Independent strategy may have huge payoff

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Late this afternoon, just as the news was breaking nationally, BYU Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall brought the good news.

"He brought us all in at the end of practice and said this would be our last season in the Mountain West Conference; and that starting in 2011 we'd be going independent." Junior QB Riley Nelson said. Going it alone in football but with ESPN as a larger-than-life tv partner. BYU tv will also play a big part.

"I think guys are really excited. This is a new chapter in BYU football history and something we get to be a part of," added co-Captain Matt Reynolds.

The man who roamed BYU sidelines for nearly 30 years, Hall of Famer LaVell Edwards also added, "it's exciting, I'll tell you that. It will be a lot different." The man who built BYU Football into a National Champion, says he's always been a conference guy but this feels like a move Brigham Young University has to make.

"I think this is something that's been well thought out and studied over a period of time with the President (Samuelson) and others involved in the decision. And in many cases, not left with a whole lot of alternatives."

Coach Mendenhall, the man who calls LaVell, "Mentor," loves the increased reach this brings to BYU. I think this will be a chance for tremendous exposure for our program and I love the idea of being more visable."

Junior Wide Receiver, McKay Jacobson, also added his excitement to the news. "It's a little bit more motivation to play well this year, our last year in the Mountain West; and look forward to the future."

The other crucial component of BYU's break from the MWC, Dave Rose dominant BYU Basketball program. Leading most of the rest of BYU athletics west, joining Gonzaga and St. Mary's in the West Coast Conference.

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Tom Kirkland, SportsBeat


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