SBD/May 21, 2014/Colleges

MWC Becomes Third Conference To Evaluate Scheduling Independent BYU

BYU was not invited to the Big 12 in part because of concerns about geography
Mountain West Conference Commissioner Craig Thompson said that the conference is “evaluating its scheduling philosophy regarding BYU,” according to Dennis Dodd of CBSSPORTS.com. The MWC “becomes the third conference to consider how it views the FBS independent in terms of scheduling” following the SEC and the ACC not recognizing BYU as a Big Five team last month. Thompson said that the MWC evaluation “isn't necessarily a negative” for BYU because the school “might bring schedule strength to certain schools” in the conference. However, such a move by the conference “is sure to heighten concerns” at BYU and “creates the perception that BYU could negatively impact schedule strength” among the Big Five Conferences in the College Football Playoff era. Thompson said of BYU, “We're playing them more out of history, geography and convenience than schedule strength. Now that will bite me in the (backside) but you know what I'm saying. We have a history with them.” Dodd noted during conference realignment, the Big 12 “did not invite BYU -- in part -- because of concerns about geography.” Troubled in part with the MWC’s TV visibility, BYU announced a four-year deal with ESPN in ‘10 “to go independent” in which the net “reportedly pays BYU between” $800,000-$1.3M per home game. On the high end, that is as much as BYU was "earning per season” in the MWC. The current situation has become an “unintended consequence of conferences trying to develop schedule strength to impress the selection committee” in the upcoming CFP era (CBSSPORTS.com, 5/19).
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