Tag:Mountain West
Posted on: February 18, 2011 12:11 pm
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Comparing coaching raises at Boise St., Illinois

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

A quick comparison of two recent coaching raises, one at Illinois, the other at Boise State:



This is Ron Zook. His resume:
  • Record at current school: 28-45
  • Record previous three seasons: 15-22
  • Highlight of 2010 season: defeating 7-6 Baylor in bowl game; finishing season game over .500
  • Lowlight of 2010 season: back-to-back defeats to Michigan and Minnesota, one of whom would fire its coach at the end of the season and the other of whom had already fired their coach
  • Highly embarrassing photos available on the Internet: too many to count
Raise in annual salary the above resume is worth : $250,000



This is Chris Petersen. His resume:
  • Record at current school: 61-5
  • Record previous three seasons: 38-2
  • Highlight of 2010 season: defeating eventual ACC champion Virginia Tech in cross-country road game or defeating 10-2, 19th-ranked Utah in bowl game to cap 12-1 season
  • Lowlight of 2010 season: falling 34-31 in overtime on the road at Nevada team that would finish 13-1 and ranked No. 11 following pair of missed chip-shot field goals by previously reliable senior kicker
  • Highly embarrassing photos available on the Internet: none we can find
Raise in annual salary the above resume is worth : $35,000

BONUS data point on what above resume is not worth: Unanimous support from the Idaho Board of Education to receive said $35,000 bonus (emphasis added):
The state Board of Education on Thursday voted 5-2 to give Petersen a $50,000 bonus and a $35,000 bump in annual salary after the Broncos compiled a 12-1 record and ended the season in the Top 10 again.
Conclusion of comparison: By every account, Petersen's not looking to move on from Boise anytime soon. But if he ever does, you'll know why.
Posted on: February 17, 2011 4:20 pm
 

BYU and TCU to meet at Cowboys Stadium

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Back in August when word leaked out that BYU was going to be leaving the Mountain West and going independent, TCU head coach Gary Patterson said that he would not consider playing the Cougars and that BYU should "be careful what you wish for." Now, six months later, TCU has announced that it is leaving the Mountain West as well, and has been given a bit of the pariah treatment. The Mountain West moved the Horned Frogs game against Boise State from Fort Worth to Boise. Shortly before that decision, Texas Tech backed out of a game against TCU for the second year in a row, leaving the Horned Frogs with an empty spot on the schedule.

Well guess who filled that spot? As was reported last month, TCU and BYU will now be playing a game in Cowboys Stadium.
Brigham Young and TCU will meet Oct. 28 at Cowboys Stadium in a game set to be nationally televised by ESPN2.
The game helps fill out TCU's schedule, which has yet to be formally announced. It replaces a scheduled BYU game at Louisiana Tech on Nov. 5.
Kickoff for the BYU-TCU game is set for 8 p.m. ET.
It will be the second time playing at Cowboys Stadium for both teams. BYU played the first college football game in Jerry Jones' salute to football decadence back in 2009, beating Oklahoma, and TCU opened it's 2010 season with a victory over Oregon State there.
Posted on: February 10, 2011 11:27 am
 

TCU doesn't want a Wisconsin rematch

Posted by Tom Fornelli

TCU put a nice bow on their undefeated season with a victory over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl, but it seems that one victory over the Badgers is enough for the Horned Frogs for now. Apparently UNLV wants out of its season-opening date with Wisconsin on September 3rd, and an unknown third-party then contacted both Wisconsin and TCU with the prospect of the two schools kicking off 2011 against one another.

It was a matchup that Bret Bielema was all to eager to rekindle.

"I was contacted a week and half after the bowl game about the opportunity to play TCU in our opener," Bielema told The Big 1070 in Madison. "It was something that was going to be broadcast and made a big deal, it took me all of about point five seconds to say yes."

Unfortunately for Bielema and the Badgers, TCU wasn't as excited about the idea. Though not because they feared playing Wisconsin. TCU AD Chris Del Conte confirmed that he was contacted about the rematch as well, but turned it down since there would be only one game and it would be played at Wisconsin.

"We already have Baylor for our opening game," Del Conte said. "A team supposedly Wisconsin played last year doesn't want to go back there. A third party was shopping the game around to other teams. I have no interest in playing a one-[time] game."

Considering that TCU has already had its game against Boise State moved to Boise, I can understand why it wouldn't want to add a trip to Wisconsin to its schedule. Those would be two incredibly tough games to start and finish your season with, and if TCU can't get consideration for a national title when it goes undefeated, it isn't going to a BCS game with two losses either.

Though Del Conte did say that he'd make an exception for Ohio State. Seems he's still a bit sore about E. Gordon Gee's "Little Sisters of the Poor" comment.
Posted on: February 4, 2011 11:32 am
 

SDSU's Long isn't playing nice with BYU

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Hey, remember when a botched replay call seemed to bring San Diego State and BYU within one sternly worded press release of meeting in an abandoned warehouse somewhere for an Anchorman- style rumble that would settle things once and for all? (Or, at the least, a really intense water balloon battle?) The Mountain West's ruling on the matter seemed to quiet things down for a while, but new Aztecs head coach Rocky Long made it clear yesterday that he's not interested in calling a truce anytime soon between his team and the newly-independent Cougars:
“They’re saying they don’t need us, and they’re saying they can do a whole lot better without us, so you don’t make their scheduling easy,” Long said ...

“After five or six years or something, I think they’ll be in a conference,” Long said. “But after five or six years, if they’re still independent, I wouldn’t mind playing them at all. But I don’t want to play them (until then) because I think they treated the league the wrong way.

“There has to be a period of time when we don’t play them, because I don’t like the way they treated the league.”

Why Long is holding this kind of grudge against BYU but not fellow MWC ship-jumpers Utah and TCU isn't entirely clear ... well, not until Long does make it clear that he doesn't think much of BYU's reliance on players who have spent two years away on Mormon missions (emphasis added):

“I’ve had several players who have played in our program who have gone off on missions,” Long said. “The positives really outweigh any negatives from their going on missions. We can talk about a certain school -- but I’m not going to talk about any other school but ours -- how the maturity factor and age factor gives you a huge advantage . When [new Aztec signee Sam Meredith ] comes back, he’ll potentially be a much, much better football player than we leaves on his mission.”
Hearing that, it's hard to think that Long's anti-Cougar scheduling slant actually stems from BYU's treatment of the MWC or Replaygate or anything else specific; it's just good ol' run-of-the-mill hate forged from Long's (long) years of battling BYU as the head coach at New Mexico and an assistant at SDSU.

Which, as a follower of college football, is the kind of hate we can totally support. Here's to hoping BYU and SDSU decide to tangle a lot sooner than Long would like.
Posted on: January 31, 2011 4:35 pm
 

Big 12, non-AQs lead the way in JUCO signees

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Certainly no team got more attention for going to the junior college well this year than Auburn, who rode their famous pair of JUCO transfers -- Cam Newton and Nick Fairley, arguably the best offensive and defensive players in the country, respectively -- to a perfect record and national title. The Tigers started former JUCOs at linebacker (Eltoro Freeman), cornerback (Demond Washington) and right tackle (Brandon Mosley) as well, as clear an example as you could get as to why major programs aren't going to stop looking at immediate JUCO help anytime soon.

But if a program like Auburn might sign the most influential JUCOs, which ones sign the most, period? That's the question asked and answered by this study by Jon Solomon at the Birmingham News , which tallied up every community college transfer signed in FBS football over the past four recruiting classes (give or take one or two here or there). Solomon found that the three conferences collectively bringing in the most JUCOs were all non-AQ leagues: the WAC at 17.2 signees per team per four years, the Sun Belt at 15.0 per team per four years, and Conference USA at 14.8.

At the BCS level, the Big 12 (13.8 per team per four years) is far and away the leader in JUCO signees, with the Pac-10 coming in runners-up (despite the SEC's JUCO-friendly reputation) at 11.6. (The addition of Utah won't help the future Pac-12's numbers, either; the Utes led the Mountain West in JUCOs with 22 over the four-year period studied.)

Why the Big 12? Though eight of the conference's teams finished in double digits, the runaway leader was -- you guessed it -- Kansas State, the notoriously JUCO-dependent program that lived up to every inch of its reputation by signing an FBS-most 39 junior college players from 2007-2010. Non-AQ teams took the next five slots as Memphis (35), UAB (34), Hawaii (31), Troy (29), and New Mexico State (28) were the only other schoosl to top 28 or more. The closest BCS conference team was Iowa State, with 26.

So does JUCO signing work? On the one hand, the success of teams like Hawaii and Troy -- not to mention Auburn and Oregon, who with 17 JUCOs in the four-year period actually took on seven more than their national title game opponent -- would suggest that taking on the right kind of two-year players can pay handsome dividends. The ongoing struggles of Memphis, UAB, and Bill Snyder's Wildcats -- who have gone just 12-20 in the Big 12 in this span -- would suggest, though, that it's not at all a sure quick-fix.


Posted on: January 28, 2011 1:45 pm
Edited on: January 28, 2011 2:49 pm
 

Thompson tells bottom of MWC to shape up

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It was just yesterday that UNLV's reported upcoming stadium announcement gave us an excuse to look at the Runnin' Rebels' sorry 2010 season, one that finished at 2-11 with zero victories that didn't come at home against Wyoming or New Mexico, Vegas's partners in mediocrity at the bottom of the Mountain West standings. Between the three of them, the Rebels, Cowboys, and Lobos combined to win just one game against the rest of the conference, Wyoming's season-ending blowout of Colorado State, a team that itself won just one game against teams that weren't MWC bottom-feeders.

All together, the bottom four teams in the Mountain West went a staggering 2-34 against all other FBS competititon, the only victories Wyoming's five-point win at Toledo and Colorado State's two-point escape against Idaho.

So it's no surprise that as his conference scrapes and claws for a BCS automatic bid, with every game its members play either helping or hurting its argument, MWC commissioner Craig Thompson isn't real pleased with how his bottom three teams are performing. He said as much in an interview yesterday with ESPN's Andrea Adelson , where few words were minced (emphasis added):
It’s never been an issue at the top. We’ve been in the Top 10. We’ve played in BCS games, but I read a recent Q&A with John Swofford of the ACC. Their strength is 12. I am not badmouthing any of our teams, but we need to have our six, seventh and eighth finishing teams have better seasons, period.
Well, no offense Commish, but that seems like you kind of are badmouthing those sixth, seventh, and eighth teams (i.e. CSU, UNLV, and Wyoming). (Why the No. 9 Lobos are spared, we're not sure, unless Thompson has joined the rest of the country on simply giving up on the Mike Locksley's train wreck of a program.)

But that's fine; their 2010 efforts deserve some badmouthing, especially when -- as Thompson's Q&A makes clear -- they're such a major stumbling block to a BCS bid that for now looks just slightly out of reach. The MWC needs to come in at sixth or better in the BCS polls and the BCS computer rankings to qualify for the bid, and in the 2008-2011 evaluation period, Thompson says they've hit that bar in the polls but don't have the computer juice (finishing seventh). Where the 2010-2013 period is concerned, they've cleared it in 2010, but just barely--and how much better will things get without Utah, BYU or TCU?

Without the necessary rankings, the MWC would have to apply for a waiver from the current BCS conferences, and though Thompson doesn't dismiss the possibility the guess here is that such a waiver will be granted when pigs rule the skies. The league's best bet is to put together a smashing 2011 that puts them in the top six for 2008-11, and they simply can't do that if the bottom four teams can't pull some tiny measure of their weight.
Posted on: January 27, 2011 5:10 pm
Edited on: January 29, 2011 12:47 pm
 

BYU, TCU in talks to play at Cowboys Stadium

Posted by Tom Fornelli

As we are all well aware of now, TCU is scrambling to put together a schedule for 2011 after having Texas Tech drop a game between the two, and it looks like TCU will be staying in Texas to replace that game. A number of reports today say that TCU is currently engaged in talks with former Mountain West counterpart BYU about playing a game in Cowboys Stadium.

When the game will be played is a bit up in the air, as BYU already has twelve games scheduled in 2011. Since one of BYU's games is being played in Hawaii, however, the Cougars are allowed to schedule a thirteenth game next season. As of now the two open dates on BYU's schedule are October 29 and November 26. Odds are that November 26 is out of the question since it's on Thanksgiving weekend and the Cowboys traditionally play a home game on Thanksgiving, so preparing for two games in a matter of days would be a bit much.

So unless BYU rearranges the rest of its schedule, or drops another game, odds are if this matchup happens it'll be on October 29.

The game is not yet set in stone, though indications are that it should be announced in the coming days. According to TCU AD Chris Del Conte, TCU plans on releasing its 2011 schedule soon.
Posted on: January 27, 2011 3:40 pm
 

Report: UNLV to get domed stadium

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

There aren't many FBS programs more downtrodden than UNLV, who haven't had a winning season or played in a bowl game since 2000 and have won more than two games only twice in the past seven seasons. Clearly, the Runnin' Rebels are in need of something big to turn the program around.

Fortunately, it looks like that something may be on its way. The Las Vegas Sun has reported that plans will be unveiled next week to build a "multipurpose sports and entertainment complex near campus," one that will include a domed stadium and be funded by Los Angeles billionaire Ed Roski as part of a "public-private partnership."

No timetable for the completion of the project (or its groundbreaking ,for that matter) appears to be set at this time.

The stadium will replace the off-campus Sam Boyd Stadium as UNLV's home football venue and -- one would have to assume, though the report doesn't raise the issue -- could take over as the host for the annual MAACO Bowl Las Vegas. It could prove to be a huge boon to the Rebels on several fronts; not only will the new facilities no doubt be a huge help for recruiting purposes, but a lively crowd and better atmosphere in a stadium much, much closer to campus could tip a few close home games in the Rebels' direction that tipped elsewhere at Sam Boyd.

Then again, the current edition of the Rebels -- 2-11 in Bobby Hauck's first year, with the only wins coming at home over fellow MWC sad-sacks Wyoming and New Mexico -- wouldn't be able to win if Jerry Jones had built his Dallas football space palace on their doorstep. It's going to take a lot more to revive UNLV football than a shiny new building.

But there's also no doubt that Hauck will take whatever help he can get, and certainly a state-of-the-art facility like the one Roski is proposing would be an awful lot of help indeed.
 
 
 
 
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