In my opinion....this is a Texas style bluff by BYU. The point of all of this is to get the MWC to tear up the TV deal with regards to BYU and allow them to have their own TV package, a la Texas and the Big 12.
BYU can no longer afford to carry the MWC on its financial shoulders. 1.3M a year in TV revenue? That's highway robbery.
My dive into the head of Brigham Young:
1. When the PAC 12 didn't even consider BYU, it was a rude awakening for everyone. The fact that we weren't even considered and brought to life their deepest fears....fears that had been left unspoken because many could not believe it could be true: that because of BYU's religious affiliation no major conference was going to invite them in. Prop 8 hate. It's not the fans of those conferences who would object but the liberal deans and presidents of those universities.
2. BYU realized it was stuck in the MWC for good...eternity might be a good thing for a marriage (at least some) but not a relationship with the MWC
3. BYU knows that the lack of TV coverage is going to start really hurting recruiting at some point in the near future
4. Utah will start hauling in around 10-15 million a year in TV revenue.
5. BYU knows they are going to get left behind in the MWC in both national recruiting and athletic budget (in relation to other major universities)
6. So they decide to let it leak that they are going independent...the hope is that the MWC realizes that the current 1.3M TV contract will be worth even less with BYU out of the conference (NO ONE is watching a SDSU vs. Colorado State game).
7. So BYU says, look, if you want us to stay, tear-up our contract and allow us to operate independently with regards to TV rights and we'll even kick back a percentage of that new revenue to the conference.
8. If the MWC says no, then BYU walks...and gains more national coverage, more money and more recruits and lets the basketball program suffer the consequences.
9. BYU wants some respect from some conference...any conference. The PAC 10 and Big 12 didn't give them any respect...if the MWC won't give them that respect in the form of a new TV contract, then they'll realize it's a lost cause, load up the wagons and head to Independence.
BYU can no longer afford to carry this conference on its financial shoulders. In the end I hope that BYU is able to stay in the MWC but have a separate TV deal. But if the MWC won't make those concessions then BYU needs to move on.