WAC commissioner Karl Benson is going do his best to get BYU in his league for his non-football sports, and to have them set up a nice series with the football partners:
WAC commissioner Karl Benson told The Salt Lake Tribune on Friday evening that his conference is still negotiating with BYU about the possibility of the Cougars going independent in football and placing its non-football sports in the WAC.
That the Cougars would join a six-team WAC (Boise jumped to the MWC in June, beginning in 2011) seems implausible, but reports have surfaced that the WAC and/or BYU have approached Houston, UTEP and SMU of Conference USA recently about their interest.
The second part seems interested and I am pretty confident that this potential invite to Houston and/or UTEP is first to make the league attractive for BYU to join, possibly make a switch for Louisiana Tech to go to a more travel friendly league as C-USA, or if the choice is Houston which will give Louisiana Tech a travel partner.
UTEP would love to go to the WAC for travel reasons plus it could make sense for Houston because they could take the place of Boise State by winning a league with ease and far less chances of losing games.
Back to the Mountain West side of things with Houston, the Cougars have came out and said that no contact between them and the Mountain West has taken place:
"We are not in discussions with the Mountain West," Rhoades said. "We're proud to be part of Conference USA and have respect for the 11 other institutions. We're working hard to become better as an institution. We're always going to look to better ourselves. We're always going to look for opportunity.
"And if we can do that, everything else will take care of itself."
That is pretty straight forward from the Houston side. For those who are wondering what the buyout clause is for C-USA this is from the same Houston Chronicle article:
C-USA rules, meanwhile, state that a school must give at least one year's notice before withdrawing from the league. The exit fee for a school giving a year's notice before departure is $500,000, plus whatever damages C-USA incurs to its television and licensing during the subsequent five years. The deadline for leaving C-USA in time for the 2011 season was July 1, 2010.
So, the buyout could be much more if the television partners deem losing Houston makes the television deal that much less. Who knows if the penalty is the total difference in value of the deal which could be a lot, so it might be in Houston's best interest to inquire about the Mountain West until 2011 when we will know if the Mountain West is a BCS league or not.