The BYU Cougars have announced that they will leave the Mountain West for the 2011-12 season and become an independent in football, while joining the West Coast Conference (WCC) for other sports.
BYU originally scheduled to go to the WAC for everything expect football, but canceled those plans when the Mountain West took Nevada and Fresno State.
At the press conference on Wednesday, BYU Athletics Director Tom Holmoe announced that BYU and ESPN have agreed to an 8 year deal with ESPN televising Cougar home games.
The deal will start with the 2011 football season and run through the 2018 season. Terms include one game minimum on ESPNU, while an annual minimum of three games will air on the ESPN family of networks. Any home games not picked up by ESPN will be televised on BYU TV.
In addition to the TV deal with ESPN, Holmoe announced that the annual rivalry game between BYU and Utah (who will be joining the Pac-10) will continue, details on the series should be announced soon. Holmoe also announced that current WAC Members Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State and San Jose State, will provide BYU with five games in 2011 and four games in 2012.