Thursday, October 24, 2013

Did BYU Make Right Move to Go Independent?

BYU is in its third year as a football independent after leaving the Mountain West Conference in 2011. The Cougars are in the midst of a four-game winning streak heading into Friday's showdown with Boise State in what's now an annual rivalry showdown.

But no matter what happens the rest of the season—even if BYU goes 10-2 with victories over Texas and Boise State—it won't be part of the BCS conversation and will have to settle for a second-tier bowl as it did the past two years.

So did the Cougars make the right move in going independent? And are their prospects going to improve once the BCS era ends after this season?

BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe over the summer emphatically said striking out on its own was the right thing to do, telling the Salt Lake Tribune: "For sure, I would do it again. It has given us new energy and additional opportunities. We were in a good spot before, but I believe we are better off now."

In terms of television revenue, it's hard to argue with Holmoe. BYU got a national TV deal with ESPN in which nearly all its home games and many of its road games are broadcast on the World Wide Leader's networks. Between ESPN and BYUtv, the school receives about $10 million annually, more than triple what Mountain West schools get, with the exception of Boise State, which has its own sweetheart deal.


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