To check out March's roundtable go here. The discussion is about expansion.
This month's topic is about scheduling, and it is no where near as long as March's round table. So you are welcome for the shorter read, also here is the full 2011 Mountain West football television schedule.
Jeremy I already did a giant post about the best and worst of the schedule, but here we go again. I'll save the move of the TCU vs. Boise State game for those more personally involved in that game, but my opinion is that it was a lowball move by the league yet they can do as they wish. It just sucks for TCU season ticket holders who have a poor home schedule. Also, it sucks to have so many FCS games, but with league dropping from nine to eight teams it was inevitable.
My biggest beef with the schedule is the lack of good games on the first weekend in December. Why extend your league season and not put good games to show? Unless you are diehard fans of your team most will be watching the Big 12, Pac-12, Big 10 and if things get bad even the ACC title game. The games are New Mexico at Boise State, Wyoming at Colorado State, Fresno State at San Diego State and UNLV at TCU. Fresno and San Diego State is a decent game, but why not have TCU play Boise, Air Force play San Diego State, UNLV against New Mexico and Colorado State against Wyoming.
There would be two real good games, a rivalry game and a competitive game. If that end of season schedule was set up this year there is a real chance that either the Air Force vs. San Diego State or TCU vs. Boise State game could be for the conference title and people would tune into the game, and especially so if it was for a BCS bid and both teams were undefeated.
Kevan (Boise State)
Jeremy, I completely agree with you about the lack of exciting games at the end of the season. Did Craig Thompson learn nothing from the cliffhanger on Grey's Anatomy? Mike Locksley needs to DIE on December 3rd or else no one is going to watch MWC football in 2012. OK, maybe dying is too far. At least put him in a coma. And make him pregnant with Andrea Adelson's baby.
The first weekend in December is clearly a dud. But so is the last weekend in November, a weekend when smaller conferences like the WAC stage their de facto championship games. Is the Mountain West hoping to market Wyoming at Boise State as the MWC's de facto championship? I sure hope not. I sold those tickets once I saw they were for Wyoming.
The rest of the schedule is ... a schedule. There is no sexy to it, except for maybe that BYU - TCU game with all the intense hatred and double standards. Here are some highlights:
Easiest schedule: San Diego State. The Aztecs get both the Horned Frogs and Broncos at home and both immediately following a bye week. Correction: The Boise State game follows a game against Colorado State. Correction: Never mind that first correction.
Best game: Boise State at TCU. To be played at Bronco Stadium.
Toughest stretch: UNLV plays Air Force (road), San Diego State (home), and TCU (road) in consecutive weeks to close out the season. Here's hoping the Runnin' Rebels are bowl eligible by October. /snort /chuckle
Team with the biggest gripe: TCU. I'm not going to lie: Craig Thompson hates the Horned Frogs. TCU plays its three toughest conference opponents on the road, and I believe one of those games was supposed to be played somewhere else. Allegedly.
Best weekend of the year: None. All weekends have exactly one marquee game, which is a stunning accomplishment for the monkeys that put together this schedule. Give them a banana raise. They have earned it.
Here are my thoughts on the 2011 schedule for Wyoming. It is a great improvement over last year which featured 12 consecutive games and facing TCU, Utah, BYU and San Diego State all in a row. Wyoming has two bye weeks that are placed to their advantage and it features the Border War on the final weekend of the season. It's nice knowing that no matter what happens during the year you can always count on a good game to end the year and a chance to crush your longtime rival. The battle for the Bronze Boot has ended the season every since 2007 and is a tradtion worth keeping. Especially since the Holy War is no longer a part of the MWC.
The two bye weeks come prior to road games to Utah State and San Diego State so the Pokes will be well rested before their road trip. We do play SDSU, TCU and Air Force in consecutive weeks but at least New Mexico is set inbetween the Boise State game. On a personal note I'm pissed that the Boise State game is being played on Thanksgiving weekend. I'd been planning a roadtrip to Boise but that won't happen now due to family obligations.
The MWC is taking a real chance by moving the TCU/Boise game from Fort Worth. If the Horned Frogs win (they will be very motivated) then it will really blow up in their face.
Kevan (Boise State)
"If the Horned Frogs win." Hmm ... I had not thought of that possibility.
Ian (Colorado State)
Here is my take on the Colorado State schedule. The first thing that sticks out is that the Rams won't open the season against the CU Buffs in the Rocky Mountain Showdown like they have in years past. There is good and bad to this. There is no better tail gait for CSU fans then Invesco Field and while the weather shouldn't be an issue, pushing it back could cause a few issues for student fans. The good is they have a chance to open the season with two wins against New Mexico and Northern Colorado. Getting some rhythm could help out a lot before they face off against the dirty hippies.
Getting a bye week this year is nice, more so cause its before the Boise State game and in the middle of the season, which will hopefully bring in some nice revenue since a W is out of the question. Kellen Moore is going to look like Peyton Manning against our secondary, he could literally throw for 600 yards and I wouldn't be surprised. Last year the Rams bye week was after the season was over, so that was stupid. Their season ended on 11/20, this year the Rams have two games after their game on 11/19. Weather wise this sucks but at least the season won't end in mid-November. Two more weeks of football season is always a treat.
To end the season the Rams get to host the Border War, as Matt said earlier. To me it is the best rivalry game in the MWC now that the Holy War is gone.
The Rams have filled their non-conference schedule with UNC, Utah State, San Jose State, and UTEP. So they might as well play for the WAC championship if they lose out of the MWC championship. The tough stretch comes at the end with SDSU, TCU, AFA. Good news is the Rams get SDSU and AFA at home.
Compared to last year the schedule is 100% better, they get a bye and get one more home game. The Rams won't be very good but this schedule could make them a 6-6 New Mexico Bowl contender. The schedule is a change from the cookie cutter ones they have had in the past with CU, 3 non conference games then the eight conference games. I like it. It might get them an extra win, which is a lot for CSU.
As for the other teams, I guess that sucks for TCU to have to travel but I don't feel sorry for them. Winning that game on the road would boost your ratings better then any other game on the schedule. Lose it and blame the schedule and graduation, no problems. As for Boise, there is your welcome present and hope you keep our league afloat.
To bad SDSU got the short straw and has to end with a non-conference game. They should hand that one to New Mexico until they can compete. SDSU could be fighting AFA for a big bowl game and they get Fresno State and AFA stays at home. Dumb.
1. For Boise-TCU being a day game. Boise in November is one thing, at night would be a whole new ball of wax. Who really wants to go to a college football game wearing a parka?
2. For Boise State playing the biggest game of the opening weekend for the second year in a row by playing Georgia in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic. They have an opportunity to make a major statement in front of the entire nation and I hope they wave the MWC flag proudly and then stick in right in the eye of college football elitists everywhere.
3. Um... having a hard time coming up with more cheers... For no games being scheduled on a Tuesday? Actually how about this one- For giving Patterson plenty of "chip on the shoulder material" to get his young and inexperienced 2011 squad fired up enough to run a train on the entire MWC and leave the conference as undisputed champions for the 3rd year in a row.
1. For the MWC denying TCU's one scheduling request of having a bye in week 2 and instead sending the Frogs to play the Falcons in Colorado Springs.
2. For putting TCU's only decent home game of 2011 against SMU to a Friday night. Patterson went on record last year on his hatred for Friday night games so I'm sure he is thrilled with this move.
3. For moving the Boise game and leaving the Frogs with conference home slate of New Mexico, UNLV, and CSU.
4. For having no relevant MWC conference games in the final two weeks of the season.
Is it 2012 yet?
Here are the latest power rankings.
1. Boise State (6)
3. San Diego State (1)
4. Air Force
5. Colorado State
8. New Mexico
Click to enlarge to see how each person voted.
What are your thought's on the schedule and what do you like or dislike about it.