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My main offering for today's newspaper is about the powerful SEC, and how the Cougars are venturing into college football's premier conference on Saturday when they tangle with Ole Miss. The Rebels went just 4-8 last year, but BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said Monday nobody in Provo should be fooled by that subpar season. "I'm anxious to see how we measure up and how we fit against them," Mendenhall said. "National champions have come out of the SEC the last couple of years at least. Football is a really big thing and knowing the SEC coaches, their lives are quite different. I don't know how much different they are in relation to mine as the coach at BYU but there is a lot of pressure and a lot of exposure; football is a big thing in the South. They have a lot of talent, good coaching and good tradition at almost every school. Again, I'm anxious to see and compete against those teams, maybe on a yearly basis to see where we stack [up]." Last year, the Rebels were upset in their opener by Jacksonville State, and never really covered. The focus of coach Houston Nutt's news conference Monday was on getting off to a better start, as this article in the Clarion-Ledger newspaper details. Interesting quote from Ole Miss quarterback Charles Sawyer on BYU QB Jake Heaps: "He has a good arm, but that's every quarterback we play." Doesn't sound like the Rebels are in awe of BYU's highly touted sophomore quarterback.———————————- The Tribune's Kurt Kragthorpe weighed in on Big 12 expansion and what BYU should do if that league comes calling in the near future (he says the Cougars should say yes in a heartbeat) in this piece. And here are BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall's thoughts about the future of college football; Mendenhall says superconferences are coming.For what it is worth, a few reporters from Big 12 country that I've been corresponding with say the idea of BYU joining the Big 12 as a football-only member is gaining steam. That would allow the Cougars to stay loyal to the West Coast Conference — at least for a couple of years — which I believe is a priority to the folks who run BYU. I've been told there's a strong feeling in the administration building at Provo, and in the tall building on South Temple in SLC, that jilting the schools in the WCC before having played a single contest in the league would show poor form, and make claims that the Cougars aren't in it for money ring hollow. Speaking of which, columnist Berry Tramel of the Oklahoman says Notre Dame isn't joining the Big 12 anytime soon in this blog. And he continues to preach that the league's primary target should be BYU. Here's that part: "That's why Brigham Young is the focal point of Big 12 expansion. The Cougars, who just left a dysfunctional Mountain West Conference, have little to lose. BYU is independent this season; a move to the Big 12 wouldn't harm BYU's legacy or pocketbook, no matter when the Big 12 might dissolve. If BYU joined the Big 12 for two seasons, then the league went bye-bye, what would BYU have lost? Nothing."———————————- Finally, in case you missed it last night, BYU basketball coach Dave Rose received a pair of commitments from teammates at Lone Peak High. Nick Emery, a junior, and TJ Haws, a sophomore, said they will become Cougars. Here's my updated account of the commitments in the Tribune, with comments from Emery on why the teammates committed when they did.