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Outside Look at the MWC: Nick Simon

Welcome to a new short summer series here at MWCConnection. I had the thought a few weeks ago that myself and others on the team here have formed thoughts and opinions over the years from following and writing about the Mountain West. But what does an “outsider” think about the Mountain West? So on Thursdays going forward, hear from different bloggers, reporters, coaches, and others as we ask them a few questions to get their perspective on the MWC. Enjoy.

Today’s post features: Nick Simon

Can you introduce yourself and where you fit in the world of sports?

I am a newsdesk writer for DKNation and Senior Writer for the Daily Stampede covering everything USF.

How often do you watch Mountain West sports?

I’ll catch a Mountain West game or two if it’s on. Other than that, I’ll get caught up with quick highlights and recaps.

Can you name all 12 football-playing schools (without looking it up)?

Alright, off the dome. I promise I’m not looking it up: San Diego State, San Jose State, Fresno State, UNLV, Nevada, Colorado State, Air Force, New Mexico, Boise State, Wyoming, uhhh, who am I missing here. Oh, Utah State annnddd…Hawaii!

Is there one sport where you think the conference is known for or excels in?

It’s for sure football but the top-end basketball programs in the conference have made noise in the tournament from time to time.

What do you think are the strengths of the conference and what do you perceive as the growth areas?

Boise State is obviously the closest thing the conference has to a name-brand program but there has been more parity in the league in recent years and that’s a good thing. It’s also a good thing that some programs like CSU are aggressively investing in themselves while UNLV is sure to eventually benefit from playing in Allegiant Stadium and the rapid growth of Las Vegas as a whole.

What do you think the Mountain West needs to improve or change in order to be more competitive?

On the field, the MW is fine for now. A lot of questionable coaching hires recently (looking at you Addazio), but it’s fine. As far as national perception goes, I know the MW has fired shots at the AAC for its P6 campaign, but I think they need to go completely over the top and do something similar. Also, uh, straighten things out with Boise.