Potential impact of Utah State & San Jose State possibly moving to MWC has on BYU


By: Mitch Harper (Twitter: @Mitch_Harper)

On The mtn. Network (Mountain West Conference Network) their slogan is “Where the West Was Won”.  Apparently that means winning the best cast of mediocre western football programs to be in a league.  Rumors swirling today say that Utah State and San Jose State are going to be leaving the gutted WAC for the Mountain West Conference.  This news started coming in from former Deseret News employee Jared Eborn who apprently is still tapped into what happens at USU.

If the Mountain West does in fact add Utah State and San Jose State it means the Mountain West Conference will go to a 12-team league, which would likely create a Championship Game for the league.

As BYU fans, we should all be rejoicing to be away from this mess and moving forward into Independence.  But the big concern us BYU fans should have, is what does this potential news do to our future scheduling plans?

BYU of course had a scheduling agreement with members of the WAC to help fill out BYU’s future schedules.  If Utah State and San Jose State are in fact gone the WAC will be down to Idaho, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State.  Then the league adds Denver, Texas-San Antionio, and Texas State who just hired the much traveled Dennis Franchione as their football coach, for the 2012 season.

Hawaii and Utah State definitely want to honor their future meetings with BYU.  Problem with Hawaii is the road contests.  When Independence was announced, the long-term series agreement with Hawaii was intended on having all the games in Honolulu in December, and would have likely been a game featured on ESPN (WAC has contract with ESPN).  Now with the MWC likely going to a Championship game it ties up that week in December, and all the games going to Honolulu and Logan will now be under the Mountain West Conference TV deal.  Which as we all know is putrid, and everyone across the nation doesn’t know it exists.

Will be interesting to see what direction the WAC goes with for their future membership.  Denver and the two Texas schools are steps in the right direction, but underwhelming especially for what BYU wants to achieve with its schedule.

Would not be surprised to see BYU works out deals with teams in the western part of Conference USA (UTEP, Rice, Houston) to help build the slate.

Hopefully, the Mountain West TV deal crumbles and the league is forced to go crawling back to ESPN.  If that happens, this is all peachy and works out well in BYU’s favor.  But one has to wonder, if ESPN would really want to deal with the Mountain West and Thompson again?  Thompson since breaking off from ESPN in 2006 has been very negative on the network, even though he hasn’t improved his own product.  But that’s beside the point.

Needless to say, the issue of scheduling for BYU is a lot better bind to be in then what Boise State is dealing with right now.  Hopeless, with no light at the end of the tunnel at this point.

This news has to make you wonder what Boise State is thinking?  They literally moved into the Mountain WAC.  Do you think it’s possible Boise is thinking Independence after all of this?

Boise doesn’t have a national following by any stretch, but they’ve carved out a nice niche where people are glued into what they do on Saturdays in the Fall.  Largely in part to what ESPN has done with them.  And if Boise did take the plunge into what we think is the greatest cult ever (Indy), you would have to think BYU and Boise could bloom into a yearly end of the rivalry of sorts.  Would be exciting.

The reason why I throw this out there is due to USU and San Jose’s numbers.  They basically put a nail in the coffin on any hope that the Mountain West Conference gets a BCS Automatic Bid.  We all knew it was never going to happen anyway, but adding those two in the league, now its just a foregone conclusion.

At the end of the day, be happy Cougar fans that we control our own destiny, and not at the mercy of the shady individual known as Craig Thompson.