Last night the BYU cougars announced they were in serious consideration of leaving the Mountain West Conference. Their plan is to become an independent football team while all of their other sports will become part of the Western Athletic Conference.
Becoming independent in football can only help BYU's athletics. If they do leave the Mountain West, they won't have to waste their time playing teams like Colorado State, Wyoming, Air Force, New Mexico, and San Diego State. Playing BCS caliber teams in place of those mediocre team will only bring the program more interest in nationwide and improve their recruiting.
It will take very little time for the Cougars to regain their national power if they become an independent. If your a recruit would you rather go to a school playing Wyoming, or would you rather go to a school playing USC every year, and every single one of your games being nationally televised? They can have a top twenty-five recruiting class every year if they decide to be the Notre Dame west of the Mississippi.
So if they leave their football product will raise to the point of a USC or a Notre Dame, but it also gives them great financial security. In good time they will be even better off than Notre Dame. BYU has their own television channel, and that's a huge difference. Notre Dame doesn't get paid for commercials on NBC; however, BYU will receive money for advertisements on their channel. That's a huge sum of money that will only make their university better.
One of the biggest perks for BYU leaving the Mountain West would be that they are now a hated football program. Anyone that's not a Notre Dame fan pretty much hates them because they are so much better off than our own program. Hated teams are viewed so often it will only bring more and more money to their program.
Now as for the cons of BYU doing this the list is very short. It makes the Mountain West irrelevant, and their other major sports now have poor competition. They will be the Ohio State of the WAC in all of their other sports once the money starts running on from their football program. Playing in the WAC will just become a joke for them a few years down the line.
I am completely for BYU making the switch to Independent football. It can only make the sport better, and it can only improve their university. It makes absolute complete sense for BYU to leave the Mountain West Conference. In fact I'll think less of their program if they decide to stay with the Mountain West. It just shows that they are afraid to go for it.