Natalie Meisler of the DENVER POST reports numerous sources confirming this week that BYU will remain in the Mountain West conference with an announcement coming as early as today. The Cougars had reportedly been contemplating taking their football program independent and moving all of their other sports programs to the WAC.
When contacted about the Post report, BYU associate athletic direct Duff Tittle told the SALT LAKE TRIBUNE: “nothing has changed on our front. We continue to review our options and search for ways to advance our athletic programs.”
Meisler noted that the immediate announcement was preferable to BYU as it would alleviate the conference alignment issue from becoming a distraction next week when the Cougars play Washington in football.
The pending announcement would keep the issue from spilling into next week’s season opener when BYU hosts Washington, coached by BYU favorite son, former Cougars quarterback Steve Sarkisian.
Also, if BYU stays with the MWC, pushing membership to 11, the next debate will be whether to further expand to 12 members, split into divisions and have a football championship game.
If BYU does indeed stay in the MWC, Texas college football sources have told me in the past week to expect the University of Houston to join the Mountain West as the 12th team.