The BYU Cougars are reportedly exploring the possibility of leaving the Mountain West Conference. According to ESPN, BYU is contemplating becoming an independent in football and joining the Western Athletic Conference in all other sports, starting next football season. The idea reportedly cropped up earlier this summer after BYU’s top rival Utah announced plans to leave the Mountain West for the Pac-10 following this season. If BYU becomes an independent, the school would reportedly play four-to-six WAC schools in football every season, one being Utah State. What isn’t yet known is if BYU would get the same BCS concessions that Notre Dame gets for being an independent. The Fighting Irish are guaranteed an automatic BCS bowl berth if they finish in the top eight of the BCS standings. The deadline to withdraw from the Mountain West Conference for the 2011 season is September 1st. Despite losing Utah next season, the Mountain West has already announced plans to add Boise State from the WAC. BYU, Utah, and UNLV were all among the original members of the MWC when it formed in 1999.