BYU, Utah Bid Farewell to Mountain West Conference - 8 News NOW

BYU, Utah Bid Farewell to Mountain West Conference

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LAS VEGAS - It's time to say goodbye to Utah and good riddance to BYU.

Since the Mountain West Conference started 12 years ago, BYU and Utah have combined for 61% of the league's championships.

The BYU Cougars have won 140 league titles. Utah won 49. UNLV won 38, and the list goes on. BYU alone has won 45% of the league's championships

It's hard to knock the success of either school.

Utah produced the only two number one picks by any conference in the same year. The San Francisco 49ers drafted Utah quarterback Alex Smith in 2005. That same year, the Milwaukee Bucks drafted Utah center Andrew Bogut number one.

Utah's football team leaves the conference having never lost to UNLV at home, a sore spot for Rebel fans. The Rebels were 0-8 in Salt Lake City.

In 2007, UNLV beat Utah 27-0 at Sam Boyd Stadium. Utah football coach Kyle Whittingham said it was a wake-up call for the program, which hasn't looked back since.

BYU gave the league its most significant regular season win in 2009 when the Cougars beat top-five-ranked Oklahoma in Texas Stadium. It was a significant win for the conference.

In 2002 and 2004, the Rebels beat BYU in back-to-back road trips to Provo, Utah. That 2002 score was significant. When the Rebels beat BYU 24-3, it was the Cougars' lowest scoring home game since 1971.

Remember when UNLV fans got all over Sarah Cummard for pulling out flip-flops and using them as mixed martial arts gloves following the league championship? The Mountain West Conference was forced to install black barrier walls at the basketball championships after that incident.

In 2006, University of Oregon coach Mike Belloti, following a 38-8 loss to BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl, said BYU would still only be a middle-of-the-road PAC-10 team.

Remember when BYU's Rafael Araujo smacked UNLV's Jerrell Blassingame in the face during a basketball game, but was never reprimanded?

How about when a Utah lineman kicked UNLV's Howie Fuemaono in the face? Former Utah football coach Urban Meyer said if it was true, his player would be done for the season. His player was back on the field two weeks later.

Utah and BYU have provided lots of memories during the years. If there's one thing we'll miss, it could be Jimmer Mania, named after BYU basketball sensation Jimmer Fredette. How often is a name used as a noun, adjective and verb?

With the Cougars and Utes leaving, Rebel fans hope they get Jimmered.

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