The talk has been going on for weeks now, but it appears the news is official: BYU football is going independent and the other sports at the university will join the West Coast Conference.
The move, which takes effect for the 2011-12 season, changes the face of major college sports in the western third of the country — at once weakening the Mountain West (BYU’s current home) and strengthening the WCC, whose members include three Bay Area schools: Santa Clara, St. Mary’s and USF.This is huge for BYU, though in what direction is still unclear. There has been talk that ESPN wants to give BYU its own TV deal, and I imagine that was a big part of BYU's decision to try and make it on its own.
My initial reaction? I think this will work. I think BYU's exposure playing on ESPN instead of the mtn is huge, and the flexibility of scheduling different teams every year instead of playing the same old San Diego State and UNLV in football will also make the school more visible across the country.
I'll post more details as they come, but for now, I'm excited.