Reaction to BYU going independent

Here is some reaction Tuesday from BYU’s announcement it will go independent in football and to the West Coast Conference in other sports:

University of Wyoming President Tom Buchanan

““It’s BYU’s decision to leave the MWC, but I know that UW and the rest of the Mountain West Conference will be moving forward, continuing to build our reputation in all of our sports and aggressively seeking opportunities for our student-athletes to compete at the highest collegiate level.  Rivalries energize crowds, raise the level of competition and provide fans with exciting moments in Cowboy and Cowgirl athletics.  I’m confident that level of excitement will continue to be the hallmark of the MWC.”

UW Athletics Director Tom Burman

“BYU was a long-time rival, but we have to look forward. We can’t lose sight of the fact that this league has much to be proud of. We look forward to working with the other members of our conference and to continue building for the future. We’re proud of what we have accomplished across all of our sports, and we are proud of the accomplishments of our Mountain West rivals, which we’re pleased to say now include Boise State, Fresno State and Nevada.”

BYU football coach Bronco Mendenhall to The Salt Lake Tribune

“I support our administration’s decision. I think there will be a chance for tremendous exposure for our program and more details will come [Wednesday], I am certain. As far as I am concerned, I am supportive of it and anxious to coach the team in a new situation.”

Loyola Marymount Athletics Director William Husak to The Salt Lake Tribune

“I can’t speak for every athletic department, but I can tell you there was a unanimous consensus about the prospect of bringing BYU into the West Coast Conference.”

MWC Commissioner Craig Thompson

“Since its inception, the Mountain West Conference has worked strategically to grow and strengthen the league, in order to position itself at the highest level of intercollegiate athletics. Our Board of Directors’ diligent exploration of options to advance the membership’s objectives is ongoing. This includes conversations with our television partners to address issues of mutual importance, as well as determining the optimal configuration for the Conference and investigating the possibility of various collaborative alliances.  We look forward to the future with great excitement – particularly welcoming recent additions Boise State, Fresno State and Nevada into the Mountain West.”

For more on this, see Wednesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang

10 thoughts on “Reaction to BYU going independent

  1. now that the cougs are gone, do you think usu and houston will get an invite? from thompson’s comment, it makes me feel like we are not done adding teams. i guess we can kiss the bcs goodbye, but i will say it again. Houston could be playing in a bcs game this year. we need to add them now!

    • Hi Joe,

      I don’t think the MWC is done adding, either. But not sure who at this point. Utah State could be, but its back-and-forth stance through all this makes me wonder and it really doesn’t bring anything to the MWC. But it would alll but destroy the WAC, if the WAC hasn’t been destroyed already. That also would allow Fresno and Nevada to join sooner, possibly.

      Thompson’s comment on collaborative efforts with other leagues makes me thing the MWC and C-USA may try to form something where the winners of its two leagues plays a game with the winner getting BCS access. If that flies then maybe the MWC tries not to go after teams there?

      But I gotta think the MWC could still add. I know we’ve talked about Houston. I like that pick. I like the fact of trying to stay in Texas and get more of a footprint there. We shall see.

      Take care Joe. Hope you can join me for the live chat tomorrow at 3.


    • Good one DMC. Think he will be sentimental this season with this being BYU’s last season? Better have the mute button handy.


  2. I wish your poll had a 3rd option…”Sorta.” I love the rivalry and some of my favorite memories are of wins over BYU. I do hate BYU, however, and all the baggage they bring. I just can’t see this working out for them, and if it doesn’t, I’ll take great pleasure in watching their programs crash and burn. More than anything, I want to see BYU fail just so that their fans, players, coaches, and administrators finally realize that they aren’t nearly as amazing as they think they are. Maybe I am happy BYU is gone!

    • Hi Jim,

      I know what you mean about the rivalry aspect of all this. Having family and being born in southwest Wyoming Utah and BYU both are big rivals for UW fans over there. There is a lot of history with UW and these schools but unfortunately the rivalries have taken somewhat of a back seat in both football and hoops as Utah and BYU have pretty much owned UW.

      The move to indepedence is a bold one. It can work but I think early it will be a struggle. Like you said, however, it could all blow up in BYU’s face and how interesting would that be?!

      Great post and thanks for your interest. Take care.


    • It sucks to know that losing Utah and BYU means the MWC is nothing more than the WAC II. The sign of a confused mind is someone who wishes ill on those they secretly wish to be.

      • Hi Doug,

        I would like to think the MWC is at least a little more than the WAC II. But in some regards you are right.

        For now, the MWC has survived. Boise and TCU are nice teams with national caliber football right now. Others need to step up.

        Thanks for your interest.


  3. The thing that will be hard is rooting for them now. One of the greatest things about being a Wyoming fan is that you also end up being a MWC fan. Anytime a MWC game is on TV, you are screaming at the TV passionately for the MWC team. Now, I want Utah and BYU to lose every game that they play. I can’t believe I am going to be rooting for Pitt tomorrow night and Washington on Saturday. I guess I will turn my attention to Boise, Fresno St. and Nevada now. I am cautiosly optimistic that TCU will stay in the MWC only because I do not believe that they have the fan base to move to the Big 12 AND I gaurantee that Texas does not want TCU to become more of a recruiting problem. But I am not going to lie…I am extremely nervous about Wyoming’s future.

    • I think a lot of schools like Wyoming can be nervous about their futures. If this thing goes to super conferences, schools like Wyoming are in trouble. But all it can do is accept what it has and take as much advantage of it as possible. But I know what you are saying, Joe. I think all this is far from over.


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