. In a way, it's almost poetic justice that you're forced to spend so much time watching and reading about a team you supposedly don't have any interest in.

  • mream Parker, CO
    March 28, 2011 1:27 p.m.

    the Denver Post article was by columnist Mark Kiszla. You can find it under Sports, then Columnists. The article title was something blah blah blah about the Mountain West being no more.

    Good riddance, i say!

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    March 28, 2011 1:24 p.m.

    Poor sportsmanship is not only exhibited by fans in the stands. Any fan who wishes bad things on their oponent is a poor sport. I see it in these comments from all sides.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    March 28, 2011 1:18 p.m.


    You may be right about the gate receipts, but I believe you are wrong about the basketball TV revenue. The WCC contract with ESPN has been in place for years and the revenue is shared equally in the conference.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    March 28, 2011 1:10 p.m.

    As a Ute fan, I wish BYU had been invited to the PAC-12 with Utah. That would have made more sense that Colorado and Utah, but the problem was neither Utah nor BYU were the first choice of the PAC-10. When they decided to expand they wanted to do it by taking apart the Big-12. That was their plan. They extended invitations to the schools in the Big 12 they wanted and only Colorado accepted. So what were they to do? They needed at least one more school to make it work and didn't want BYU, who knows why. So they were forced to break away from the conference of rivals and bring in a school that made sense and that was Utah.

    BYU's plan didn't work out as scripted either. Without an invite to a major conference, independence made the most sense for football and MWC bylaws wouldn't allow the other sports to stay. The WAC was the best available option, but that fell through. The WCC is not ideal and BYU admits that, but it's what they could get under the circumstances. Hopefully they'll be able to upgrade.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    March 28, 2011 1:02 p.m.


    Usually I agree with you, but I have to disagree that BYU wouldn't have left the MWC without Utah. If the shoe was on the other foot, they would have gone. As Harmon points out, BYU is not upset at Utah for making a move that will be better for their atheltic programs and their academic programs as well. It would have been silly for Utah to say, 'Sorry PAC-10, we appreciate the invitation, but without BYU we won't accept.' Utah was not in the drivers seat and didn't have the clout to make a deal like that. For anyone to criticize Utah for taking a great opportunity when it was presented is just sour grapes.

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    March 28, 2011 12:46 p.m.

    "What really upsets you about BYU going independent is that BYU might actually be very successful, which would be your worst nightmare, because it would steal all of your thunder from the Ute's joining the PAC 12."


    What I'd really like is if BYU would disband like Ricks. But I supposed the next best thing is for them to be cast into exile....I mean independence.

  • skywalker Palo Alto, CA
    March 28, 2011 12:38 p.m.


    Are you really so clueless about the century-old relationship between BYU and Utah?

    Despite the bitterness and hatred of some fans, BYU and Utah have been close partners for over a century and worked closely together to create both the WAC and MWC conferences.

    BYU started exploring plans to go independent back in the 1990's and the main reason those plans weren't executed is because of BYU's long-term relationship with Utah. As soon as Utah accepted their invitation to join the PAC 10, that relationship ended, and freed BYU to explore their own options.

    Would BYU have accepted an invitation to join the PAC 12?


    But, your characterization of BYU "begging" for an invitation is nothing but hyperbole from a BYU obsessed hater.

    What really upsets you about BYU going independent is that BYU might actually be very successful, which would be your worst nightmare, because it would steal all of your thunder from the Ute's joining the PAC 12.

    You can argue until you're blue in the face, but that's reality.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    March 28, 2011 12:37 p.m.

    Keep in mind that BYU and Utah helped found the conference. It does seem like it got away from them after they put it together. I don't know how on earth that stupid TV deal got past two schools that have wall to wall lawyers but it did.

  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    March 28, 2011 12:37 p.m.

    Alright, kids, if it makes you feel better to think that BYU hitched their wagon to the U and the U bolted, great! Enjoy that.

    I think the correct interpretation of what Dick said, however, is that BYU would not bolt without Utah. Personally, meaning no disrespect to Dick, I don't beleive it and I don't care, so I'm not bent out of shape by it either way.

    The MWC will miss BYU and Utah the way the Big Ten, or Twelve, or whoever they are, would miss Texas. Obviously not as much, but in the same way. Life will go on, but it will be different.

    Adding BYU will possibly help schools like Gonzaga build a bigger facility. But if we continue to enjoy success against them, they probably will end up not liking us very much either. Kinda like Utah. Except Utah USED to be successful against the Y all the time.

    Tough to swallow, isn't it?

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    March 28, 2011 12:35 p.m.

    "this is not a sign of weakness or dependence, as much as a sign of loyalty

    Bwahaha hahah ahahahah!

    Byu has shown time and time again that they will slit the throat of loyality if infact they could gain from it.

    Just ask USU about that.

  • GJ Greenwood, IN
    March 28, 2011 12:27 p.m.

    "BYU would not accept a Pac-10 invitation without Utah."

    Williary and Hedgie, this is not a sign of weakness or dependence, as much as a sign of loyalty. The only advantage sharing conference affiliation with Utah had was that the schools had similar demographics and supported one another in conference negotiations. It's kind of like the U.S. having England to back it up in the U.N. when all of the "have not" countries want more concessions or money from the U.S. In the WCC, BYU will be affiliated with other religion based private schoools. Though smaller they are more demographically similar than BYU is to say UW or SDSU.

  • Cougar in Texas Houston, TX
    March 28, 2011 12:06 p.m.


    Rondo Fehlberg and Steve Young both stated that BYU has been looking at going independent in football since at least 1995. One main reason they did not was because as long as Utah was in the same conference, it made sense to stay together. Went Utah left, it was time for BYU to take that step. The HD BYUtv operations were all but finished, and the time was ripe.

    Congrats on going to the PAC. The excitement should be somewhat tempered by realizing that Colorado, pathetic in football for many years now, was invited before you were, and that you had to wait until Texas and the southern division of the Big 12 were off the table before you were in.

  • williary Kearns, UT
    March 28, 2011 12:05 p.m.

    Um TJ

    I'll repeat what Dick "Cougar Club" Harmon was told right from BYU's mouth:

    "BYU would not accept a Pac-10 invitation without Utah."

    I'm not as cleaver as you to work horses into the story, but what that means is BYU admits they need Utah. While Utah glady accepted a Pac-12 invite without BYU.

    Just the facts from your schools mouth.

    How sad is it that the horse who continually wanted to slow down "Cougar" just got the job "Cougar" has always wanted!

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    March 28, 2011 11:26 a.m.

    Too bad that Utah had to bolt on BYU, when BYU was such a staunch supporter of the U...

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    March 28, 2011 11:24 a.m.

    willary and hedge;
    BYU hitched their wagon to Utah??? Wow! I would laugh but it scares me that there might be more than two of you who actually think that. I will try to make this simple for you by putting it in a story. I owned a horse that loved to travel fast and see country. I named him Cougar. Sometimes when I went on trips overnight I would borrow a horse from a friend of mine and use it as a pack animal. His name was Ute. Ute was always pulling back on the lead rope and trying to slow Cougar down. In the corral at night Ute would brag to the other horses that he kept having to wait for Cougar. Most of the other horses knew this wasn't true but politely listened to Ute and his stories and laughed behind his tail. Sometimes Ute was able to slow Cougar down so my friend sold him to a farm on the West coast where he now pulls a wagon to deliver money to other, more well known horses well known. Cougar went on to national fame and his name is well know to all horses.

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    March 28, 2011 11:13 a.m.


    You're missing the point (again). BYU NEEDED Utah to be successful for any shot at a legit conference. In essance, Utah was the tds meal ticket. I can only imagine the excitment (when Utah was invited to the big show) then the soul crushing bitter rejection ( when BYU was not). Holmoe made the call he hoped he'd never have to make.

    Force his football team onto an island and thus deligate his basketball to a lesser conference.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    March 28, 2011 11:11 a.m.

    After that TV deal, Thompson should have been fired. He's as bad as Benson at the WAC.

  • fresnogirl Fresno, CA
    March 28, 2011 10:53 a.m.

    In the end, it doesn't matter what any fan from any other school says. The fact is, both BYU and U of U are headed to greener pastures. We will finally be able to watch our teams play on TV. Of course both fan bases are happy and excited about that.

    As far as the Independence vs. Pac-12 comments go ... I think they are silly. Both schools can be successful -- it doesn't have to be one or the other.

    @ hedgehog: "BYU hitched their wagon onto Utah for decades."

    How many decades are we talking about? Because if we go back 2 decades the BYU vs. Utah games are even 10 - 10. If we go 2 more decades, then it goes decidedly in BYU's favor as the Utes struggled in football then.

    My point is, instead of concentrating on trying to belittle BYU, why not use that time and energy supporting your own team and being happy for them? I'm happy for them and I never attended that school.

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    March 28, 2011 10:29 a.m.


    I think BYU needed Utah to gain entrance into a legit AQ conference. BYU hitched their wagon onto Utah for decades and hoped for the Utes success only so far as it would help them in the back door.

    The truth is the administration knew that BYU baggage was far to large to get in alone.

  • Floyd Johnson Broken Arrow, OK
    March 28, 2011 10:15 a.m.


    Already did! I am not a Utahn, but I signed up for Direct TV for the exclusive purpose of watching BYU Football. When I called to cancel the mtn. they offered to continue the expanded sports package at a $2/month rate (it had beeb $12). "No thanks mam, there is absolutely nothing on that channel that I will ever again be interested in watching." Look forward to dumping Direct TV all together when my contract is up. I may move to watching BYU TV on line.

  • williary Kearns, UT
    March 28, 2011 10:09 a.m.

    Considering BYU was never going to be invited to the Pac-10, they've been begging for an invitation for decades, it does them no harm to assign a demand to their potential entrance that makes them look like they are driving the bus. Just another case of BYU trying to save face. If at anytime over the past 3 decades that their begs for inclusion to the Pac-10 had paid off, they would have jumped through that hoop before Utah even knew what was going on.

    I guess the point BYU is really trying to make with that comment know is that BYU needs Utah more than Utah needs BYU. That from BYU's own mouth.

  • aggieblue Saint George, UT
    March 28, 2011 10:00 a.m.

    Hedgie: I will miss seeing your posts now that basketball is over. Check the baseball schedule, volleyball and attack the Y. Yes, the MWC will miss the Y and u for different reasons. The money that the Y football program brings will be missed sorely, basketball will miss the RPI ranking that BYU brought to the conference. Utah will be missed, basketball for the guaranted wins against u. Football did bring some credit, but the current pac 12 schools are looking forward to the guaranted wins against the football team.

    Those of these posts alledging that Y students and fans are "holier than thou" should look at SDSU and the direct attack, not on the team but the beliefs of the school. I felt that the Y players were classy in their reaction which was no reaction, no condemning, or bitterness, simply saying that the students had a right to display whatever they choose.

  • fresnogirl Fresno, CA
    March 28, 2011 9:52 a.m.

    Honor Code

    You seem to care an awful lot for someone who doesn't care.... Just an observation.

  • redcliffs Ivins, Utah
    March 28, 2011 8:49 a.m.

    There have been some comments posted about bad behavior of fans with views that some schools are worse than others. How can you really tell which schools are the worst? I see bad behavior at little league, high school, college and pro sports. You can't get away from it and I would just like to see all of us grow up a little and act like better citizens when attending sporting events. If you want to rub something in the faces of fans from other schools, do it by cheering louder for your school and stop all the putting down of other teams and their fans. I'm not singling out any one school here, this goes out to everyone.

  • Honor Code Denver, Colorado
    March 28, 2011 7:56 a.m.

    Duckhunter | 6:27 p.m. March 27, 2011
    Highland, UT
    @honor code

    "Life is hard for the fans of irrelevent schools isn't it? You can keep on projecting your insecurity and pain here, we don't mind, it simply reminds us of why we left all of you behind."

    Only "PAIN" and "INSECURITY" I ever encountered sits in Provo, Utah!!! I witnessed it first hand in Denver at the NCAA Tournament. Your fan base was "obnoxious" to the point that I sold my tickets and left after the second session started. I'm forever grateful that Colorado isn't in your plans for future sports. Good luck in those High School gyms the WCC provide. Even Dave Rose will be sending a message to BYU fans...........watch!!!

  • Cougar in Texas Houston, TX
    March 28, 2011 7:42 a.m.


    Read the article and answer your own questions. Your assumptions are all way off.

    The MWC and BYU had a rebroadcasting deal involving BYUtv. When the mtn changed owners, the new bosses refused to accept the BYUtv rebroadcasting deal.

    No, Samuelson and Checketts did not negotiate the contract between the mtn and their new owners. Thompson may have tried to maintain the agreement, but he utlimately failed.

    If you don't think there is beer (and harder stuff) at Utah games at Rice Eccles, then you are must be the one who believes in the Easter Bunny and Santa.

  • shorts Payson, UT
    March 28, 2011 7:25 a.m.

    I can't find the "Denver newspaper columnist wrote good-riddance to both BYU and Utah " Where is this? Anyone find it?

  • Justmythoughts Richfield, UT
    March 28, 2011 7:17 a.m.

    It will be interesting to see how many Utahns dump The Mountain from their cable or satellite package ASAP. I serious doubt that fans of Boise State, Fresno, or Nevada will make up the difference.

    I for one am excited about the change. Change is good. There will be some things that I won't miss......(basketball on UNLV's home court every year for the tournament, trying to figure out where to find the games on TV, Craig Thompson doing everything he can do to undermine BYU)

    Here's to the future!

  • SJ Bobkins Gilbert, AZ
    March 28, 2011 5:23 a.m.

    Craig baby, I'd love to hear you try and weasel out of the question: "How can you give BYU an ultimatum that if they wish to play football as an indepebdant, they will have to leave the MWC entirely, yet allow Hawaii to enter in football ONLY, playing all other sports in the Bgi West? Few ever mention the fact that this was really a "cross that yellow line and......," question, BYU tried to negotiate the all but football deal and were rebuffed by the Air Force Academy rep who was the, in effect, chairman of the MWC board. Don't use the football drives the bus argument, none of the remaining members make a dime on football, without BYU, even with Utah included averages less than 25,000 per home football game. The MWC is a basketball conference and losing BYU and being stuck with the same TV package will make the future very difficult.

  • TheSportsAuthority Arlington, VA
    March 27, 2011 11:52 p.m.


    BYU not only beat Oregon and OSU,
    the Cougars destroyed Oregon 38-8 and OSU 44-20!!!

    Take off your crimson-colored glasses and face reality.

  • OU812 Layton, UT
    March 27, 2011 11:44 p.m.

    Re: Bronco, we also must remember that BSU became the darlings because they BEAT the likes of Oregon, OSU, Virginia Tech, and others whereas BYU has failed to do so. I don't see much changing, BYU will continue to lose and BSU will still continue to win, maybe not as dominately, but still win.

  • Bugoff Houston, TX
    March 27, 2011 11:38 p.m.

    BYU independence will improve recruiting in both football and basketball. The TV coverage will attract more international and non Western athletes who do not know much about BYU or who would normally stay closer to home.

    More talent attracts more talent.

    It is reported that the WCC does not have a gate sharing arrangement for basketball. BYU gets all of it's home game proceeds and it's television proceeds.

    The small WCC gyms do not matter that much to BYU as a road team as long as they get the ESPN and BYU TV proceeds.

    The WCC gyms are small but MAYBE games can be arranged at larger venues as BYU will draw much better and that means more money for the host schools. If the WCC does not work out then another arrangement can be developed.

  • UtahBronco Lehi, UT
    March 27, 2011 11:05 p.m.

    Yes, BSU fans are disappointed that The MWC will be sans Utah, BYU & TCU. Still, it's a better option than the WAC. An upside for fans is fewer weeknight home football games mandated by ESPN. One view is that the Bronco football brand has already been established nationally and doesn't need ESPN to carry it anymore. I think it is also reasonable to say that BSU can likely continue to add to it's list of BCS bowl appearances while BYU not so much (zero and counting).

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    March 27, 2011 7:16 p.m.

    Boise State will be the biggest loser in the shake up. They would have never left the WAC and ESPN if they would have known BYU, Utah and TCU were leaving the MWC. ESPN made them the darlings of the mid-majors. Without ESPN, Boise will become just another mid-major. They will fall into the black hole of The Mtn. Their visibility and recruiting will begin to fade. The days of calling them a BCS buster will be long gone.

    It wouldn't suprise me if they try to get back to the WAC along with Fresno and Nevada within a couple years.

    I'm sure BYU would have rather joined the PAC or Big 12, but that was not an option. Independence is a better option that the MWC. As long as BYU continues to win 9 - 12 games a season, Independence will be very successful.

    Once they get their schedule ramped up, I think you'll see them consistently playing teams in all the major conferences every year.

    There is already talk of an annual game at Cowboy Stadium over Thanksgiving weekend between BYU and Texas or Oklahoma.

    Go Cougs!

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    March 27, 2011 6:27 p.m.

    @honor code

    Life is hard for the fans of irrelevent schools isn't it? You can keep on projecting your insecurity and pain here, we don't mind, it simply reminds us of why we left all of you behind.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    March 27, 2011 6:12 p.m.

    Those who are angry with BYU and Utah exiting the MWC sought to profit from our fan base and national audience.

    I fail to see why BYU should engage in athletic welfare when the viewers are tuning in to see the Cougars.

  • Honor Code Denver, Colorado
    March 27, 2011 6:09 p.m.

    For those of you BYU fans that complain about the MTN, remember there happens to be 3 BYU commentators that work for the MTN. To date none of them amounted to a hill of beans.........unless BYU was playing, then it was one sided play calling.

    Please tell me that you're taking those 3 (wanna be's) to the WCC etc..........

    Thank you in advance!!!

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    March 27, 2011 6:08 p.m.

    With every ending comes a new beginning.

    BYU will now face Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference each year. People like me will finally be able to watch BYU Basketball games on a regular basis.

    In football the excitement will only grow. The ESPN contract is huge.

    Recruiting for both football and basketball will improve. What aspiring athlete in high school would not want to be on TV. Their families will be able to see them. The games will be on demand for all to see.

    Our athletes must realize that they will become targets. The adversary desires to bring them down. Brandon Davies is on the right path and I feel will be back. It is a wonderful thing. There is as much joy in the abyss when an LDS athlete falls as there would be if he were a General Authority. They must band together and help each other make it and make it they shall.

    Cougar Nation welcomes this new beginning.

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    March 27, 2011 5:46 p.m.

    "I'm told LDS Church leaders who govern BYU never would have allowed BYU to leave a conference on its own without Utah." - Dick Harmon"

    They also have some swamp land they'd like to sell ya.

  • Uteology Fort Worth, Texas
    March 27, 2011 5:16 p.m.

    There's not a MWC president or athletic director who wouldn't jump at the invitation to join the Pac-10 like Utah did. No brainer.

    I'm told LDS Church leaders who govern BYU never would have allowed BYU to leave a conference on its own without Utah." - Dick Harmon

    What? So BYU is the only school that would not have jumped at joining the PAC-12, Big East, SEC, Big 10, ACC, Big 12 if they came calling?

    That really is a no "brainier" down south.

  • TheSportsAuthority Arlington, VA
    March 27, 2011 5:03 p.m.

    Simple math proves why BYU's move to the WCC is an improvement.

    WCC + ESPN/BYUtv > MWC + the MTN

    Besides, once you get to the tournament, except for conference bragging rights, it really doesn't matter which conference you're in.

    BUTLER is the ONLY team playing in the Final Four for the second straight year.

    Which Big 6 conference is Butler from?


    btw, there won't be a single #1 in the Final Four this year. #11 seed VCU eliminated the last #1 Kansas today.

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    March 27, 2011 5:01 p.m.

    BYU has carried WAC and MWC major athletics for decades with a few exceptions here and there. The cash cow in gone and the rest can do nothing but attack and badmouth because they know the ride is over. BYU fans get blasted for being "arrogant" or "holier than thou" when they engage in the same rivalry trash talk that the other schools throw at them(usually not to the same degree of classlessness and vulgarity). It's just like the US giving aid to third world countries. They hate us for doing it and they hate us more for stopping.
    Utah left first; and as the article points out, BYU never would have abandoned Utah. Utah turns out to be the ungrateful brother and BYU gets bashed worse for deciding to leave after Utah announced it was leaving.
    Having said that, I would also point out that any school in the MWC would have jumped at the chance to go to a better conference and probably all of them would have gone independant if they had the same viability BYU does. To sum it up; there are a lot of selfish and immature people posting.

  • Mount Olympus Holladay, UT
    March 27, 2011 4:48 p.m.

    "seems like we have more byu fans than utah fans writing comments."

    yes, because Dick Harmon is a byu homer. Most Ute fans don't read his articles.

  • charlie24 Sandy, UT
    March 27, 2011 4:38 p.m.

    Now you have been told that BYU would have taken a better offer if it had ever come, because I told you so. Please quit with all the goofy information. BYU has been aware of the U's decades old goal to get invited to the Pac10, they simply thought that Utah would not ever make it. In the mean time they worked together to make the best of the MWC, but both hoped for something better. Had a ship come for BYU, they would have taken it. Shocking, the ship came in, but in this case there was not so much as a courtesy call for BYU!

  • Scandrus Cedar Hills, Utah
    March 27, 2011 4:21 p.m.

    The MWC may miss BYU and Utah but I doubt any Utah or BYU fans will miss watching, or attempting to watch games on the "Mountain". It is a horrible network with lousy production. I am happy to never have to watch Andrea Lloyd again. Watching the Mountain was like watching Wayne's World or listening to Ham radio. I want to be able to watch my team without having to switch my cable TV provider, upgrade to two different cable TV packages and listen to announcers who couldn't make it anywhere else. The only positive for the "Mountain" was Greg Wrubell, he is consistently excellent but besides him their play by play and color analyst's were awful!!

  • Scandrus Cedar Hills, Utah
    March 27, 2011 4:15 p.m.

    I like the move to Independence for the Football Team but let's be honest, the move to the WCC is definitely a step down in basketball. SDSU, New Mexico, UNLV, Utah and Colorado are consistently better than anyone in the WCC except Gonzaga. BYU is going from playing in front of 15,000 a night to 3,500! If I was Dave Rose I would be very unhappy. The MWC had a #4 strength of schedule and the WCC is 12th nationally. BYU will not be happy in the WCC after a couple of years and they will be looking to move again!!

  • Y4LYFE Lubbock, TX
    March 27, 2011 4:14 p.m.

    No they won't. And for some reason they are glad BYU is leaving. That makes me laugh.

  • junkgeek Agua Dulce, TX
    March 27, 2011 3:41 p.m.

    BYU football will become irrelevant, like most independents not called Notre Dame become. As for basketball, is the WCC a step up? No. Harmon is just putting lipstick on the "BYU got rejected" pig.

  • So. Cal Reader Escondido, CA
    March 27, 2011 3:39 p.m.

    From a basketball sense only, I believe BYU will miss the MWC more than the other way around. I'm the biggest critic of Thompson and what he has or has not brought to the table as commissioner of the conference, but I believe the WCC will be a good step down in basketball. Outside of Gonzaga and Saint Mary's, the conference won't offer much competition at all for our Cougs and won't offer the arena size that MWC teams provide, all packed with BYU fans when the Cougs are in town!!

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    March 27, 2011 3:25 p.m.

    @menace to society

    I have never read a more illinformed post. It is an instant classic and perfect example of ute "fan" ignorence and silliness. Please keep posting. LOL

    @dyer gary

    Well when there are more BYU fans by something along the lines of 20-1 then the odds are pretty good you'll see more comments from the vastly larger fanbase.


    Cougar fan here who is really looking forward to attending basketball games in each and every WCC city. Just something about traveling to SoCal, NoCal and such places in January and February that is infinately more appealing than Laramie, Albuqurque, Ft. Collins and for that matter Logan. LOL

    Don't worry about us as I think we'll be just fine going to those "gyms". I know I will.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, Utah
    March 27, 2011 2:07 p.m.

    "seems like we have more byu fans than utah fans writing comments."

    Seems like there are more BYU fans than Utah fans nationwide. Funny how that works!

  • Old ball coach Sandy, UT
    March 27, 2011 1:34 p.m.

    Good ridence to Hatu and YbU! These two programs were the original teams that complained about having to play football games on ESPN Thursday and Friday nights instead of Saturday? These two programs were the driving force to opt out of that contract and form a new network called THE MOUNTAIN!!!! Now they walk away from the conference?

    The MWC had a sweet deal with ESPN on BIG MONDAY! National exposure, and games played right after a BIG East and BIG 12 game. But YBU and Hatu again complained about playing at 10pm on Mondays?

    The truth of the matter is both schools are now going to be forgotten, shuffled off to pasture in the land of Zion. The MWC has to start over, but will be heard from agian.....mark it down!

  • roquetman provo, UT
    March 27, 2011 1:24 p.m.

    Yeah Utah you will be missed, BYU not so much, and you cant replicate BYU fans, you can't replicate their arrogance, or their vain pride, or the fact they are mean rude jerks. Utah fans were always pretty good. So BYU will join a new conference full of religious institutions with fans who will wonder as I have been a member of the LDS faith, how BYU fans are the least Christian in college sports.... Go Pokes, Go Lobos!

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    March 27, 2011 1:20 p.m.

    That is incredibly naive. BYU would have jumped to the Big 12 or PAC, without Utah, in a heartbeat. No second thoughts.
    This was incredibly difficult on their fragile ego, we get that, but to say they would have stuck with Utah is not true. It was byu who pushed to leave USU out of the WAC all those years ago.

  • MenaceToSociety Draper, UT
    March 27, 2011 1:14 p.m.

    How was the TV deal Craig Thompson's fault? Did he negotiate that contract? Wasn't it Dave Checketts, Cecil Samuelsen et al who negotiated and signed that TV deal? To blame Thompson for that, and not Checketts, sounds like selective whining to me.

    I keep hearing about the mythical "promises" made to BYU regarding broadcasting rights. It reminds me of the mythical beer at Ute games, along with unicorns, the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus.

    If these "promises" were made, why did Dave Checketts, Cecil Samuelsen et al not see to it that they were included in the contract? Why did Cecil Samuelsen et al agree to and sign the contract without those "promises" included? I am guessing Samuelsen's signature is on that contract, not Craig Thompson's. I saw an interview where Checketts was complaining about the broken "promises". Well, why did he not get the "promises" included in the contract? Who's fault is that?

    Why would anyone be surprised or complain about the networks sticking to the contract signed by Cecil Samuelsen? If you want to blame someone, blame those who negotiated and signed the TV contract- Dave Checketts, Cecil Samuelsen.

  • So-CalAggie Anaheim, CA
    March 27, 2011 12:57 p.m.

    I'm sure the Cougar fans will love playing basketball in High School gymnasiums that most Big West schools would even laugh at.

  • Dick Harmon
    March 27, 2011 12:44 p.m.

    In this columnthere is a typo for Utah's Mountain West record. It should read 107-73 instead of 197-73. Hopefully our Internet folks will make the correction today. Thanks for reading the Deseret News.

  • BoringGuy Holladay, UT
    March 27, 2011 11:22 a.m.

    Let those left in the dust whine and grown. Neither of our fan bases have to worry about the MWC anymore or the mtn. THe nightmare's over.

    Next season, we'll be watching the games in HD on ESPN and ESPN 2 -- including September's holy war.

    As for Mr. Harmon, that little remark about BYU's determination to stick with Utah wasn't necessary. Don't lower yourself to the level of that silly and bitter Colorado writer. We all know you're a proud BYU guy -- but it would show a little class to simply congratulate the Utes for moving onto greener pastures. It's also your duty as a professional objective journalist. With that, I hope BYU finds success in independence.

    As for the MWC, I'm looking forward to not watching any more mtn. network ever again. I also feel for the Boise State, NV, and Fresno fans who have no idea about the pain they're about to endure in their new home.

  • Th Tooele, UT
    March 27, 2011 11:00 a.m.

    According to Harmon, BYU won a record 42 games this last year.... Career wins going from 1608 - 1650....

    Remmeber where the Mountain Network and Mountain West offices are... In Denver and Colorado Springs. The Mountain which already is terrible, just got much worse! On a positive note, with as bad as the picture was on television, it was hard to tell at times how bad Utah stunk at hoops. On the other side of this, it could be hard to watch a Boise home game in the future as the 1980's cameras that were donated to them might react negatively to the smurf turf.

    Good riddance to the Mountain Network. I will love watching Utah compete in the PAC12, but I will miss traveling to Colorado Springs and other Mountain West football facilities watching my Utes play. I guess there will be some good swaps with Autzen Stadium, the Rose Bowl, Huskie Stadium, etc....

  • '90Cougar Hampstead, NC
    March 27, 2011 10:44 a.m.

    Dyer Gary,

    I for one have no problem saying that the Pac 10 is the conference I always viewed as the destination of choice. Lots of BYU fans feel the same way, just many of them have a hard time saying it out loud now that the Utes were invited instead of the Cougars.

    Maybe the Utah fans have less to say because they are more secure with their new Pac 12 membership than the BYU fans are with their independence/WCC situation.

    Utah scored big when they were invited to the Pac 12. Now they just have to put a competitive product of the field/court in a much tougher conference. Let's see how they hold up.

  • Who am I sir? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 27, 2011 10:44 a.m.

    I thought the article should have included the post season records as well. It would show how much the two schools have contributed to the MWC's standing in the nation's eye. National respect follows when you beat the best teams in tournament play!!! (Just as BYU and SDSU did this past year!)

  • Honor Code Denver, Colorado
    March 27, 2011 10:34 a.m.

    "MWC will sorely miss BYU and Utah"????

    Hardly!!! But what can you expect from arrogance???

  • RR_Xing San Diego, CA
    March 27, 2011 9:27 a.m.

    The MWC will not miss BYU and Utah nearly as much as the WAC will!

  • estreetshuffle Window Rock, AZ
    March 27, 2011 9:10 a.m.

    It is an excellent opportunity for other programs in MWC to shine. There are some excellent programs from the other MWC that can flourish and have outshined BYU and Utah and can shine even more. I will continue to watch the mountain channel even though i am a byu fan. i am also a fan of UNM and AF and will continue to attend their games as well as byu games. the was need for the top three teams to depart because the mwc was top heavy. look at UNM were dominate over byu in basketball and track and cross country but did not get recognition. primarily i am a byu fan at heart but a change was needed so the other teams (with good programs) to flourish.

  • DH48 West Jordan, UT
    March 27, 2011 8:47 a.m.

    The truth is that if it weren't for the horrible TV contract things really were improving in the MWC. The addition of Boise State gave the conference so much in football and the quality of play in basketball has been moving up. The conference was gaining respect and moving forward.

    But you can't blame Utah for jumping to the PAC 12 and automatic exposure. You can't blame BYU for doing something that will bring in much more money and exposure for them. Things change and so we all move on.

    Good luck to all of the schools involved.

  • Common-Tator Saint Paul, MN
    March 27, 2011 8:36 a.m.


    Thanks much for the data you provided. It looks much more plausible. I wondered a bit about the records in the original article, as Utah was shown playing 90 more conference games than BYU. I'd also be interested to know BYU's total record, as 1,608 + 32 is not 1,650. (Dick, need to get someone on the staff to help scrub the background research, or at least do a quick proof-read, ala "Reality" on 'Pardon the Interruption'!)

    Definitely concur on the MWC's difficulty reference the TV contracts, and what were perhaps disingenuous comments by writers outside of Utah reference Utah and/or BYU leaving the conference. Could it be, "you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone"?!

  • Where's Stockton ??? Bowling Green, OH
    March 27, 2011 8:17 a.m.

    All I've got to say to the whiners is... Start bringing bring your own lunch money...you bummed off of BYU, Utah and TCU so much you have forgotten what it's like to actually earn your own way. And as for Craig Thompson...I hope the rest of the remaining members get up enough courage to finally stand up to him and vote him out as commissioner. If they don't then they're not going anywhere as a conference.

  • KamUte South Jordan, UT
    March 27, 2011 8:17 a.m.

    BYU is better off now that Utah and TCU are gone. You don't have a really strong hoops conference but the WCC has some great cities with good weather. No more Laramie, Albuquerque. Huge plus.

    Football will pay off.

  • CaliforniaCougar Lake Elsinore, CA
    March 27, 2011 8:06 a.m.

    And how is this a bad deal for The Mountain when they are basically going from 0 viewers to 0 viewers. I don't know anyone here in California that was able to pick up that channel.

  • Dyer Gary Bountiful, UT
    March 27, 2011 7:58 a.m.

    seems like we have more byu fans than utah fans writing comments.

  • Laser Iowa City, IA
    March 27, 2011 7:08 a.m.

    Thompson is demonstrated very poor leadership. If he was concerned about the breach of contracts for TV he would have done a lot more than give up after "no returned" phone calls. When a contract is broken, it's broken and you have a ton of recourse.

    He never put up a fight and now his conference is in shambles. There is nobody to blame but himself.

  • Utah'95 FPO, AE
    March 27, 2011 7:05 a.m.


    If you are tired of others "baiting and bashing BYU, its players, and especially its fans," then I recommend you reconsider the tone of your posts.

    History indicates that BYU has been very successful in collegiate athletics for decades. Rubbing people's noses in it comes across as arrogant and/or insecure.

  • Orem Parent Orem, UT
    March 27, 2011 5:07 a.m.

    So long fuzzy mtn. network.

    HELLO Cougars in HD!

  • gottscheer APO, AE
    March 27, 2011 12:59 a.m.

    I don't see this as a bad thing for the MWC or for BYU and Utah. We will now see who is right in the war of words that the Utah schools have been carrying the rest of the MWC schools on their backs. Probably, to some extent they have, but I don't think the conference is loosing as much as the Utah schools think. Utah is getting a great deal, but she will soon learn that she will now be a very small fish in very big pond. BYU on the other hand will going to a conference that doesn't have much of a reputation, except for basketball, and will have to raise the respect of the conference on there backs. BYU football independence will be a lot harder than the Cougars think.

  • Uteanymous Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 27, 2011 12:26 a.m.

    It'll be interesting to see if Utah basketball has more success in the PAC 12 than TCU basketball has in the Big East.

  • OU812 Layton, UT
    March 27, 2011 12:15 a.m.

    Actually, they already moved on, maybe you should too.

  • pocyUte Pocatello, ID
    March 27, 2011 12:00 a.m.

    viva la Pac 12

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, Utah
    March 26, 2011 11:53 p.m.

    This article almost makes it sound as if Thompson is sad to see BYU leave, and they tried their hardest to allow the TV contract to conform to BYU's demands. I doubt it's true.

    The TV negotiations probably have some truth to it, and if it's true, the mtn will pay the consequence. The mtn will suffer in two ways: 1) Although they gained Boise State, which will draw some viewers, they lost most of the whole Utah market and some BYU fans in other states, making a big drop in mtn subscriptions; and 2) The incoming teams will realize how bad the contract really is and try to get out of it asap.

    The mtn could maybe salvage the wreck a little bit by renegotiating, but the damage to the state of Utah has already been dealt. Without the mtn BYU is now free to conduct its own business, and it has the ability to do so.

  • WA_Alum&Dad Marysville, WA
    March 26, 2011 11:50 p.m.

    It's been comical to see the reaction from fans of the remaining MWC schools froth and bark about how BYU betrayed them, the very same fans who've loved to hate BYU and who've never missed an opportunity to bait and bash the school, its players, and especially its fans. I see the WCC with its religiously sponsored schools as a step up. If the Cougars never play in Laramie, Ft. Collins, or at New Mexico or SDSU again, it will be too soon for me.

    Dick, talk to the powers that be, and help us get rid of that ridiculous "cougar on the mountain" logo and bring back the cougar on the block-lettered BYU that worked so well for so long.

  • Riddles in the Dark Olympus Cove, Utah
    March 26, 2011 11:33 p.m.

    Very good records for both BYU and Utah in the MWC, but after all of the bluster we've heard about the superiority of Utah basketball, it's a little surprising to see that BYU had a much better record during their 12 years in the MWC.

    BYU 276-116(70.4%) overall, 126-54(70.0%) MWC, 6 MWC titles, 8 NCAA tournaments
    UoU 230-150(60.5%) overall, 104-76(57.8%) MWC, 5 MWC titles, 6 NCAA tournaments

    Overall, Utah lead the head-to-head 13-14, but BYU won 9 of the last 10.

  • scenic view Baltimore, MD
    March 26, 2011 11:18 p.m.

    I wonder what the Colorado writers had to say about Colorado moving to the PAC 12. Seems a bit hypocritical to be whining about Utah going to the PAC 12, when their own neighborhood school did the same.

    Craig Thompson almost single-handedly drove BYU out of the MWC with his lame television contract.