WAC, BYU and the prenup

Seven days ago the Western Athletic Conference was about to undergo a major facelift. Instead, it’s not limping along with some serious bags under the eyes.

Here’s the latest bit of information that lets us know just how close that whole BYU-to-the-WAC story was to actually happening.

Essentially, it’s the prenuptial agreement BYU and the WAC came up with before Fresno State and Nevada got cold feet.

According to this report in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser BYU and Hawaii had come to an agreement on a 10-year football scheduling deal.

Utah State, according to the newspaper, also had an agreement in place for a long-term home and home scheduling arrangement with BYU.

The Star-Advertiser obtained a ‘memorandum of understanding’ between the WAC and BYU that appears to have answered many of the how and why questions regarding BYU’s potential move to independence in football and WAC membership in other sports.

“Under the terms, BYU would become a WAC member in all sports except football. It would pay the same membership fees and have a vote on the WAC Board of Directors in football matters,” the article states. “BYU would be eligible to play in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl in years in which UH was not bowl eligible if the Cougars had a better record than the third-place WAC team.

“In addition, BYU would play four to six WAC opponents each year in football. Home-and-home series would include UH and Utah State as opponents for BYU.”

With a bowl game arrangement and numerous scheduling partners in place, BYU’s transition to independence would have been a relatively smooth one in some ways. Utah State, the WAC and its member schools would have benefited greatly and BYU would have gained the control of football TV revenue it has long wanted.

All that is up in the air now, though, and Utah State’s future hangs in large degree upon what decision BYU makes now that the MWC robbed the WAC of two more schools — making BYU’s destination anything but a soft landing ground.

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