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Morning links: Should BYU remain an independent or go back to the Mountain West? Will Cougar hoops be better this season?

PROVO — It's been a hot-button topic surrounding BYU football for years now.

Should the Cougars remain an independent or should they return to the Mountain West Conference, the league they left after the 2010 season?

Vanquish The Foe examines the four biggest myths of the should-BYU-go-back- to-the-Mountain West argument. One of those arguments involves bowl tie-ins.

"Even the most blue-goggled BYU fan would probably admit that one of the big drawbacks to being an independent is that they only have one bowl contract. Once they’re eliminated from a NY6 opportunity (more on this in a minute), we all pretty much know where BYU is spending their offseason, sometimes before the calendar switches to October. These bowl arrangements are hardly mega-prestigious events either. At best, they give BYU a shot at a decent Pac-12 team. At worst, they’re matchups with MWC or AAC squads. These games are typically objectively blah," writes Matt Brown.

Will BYU basketball be better in 2018-19?

ESPN apparently thinks so.

The Cougars were ranked No. 65 in RPI and No. 82 in ESPN's BPI last season. In ESPN's preseason BPI rankings, BYU checks in at No. 32.

"The recruiting rankings will certainly boost BYU’s standing. They’ll bring in a trio of 4-Star freshmen in Gavin Baxter, Connor Harding, and Kolby Lee. All three newcomers will have a chance to contribute right away," according to Lawless Republic. "Looking at Dave Rose’s past offensive and defensive performances, it likely helped raise the Cougars’ BPI slightly. Rose has fielded elite offensive teams and solid defensive ones, although the past few years haven’t produced the same results. Overall, it’s not surprising that ESPN predicts that the Cougars will improve in 2018-19. It is surprising that they predict so much improvement, and that they see BYU as one of the Top 35 teams in the nation."

And finally ...

Former BYU wide receiver Colby Pearson has signed a contractwith the Atlanta Falcons. Pearson originally signed with the Green Bay Packers, and he spent part of last season on the Packers' practice squad.