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Answers to Test Your Knowledge of the Mountain West Conference (Part II)

The Test Your Knowledge of Mountain West Conference (Part II) that was posted Friday evening.  There were ten subjects with 40 true or false questions.  Unlike the Part I,  this test included a few questions on the MWC's newest members, Boise State, Nevada, Fresno State, and Hawaii.   Below are the questions that were posted along with the answers which are at the end of the test:

1.  Boise State University

A.  Boise State began as a two year college in 1932 and did not gain university status until 1974.  Within the State of Idaho it is a very, very close second in size to the University of Idaho, established in 1889. 

B.  The Broncos trick play used in the 2006 Fiesta Bowl to defeat the Oklahoma Sooners was called the "Statue of Liberty" and was a play attributed to Amos Alonzo Stagg in 1908, who was head coach of the Chicago Maroons of the Big Ten Conference.  Northwestern used the same trick play to defeat the heavily favored California Golden Bears 20-14 in the final minutes of the 1949 Rose Bowl.  

C.  Boise State beat fellow PAC10 conference members Oregon State, and Arizona State to win the 2011 PAC10 Conference Wrestling Championship.  

D.  In 2008 the Broncos joined the "10-20-20" club (10 football wins, 20 men's basketball wins, 20 women's basketball wins) for the 2007-08 season, only the 20th school since 1980 to achieve the feat.

2.  Universtiy of Nevada, Reno

A.  In 1923, Nevada took on Cal who entered the game in the midst of a 50-game undefeated streak, had 4 consecutive conference championships and two consecutive Rose Bowl appearances.  But the little Nevada Wolf Pack team from a lower division, held Cal's "Wonder Team" as it was known scoreless.  The final score was 0-0 and has gone down as one of the most interesting games in college football history.

B.  The historical name for UNR is the University of Nevada, because it was the first university in the state and dates to 1874 when it was established in the little mining town of Elko, Nevada.  And Nevada does not like sharing the historic title with their bitter rivals, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  That name and title rivalry is highlighted every year when UNR plays sports against in-state rival UNLV, the school's name is decided by the home team. When the game is held in Reno, it reads UNLV vs Nevada, however, when held in Las Vegas it reads, UNLV vs UNR.

C.  Before the Nevada athletic teams were called the Wolf Pack, they were originally known as the "Sagebrushers", named after the Nevada State Flower.

D.  As a former college student, Head Coach Chris Ault was a first aid man for the Nevada Wolf Pack from 1965-1968, and was voted by the athletes themselves as "Mr. Fixit," and given the Bandaid-Student of the Year award in 1967.

3.  California State University, Fresno 

A.  Commonly referred to as Fresno State, for several decades supporters of Fresno State football have been nicknamed "The Red Wave" at Bulldog Stadium because of their swell of support and their tendency to be clad entirely in red clothing for home contests. 

B.  The Fresno State Bulldog mascot dates to 1945 and the end of World War II when the US Marines Reserve Unit returned home to Fresno, California in Victory.  Hence, the mascot's name is Victory.

C.  The Fresno State baseball team has made 4 trips to the College World Series in its history, and most recently in 2008 where on June 25 of that year the Fresno State Bulldogs defeated the Georgia Bulldogs to win the 2008 College World Series.

D.  Since joining the WAC in 1992, FSU has shared three WAC titles.  And under coach Pat Hill, the football team has garnered a reputation for being willing to play any top-ranked opponent, anytime, anywhere and usually on the opponent's home field that has given them a losing record and made them the laughing stock of the AQ teams.

4.  University of Hawaii

A.  Aloha Stadium where the Hawaii Warriors play was built in 1975 at a cost of $37 million.  Over the years it has deteriorated and a 2005 study determined that the stadium required $99 million to be completely restored and an additional $115 million for ongoing maintenance and refurbishment over the next 20 years to extend its useful life.  The State of Hawaii, like most conservative administrations, won't raise taxes to pay for it and have indicated they would close the stadium by 2016 unless the students and alumni can raise the funds to cover costs.      

B.  The Warriors are well known for performing the "Haka," a symobolic ritual the football players came up after attending a Hopi dance on the Navajo reservation during the 1978 game between Hawaii and Arizona State.     

C.  UH's actual name is the University of Hawaii at Manoa and dates from 1907.  And it has a very diverse student population that is made up of about 8% Native Hawaiians, 20% Japanese Americans, 9% Chinese Americans, and 24% Howlies.

D. Until the year 2000, the men's teams were the Rainbow Warriors but in response to complaints from the football program under coach June Jones that the "rainbow" term was a symbol of homosexuality, the University of Hawaiʻi  athletics program allowed each sport to select their own team names. 

5.  The Fremont Cannon is a game trophy passed between the University of Las Vegas and the Univeristy of Nevada-Reno, and is a replica cannon named after:

A.  Major General J. Charles Fremont, a Georgia-born anti-slavery Union Civil War general who was relieved of his command by Abraham Lincoln.

B. John Fremont a U.S. Senator from California who received a Presidential Pardon for Mutiny in 1847 and who was later the first presidential candidate for the Republican Party.

C. John C. Fremont, a famous explorer known historically as "The Great Pathfinder."

D. A Governor of Arizona Territory who resigned his office rather than move to Arizona from his eastern residence on Staten Island, New York.

6.  The Mountain West Conference in general

A.  UNLV is the fourth-winningest football program by percentage in Division I history.

B.  When BYU leaves the MWC this season, that will leave San Diego State University with the conference's largest student body. 

C.  In 2005, the University of Nevada attemped to recuit a dwarf to be a running back.  When other teams in the conference discovered the plan several teams collectively contacted the NCAA, complaining it would be an unfair advantage for UNR dwarfs who would be harder to see behind a huge offensive line, and harder for the defenders to tackle on the open field without incurring penalties for "clotheslining" and "headhunting" by being forced to hit the smaller players above the waistline.  They included the safety issues involved.  In 2006, the NCAA Rules Committee adopted the what is commonly known today as the "dwarfism rule." 

D.  In 2006, the University of Wyoming was ranked as the 42nd greatest program in the history of college basketball.

7.  Mountain West Conference Coaches 

A.  TCU's record breaking coach Gary Patterson is the first coach in the history of college football to have three players rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season.  He also the only coach ever to have his team lead the nation in both passing offense and rushing offense.

B.  Until head coach Brady Hoke came along and won the 2010 Poinsettia Bowl, the San Diego Aztecs football team had not won a bowl game in 37 straight years.

C.  When head coach June Jones left the Hawaii program for SMU it was because of what he claimed was low pay in light of his record, a general lack of support, and footdragging on a contract extension by the AD.  His replacement was Greg McMackin, whose continued lack of support has left him one of the least paid coaches in the WAC.    

D.  Utah women's basketball coach Elaine Elliott is the winningest coach in the history of the Mountain West Conference with 582 wins and 234 losses. 

8.  Women's Mountain West Conference Sports

A.  The University of New Mexico women's basketball team has won the Mountain West championship for four of the past five years, and have gone to the NCAA Tournament for the past six consecutive years.

B.  The SDSU Cheerleading and Dance Team won a couple of national titles this year at the 2011 United Spirit Association Collegiate Cheerleading and Dance Championships.

C. Colorado State University swimmer Amy Van Dyken was an NCAA champion and All-American at CSU.  She won six career Olympic gold medals, and four of those came in the 1996 Summer Olympics, making her the first American woman to accomplish such a feat.

D.  The Colorado State University Women's Volleyball team is a nationally ranked team and was 17th in the final national polls of 2010, and is coming off a season in which the program captured its second straight MWC championship.  It has also competed in the NCAA tournament for the 16th consecutive season.

9.  Mountain West Conference Facilities  

A.  The blue astro-turf of Bronco Stadium is refered to as "The Blue" by the Bronco players.  "Smurf turf" is a term applied to the field by some disgruntled adversaries.  The NCAA subsequently banned playing surface colors other than green, but allowed Bronco Stadium's field to remain blue under a grandfather clause called the "Boise Rule."

B.  Wyoming's "Dome of Doom" is also known as the "Double A"  (Arena-Auditorium) and is the highest NCAA Division I college basketball court in the nation at 7,220 feet.  High elevation, however, does not equate to high attendance.

C.  The Colorado State University basketball court is called Moby Arena, because the arena is shaped like a big, white whale---like Moby Dick.

D.  The University of New Mexico's basketball court is known as "The Pit" and has a message painted on the tunnel wall leading from the locker rooms to the floor that reads, "Welcome to the legendary Pit, a mile high and louder than..."   During one season, the arena registered the crowd at 118 decibels making it the loudest crowd in the country.

10.  Mountain West Conference Football Rivalries

A.   Air Force has traditional service academy rivalries with both Navy and Army. The three academies compete for the Commander-in-Chief Trophy in football each year.  This past season it was won by the Air Force Falcons, who has the worst record of winning it, behind both Navy and Army. 

B.  One of the newest rivalries soon to be part of the MWC is the Battle of the Milk Can, a game between the Fresno State Bulldogs and the Boise State Broncos.

C.  The Border War between the University of Wyoming and Colorado State University is one of the oldest rivalries west of the Mississippi, and has been going on for three centuries. 

D. The Rio Grande Rivalry is a nationally known rivalry between the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University that began in 1894.  Since a loss in 1993, New Mexico has only lost to New Mexico State one time.    


1.  Boise State University: B, C and D are correct.

Sorry Vandals.  BSU is now the largest university in the State of Idaho with an enrollment of 19,993 students in 2010.  Counting all the football and basketball players, Joe Vandal the mascot, the cheerleaders, and a huge chunk of the fans in the stands, the U of I had an enrollment of only 12,302 last year.

2.  University of Nevada, Reno:  A, B and C are true.

D.  No, Chris Ault was actually the quarterback for the Wolf Pack during those years.  The Univeristy of Nevada has no Bandaid-Student of the Year award.  

3. California State University, Fresno:  A and C are true.

B. The Bulldog mascot was chosen in 1921, when a white bulldog appeared on campus and immediately took to the student body president and his friends.  The mascot's name is Victor E.

D.  In December 2005, Fresno State had achieved a success rate of 10-8 against BCS teams, the most by any program not in a BCS league.   Under coach Pat Hill, Fresno State now is currently tied with Utah for the most wins for any non-automatic qualifer.  And the AQ teams have stopped laughing.

4.  University of Hawaii:  C and D are true. 

A.  Actually, in May 2007, the state alloted $12.4 million to be used to remove the corrosion and rust from the structure.  That same year the progressive-thinking state legislature proposed to spend $300 million to build a new facility as opposed to spending approximately $216 million to extend the life of Aloha Stadium for another 20–30 years. The new stadium will also be used to lure a potential Super Bowl to Hawaii in the near future, possibly for 2016.

B.  No, the Haka is a War Chant that was practiced for hundreds of years by south sea islanders, Hawaiians and the New Zealand Maori people. It is an intimidating ritual that is shouted at the enemy before charging into battle.  The words are accompanied by foot stamping and arm swinging that portray stabbing and the carrying of shields.  It has been penalized at times as a source of unsportsmanlike conduct. 

5.  The Fremont Cannon:  A, B, C and D are all true. Fremont was all those things.

6.  The Mountain West Conference:  A and D are true.

B.  The university with the largest student body is the University of New Mexico with 34,674, followed by San Diego State University at 33,790.

C.  No, although Nevada has had some little bitty tiny running backs on their roster in the past, there is no "dwarfism rule" in the NCAA. 

7.  MWC Coaches: B and D are true.

A.  No, not Patterson, and it wasn't Chris Peterson, either.  Those honors belong to Nevada head coach Chris Ault.  The Wolf Pack became the first school in the history of college football to have three players rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season.  Chris Ault is also the only coach ever to have his team lead the nation in passing offense (1995) and rushing offense (2009).

C.  Because of the June Jones situation, the Hawaii AD was fired and the athletic program has gotten new leadership and new commitments from the Governor's office on down.  In 2008, Greg McMackin became the highest paid State of Hawaii employee ($1.1 million) upon becoming the Hawaiʻi Warriors football head coach. 

8.  Women's MWC Sports:  A, B and C are true.  As for B, the SDSU Cheerleader and Dance team actually won two national championships this year: both squads finished first in their respective competitions.

D.  The Colorado State Women's Volleyball team was ranked 17th in the final national polls of 2010, and is coming off a season in which the program captured its second straight MWC championship.  It has also competed in the NCAA tournament for the 16th consecutive season.

9.  MWC Facilities:  C and D is true. 

A.  The term "smurf turf" is thought to have been coined by an affectionate fan shortly after the original turf was installed.  As for the color, the NCAA has never adopted a rule banning field colors other than green.  But the NFL did, in March of 2011 they instituted a color regulation and called the new rule the "Boise Rule."

B.  Actually, since its completion in 1982, the Double A has had over 70 different crowds that numbered 10,000 or more and one (Utah, 2002) that numbered 16,089.  Even the Wyoming Cowgirls attracted a record crowd of 15,462 as recently as 2007.  

10.  MWC Football Rivalries:   B and C are true.  The Border war started in the late 1800's (1899) and has continued into the 21st century. 

A.  No, the Air Force Falcons have had the best showing of the three services, winning the trophy 16 times in 34 years.

D.  That would be true if you didn't count the two-win streak that New Mexico State has enjoyed since 2009-present under coach Mike Locksley.