The BYU Cougars have been invited to join the Big East Conference, Deseret News has reported. BYU would join the Big East in football only.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner told the Deseret News that his sources indicate “an invitation has been extended and that BYU officials are in favor of a move to the Big East.”
Williams went on to say that BYU “has a conference that desperately wants them for all of the right reasons and have given them every indication that they will acquiesce to their expectations. “But is that enough to get them to get their football program to leave independent status? I don’t think anybody knows at this point in time.”
BYU is playing their first season as an FBS Independent after leaving the Mountain West Conference last year. Prior to that, the Cougars were a member of the Western Athletic Conference from 1962 to 1998.
The Big East is trying to rebuild their conference after losing TCU and West Virginia to the Big 12 and Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the ACC. TCU never played a season in the Big East. West Virginia is hoping to leave in 2012 which might also spur an early exit for the Panthers and the Orange.
According to Williams, the Big East is looking to rebuild and strengthen by “adding a West Division that would be comprised of BYU, Boise State, Air Force, Houston, Louisville and Southern Methodist. BYU, Boise State, Air Force, Houston, and Southern Methodist would join as football-only schools first, with an opportunity to join as full members down the line.”
Will the Cougars accept the invitation and join the Big East as a football-only member? The decision should be made soon as the conference hopes to make an announcement in early December.