Ok, a lot has happened in the last few hours. Let me get you up to speed. The Salt Lake Tribune announced that BYU would go independent in football and join the WAC in all other sports. To coincide with that report, the MWC extended invitations of membership to Fresno State and Nevada, something I said they should have done the moment Utah announced its departure. We’re now getting reports that Fresno State has accepted this invitation as they have a news conference set up for 10:30 PM ET. Nevada is reportedly mulling it over, but reports indicate they did not sign the $5 million buyout deal to leave the conference. Rumor and pandemonium have ensued.
Let’s put something to rest. This isn’t the giant conference shuffle everyone is trying to make it out to be. Portland State, Eastern Washington, Weber State, Montana, you can all settle down, at least your fans can, you aren’t going anywhere. No one is going from FCS to FBS that quickly, so rule that right out. Here’s what I think did happen: BYU just pulled the most brilliant fake ever.
Think about it. Fresno State, Nevada and the rest of the WAC would surely have known if BYU was coming over to play. In fact, BYU would only make that move with the guarantee that the WAC would stay together. So why would the Bulldogs and Wolf Pack bolt for the MWC? Because BYU was brilliant. They only faked going to the WAC to get that moron Craig Thompson off his lazy butt and add more teams. They needed to expand like I said. Tom Holmoe at BYU must read the Cafeteria, for he must have seen my wisdom in this. The MWC can only get competitive by raiding the top of the WAC and getting to 12 teams.
Well, BYU was pretty pissed they didn’t. So they create this instant rumor through “a hacked Colorado State Twitter account.” Sure…I believe that for a second. That breaks the story and then all of a sudden it’s a done deal? Fishy. It got Thompson nervous so he invited Fresno State and Nevada to keep his conference together. Now wait, BYU will come out and say they are proud members of the MWC and not going anywhere. Now they lost Utah but picked up Boise State, Fresno State and Nevada, the three best teams in the WAC. Turns out net positive for the MWC and BYU.
Of course, BYU will probably do something to negotiate a lucrative TV contract on their own network like Texas is trying to do. I don’t blame them. At any rate, either BYU goes independent and makes a lot more money and gets into a lot more households, or they just made the MWC and sure bet to get an automatic BCS berth. Brilliant either way.
Here’s how I see this going down. If BYU stays and the others join, that’s still just 11 teams. They need to grab one more. I think Idaho, Utah State or San Jose State are the top picks for that spot for sure. As soon as the WAC falls apart, Hawaii will return to independent status no question. Between San Jose State, Utah State, New Mexico State and Idaho, you pretty much get them all going back to play in the FCS, unless the MWC picks up one of them. Either way, at this point the MWC will have to get to 12 teams, unless BYU actually does go. Then they would have 10 which is workable. However, why would BYU still go if Fresno State and Nevada come to the MWC? There would be no WAC to play in, that’s for sure.
One thing is certain in all of this: either the MWC or the WAC is finished. Ironically, the fate of both conferences lies with Fresno State and Nevada right now. Whichever conference they join is likely going to get BYU and Boise State, and thus stick around, while the other disbands into oblivion. Can’t wait to see how it all plays out!