After weeks of speculation, Brigham Young is prepared to leave the Mountain West Conference and declare itself an independent in football beginning in 2011. The Cougars will join the Western Athletic Conference in all other sports, an arrangement much like the one Notre Dame has with the Big East.
The move was first reported on the Colorado State football Twitter page: "BYU to go independent in football in 2011. Cougars will join the WAC for all other sports. Press conference scheduled for Thursday."
BYU has been considering its options for months, but the move is likely being made now because the Mountain West does not have an exit penalty as long as a school gives notice by Sept. 1 of the year before it wants to leave.
BYU no doubt feels secure in making such a move because the school has what Texas and many other schools now covet: A state-of-the-art worldwide TV network that is on the basic packages of Dish Network, DirecTV and some 200 cable companies.