LARAMIE -- No matter what happens with future conference realignment, nothing will affect this current Wyoming football program and the lofty goals ahead.

That was the message conveyed Wednesday afternoon by the school's athletics director Tom Burman, who stood behind the podium and addressed boosters, players and corporate sponsors inside the Wildcatter Club & Suites high above War Memorial Stadium.

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"One comment that I know many of you are wondering about and that is the current state of conference membership and where all of it's going and how the Pac-4 is going to have an impact on the Mountain West going forward," Burman said. "The good news is it has no impact on this group of young men winning a championship in 2023.

"So, that should be our sole focus."



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Nearly a year ago, USC and UCLA announced they would be leaving the then-Pac-12 Conference and joining the Big Ten. Rumors started to swirl this offseason that more programs could defect from the west coast.

Those rumblings turned to reality when the University of Colorado stampeded back to the Big 12 in late July. Washington and Oregon followed, joining the Trojans and Bruins in the Big Ten less than a week later. Arizona, Arizona State and Utah would also bolt for the Big 12, leaving the 108-year-old conference with just four existing members: Cal-Berkeley, Stanford, Oregon State and Washington State.

Could those four nomads ultimately join the Mountain West? Is there a merger in the works? Will another league swoop in?

"I wish I could give you an answer," Burman said. "I don't know where it's going to land. I do feel that, you know, at the end of the day -- and that end of the day could be months from now -- the University of Wyoming will be positioned well. The conference is committed to each other. As we move through this, we'll see what happens with the remaining members of the Pac-4."

If you dissect those institutions, Burman added, two really fit the bill of a Mountain West program: OSU and Wazzu.

"I would think before it's all done, wiser heads will prevail," Burman said. "But we'll see."

UW vs. NIU September 11, 2021


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