The BYU Cougars’ football team was a part of the Mountain West Conference from 1999-2010 before declaring independence for the first time in their storied history. The team was under legendary coach Lavell Edwards for two seasons upon their arrival to the conference and won its championship in the teams first year as a member.
The legend continued for the next eleven seasons as Gary Crowton led them to a championship in his first season with the team in 2001, going 12-2 in the process, before the team hit a slump and had three straight losing seasons before current head coach Bronco Mendenhall took the reins in 2005. The team returned to conference glory, winning the championship in 2006 and 2007, going 11-2 in both seasons.
According to MWC Connection, the Cougars, who have been independent since 2011, have entertained the idea of moving back into the conference. Director of athletics Tom Holmoe had only a few words to say about those rumors and he didn’t seem to deny them at all.
Currently, there are only three independent football universities in Army, Notre Dame, and BYU. Navy announced earlier this summer that they would be joining the American Athletic Conference this season as a football-only affiliate.
If the Mountain West were to once again add BYU back to its ranks, that would help out the top teams in the conference, namely Boise State, gain some notoriety in the national scene if they were to defeat a team of such caliber. It would only help the conference and the Cougars if BYU is to move back into conference play.
The Cougars open the season on the road against Nebraska on September 5.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports