Happy BYU Independence Day

     The same day Barack Obama declared the Iraq War over, the West Coast Conference declared Brigham Young University's independence - in football at least.

     Beginning in the 2011-12 season, BYU will leave the Mountain West Conference and compete in the West Coast Conference for all sports but football where it will compete indepdendently.

     "I support our administration’s decision," BYU football coach Bronco Mendenhall said.  "Exposure does change perceptions of programs."

     Some Cougar fans however, weren't so pleased.

     "How in the world do you spin this as a good thing for BYU sports? I've got to be completely honest here. I just don't see how this is a good move for BYU," posted Peacekeeper on the website Cougarboard.  "I guess BYU will be ok for a while because they still sell a lot of tickets. I just wonder how long people are going to pay good money to see such a horrible basketball schedule (Gonzaga notwithstanding)."

     The Mountain West Conference released a statement following the announcement of BYU's departure.

     "Since its inception, the Mountain West Conference has worked strategically to grow and strengthen the league, to position itself at the highest level of intercollegiate athletics," it read.  "We look forward to the future with great excitement — particularly welcoming recent additions Boise State, Fresno State and Nevada into the Mountain West."

     They kind of left out any mention of the Cougars leaving...oh well.

     BYU is currently working on the 2011 schedule and is in talks with ESPN to televise games.  So far, BYU is already scheduled to play Oregon State, Texas, and MWC newcomer Boise State.  Mendenhall also expressed interested in competing with Notre Dame, another university that competes independently in football.

     The WCC includes Gonzaga, LMU, Pepperdine, University of Portland, St. Mary's College, the University of San Diego, the University of San Fransisco, and Santa Clara University.  The Conference does not include some sports BYU competes in such as track and swim and dive.  The University has yet to release information on where those teams will compete.


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