So it’s official now: BYU is leaving the Mountain West and becoming independent in football, joining the West Coast Conference in most other sports. I’ve read a lot of analysis about this, and I’ve thought a fair bit, and I have to say that overall, I’m very happy with the decision. Here are the pros and cons, as I see them:
- More control over our direction
- We get out of that lousy mtn. channel. Seriously–how hard has it been to find BYU games these days? They’re on one of like four different channels. When you do finally find one, you’re stuck with idiot announcers who do nothing but irritate me. No love lost there.
- We get away from some of the negativity that had been hurled at us from our MWC “brothers.” A lot of teams in our league really seemed to despise us, or at least their fans did. Maybe that’s because we’re so easy to hate–why is that? (Please don’t answer–I know the arguments.) We’ll see if things get any better now that we’re not facing the same teams year after year.
- Basketball still has a place to thrive, with access to the NCAA tournament
- Way more visibility–much easier for me to watch BYU sports. I mean, I just got to see a bit of a BYU press conference, live, online, free, while I was in Maine. That’s pretty darn cool
- More access to big name school opponents. 8 years with ESPN? 6 games scheduled with Notre Dame already? These are really good signs for the future.
- The better we play, the better coverage we get, according to the ESPN guy on the news conference.
- More money–Not sure how much more, but this will certainly be more than we were getting with the MWC. That means more funds to keep developing our football team, letting us stay more competitive. Very nice.
- Questionable bowl game access–I really hope we can work something out to be able to go to bowl games. I like those, and I think it’s a great reward for a successful season
- Homes for some of our sports are up in the air
- Lots of hurt feelings on all sides–I don’t like that the MWC went from being all in this together, working as best we could toward a common automatic qualifying BCS spot, to suddenly being splintered. I was a huge MWC fan, rooting for each team, each time we played someone non-conference. That’s all gone, and it makes me sad.
- No conference championship to play for–That’s a big motivator, gone.
I have some other thoughts, but that sums it up for now. What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear ’em. Overall, I think it’s a win for BYU, and I have high hopes for the future. Go Cougars, and good luck on Saturday!