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Wrapping Up Mountain West Media Days

Time to wrap up for some news and notes from media days. The first news that made its way to Las Vegas came via Salt Lake City from WAC media days when WAC commissioner Karl Benson said that swapping Boise State for Utah would not make the Mountain West any closer to achieving BCS status.

Craig Thompson thinks Karl Benson is not so good at math since Boise State's last two finishes were 6th and 9th where Utah was 6th and 23rd, and that would actually boost the Mountain West's chances at becoming a BCS league. While that barely makes a dent it is an improvement, plus I will stick by the statement that if the ACC keeps their bid and is below the Mountain West in two of the three categories while being outside of the top seven, the MWC will be able to get access through the petition process.

Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson said that Boise State will replace Utah on the schedule for 2011: 

"What we agreed upon with the athletic directors is that we are going to take Utah out and move Boise into its spot," Thompson told a group of reporters. "....The simplest way is to just replace one for one."

That means Boise would play will play Mississippi, Toledo, BYU, TCU, UNLV and Colorado State on the road in 2011 and Utah, Tulsa, New Mexico, Wyoming, Air Force and San Diego State at home. This also means that Craig Thompson most likely not make a change at the expense of their schedule to put put Utah vs. BYU at the end of the season as it has been traditionally.

So, if BYU and Utah were continue their rivalry the game would be a non conference game and be in September or early October. The end of the season game is a pretty big deal since both teams know who they are, but the game is big enough to be played the first Saturday of the season or even on Labor day night for a marquee game.

Craig Thompson is making a big push to get The Mtn. a better reach in the San Diego area:

Thompson said that with the addition of Boise State - which has become a national powerhouse in college football in recent years - the conference has a stronger bargaining chip to add The Mtn. to Dish Network, Time Warner San Diego and AT&T U-Verse. Time Warner has about 200,000 subscribers in the county, second only to Cox.

"We've got a very aggressive campaign with Time Warner in the North County," Thompson said. "I'll be sending out a letter urging alumni to call and say they can switch to DirecTV and get these games so either you get it on Time Warner or you are losing a customer."

BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall believes that BYU will not lose any recruits to Utah once the Utes are in the Pac-10:

" I don't think it will be effected one bit. [Some] might say it will be effected a ton. I don't think we will lose a single player that wants BYU to any other school in the country. There have been those that we have recruited nationwide. But a kid that wants the BYU experience, can only get it at BYU."

"There's no other place that is as unique, as specific, and as special as Brigham Young University, for all the reasons that make it so special.  We won't lose a single player that wants that experience and goes elsewhere, because that's why they are coming. They are coming for those reasons."

Then I [Jay Drew Salt Lake Tribune] asked Bronco if he had ever had a recruit mention conference affiliation.

"Not once. Not a single time in six years," he said.

What about since Utah accepted the invitation?

"Not once. Nope."

Not to throw jabs at BYU, but I think Bronco is naive in this saying.  He is correct that people who really want to go to BYU and that experience will go to BYU, but so would someone who grew wanting to go to any specific school and as long as they are good enough would go to that school.  In the short BYU probably will not lose many recruits to Utah, but I could see one or two a year looking more at Utah then BYU because of the competition.

I also feel Bronco is rationalizing him not losing any recruit that wanted to go to BYU, because he -- apparently in his mind -- rationalize that a player that choose another school because they did not want the BYU experience.  The fact that he lost Manti T'eo who wanted to go to BYU but had a bad experience during his campus visit and thus chose Notre Dame, so there is at least one instance of losing a recruit.  As the years past in ten or more years more recruits will give Utah a better look and pick them over BYU.  However, if BYU keeps winning as they have they will rarely lose recruits to Utah just because they are in the Pac-10.

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