MWC to play eight league games in football

The Mountain West Conference will play eight conference games in football in both 2012 and 2013.

The league is slated to have 10 teams starting in 2012. The actual schedule has yet to be released. Teams will play four conference games at home and on the road, and they can schedule as many as four non-conference games.

Wyoming has its 2012 non-conference schedule in place with home games against Cal Poly and Toledo, along with road games at Texas and Idaho. In 2013, UW has games scheduled at Nebraska and Texas State, and a home game with Idaho.

The other nine teams in the MWC in 2012 are Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, Fresno State, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, San Diego State and UNLV.

So that poses a couple of interesting questions:

1. Who gets left off UW’s conference slate starting in 2012? You’ve got to assume it won’t be someone like Air Force or Colorado State, the two biggest rivals left for the Cowboys.

Who do you think it should be?

2. What will the four conference home games be starting in 2012?

In 2011 UW must play four road conference games in the unbalanced and eight-team MWC. Those road games are against Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State and San Diego State. Those would be the logical choices for home games in 2012.

Or will the MWC truck its 2011 formula and start anew in 2012 with three new members (Fresno State, Hawaii and Nevada)?

There also is talk that Boise State could play in Laramie this season. The Broncos, as members of the WAC, won 51-6 in Laramie last season. It may move its game with TCU this coming season from Fort Worth to Boise since TCU is bailing the following year for the Big East. That would force Boise to have to move a home conference game on the road, and UW is slated to play at Boise State next year. So is Air Force, New Mexico and San Diego State.

If you were Boise State, which place would you want to play at?

I wouldn’t pick Air Force. The Falcons will be good next season. San Diego State should be good, too, despite losing coach Brady Hoke to Michigan. The game would showcase Boise State in the talent-rich Southern California recruiting area where it likes to recruit in. Still, I would avoid that one.

I would choose either UW or New Mexico. Both combined for four victories last season, and while both should be better in 2011, a team as good as Boise State should feel it can beat either one no matter where they played. It would be great to see Boise State come to Laramie again because it is a top five team. Boise State is familiar with the travel involved in getting to Laramie, not to mention the team it hammered.

But logistically it’s easier to get from Boise to Albuquerque than from Boise to Laramie. If it were me, I choose New Mexico.

Any thoughts or opinions on any of this?

  • Ron Smith

    Am I mis – reading the article? Does the team chose who it will not Play? If so how does the conference make sure every team gets eight games? Forinstance could everyone chose not to play at 7000 feet in the snow or not travel across the pond? If I were UNLV, Fresno State or SDSU I would insist on a date with the Pokes in Laramie during September or not at all. My opinion is play 9 league games and give up the Cal Polys of this world It would strengthen the over all schedule Just avoid too many Nebraska or Texas caliber teams.

    • rgagliardi

      The conference will decide who doesn’t play who, and it likely will be done through a computer program that does scheduling. There will be expections, like I’m sure the MWC won’t have UW and CSU not play each other. But teams won’t get to pick who they don’t play.

      I agree with you that it would be nice to play all nine conference teams and then three non-conference games. But the members voted differently. I can tell you Air Force was a big proponent to play eight conference games. It is mandadated to play Army and Navy, and it also has a series with Notre Dame coming up. That would have limited what it could do with non-conference games. Or basically, it wouldn’t be able to schedule a FCS team and that’s what most teams want to do — at least once. Air Force wasn’t the only team that swayed this, but it made its opinion well-known.

      Good comment Ron. Thanks and take care.

      RG

  • Larry

    Wyoming needs to stop having top five to top twenty schools on their non-conference football schedule. This Wyoming team is simply not good enough to defeat those kinds of quality opponents now and at any future point. Most years Wyoming will have to work hard and catch some big breaks and luck just to break even within conference. Non conference opponents need to be lower echelon schools in non-BCS conferences like C-USA, the Sunbelt, and what is left of the WAC. Army and Navy can also be included on that list. Having MAC schools on their schedule is generally working out better than not, so this strategy should only be expanded to similar level conferences. Wyoming generally needs to win 3 of 4 or 4 of 5 non-conference games depending on where the Hawaii game is being in order to become bowl eligible. Programs with such names like Southern Mississippi, Alabama-Birmingham, Florida International, North Texas, Western Kentucky, Utah State, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State, Tulane, Texas-El Paso, and similar others should be part of the Wyoming schedule with home and away games being arranged. Lower echelon BCS schools like Washington State, Arizona State, Kansas, Iowa State, Baylor, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Duke, Wake Forest, South Florida, Syracuse, Indiana, Minnesota, and similar others should also be approached for games if Wyoming wants greater national TV coverage to improve recruiting possibilities. There are plenty of nearby Big Sky and Missouri Valley Conference schools for that token FCS victory that most schools are getting nowadays (unless one is Michigan) Wyoming and Northern Colorado need to play a home and away at least on four occasions per decade with the UNC home game being played at Mile High Stadium. Buchanan and Burman need to think of the bigger picture more than they have in recent years. Wins are more important than big paydays in getting a program established and getting to the next level. All that those games do against big payday opponents is result in too many hurt and injured players, disillusionment and dissension, bad publicity, and instability in all aspects of the program; but doing it the way that Shroyer has brings nothing but laughs, indignation, and scorn along with increasing levels of disrespect and apathy. Losing never helps no matter how it happens.

  • CoachJoe

    Sorry Larry, but I couldn’t disagree with you any more. Look at our recruiting class. It is probably the best we have had in a decade or more. The reason? Because kids are seeing us play. Now, last year was pretty crazy with the schedule we played, but but I think our AD and Prez ARE looking at the big picture with a schedule like that. Wyoming needs to follow the model that Boise State used to get to the top. We are going to get better, and when we do, we are going to knock off teams like Texas last year. Playing these upper BCS teams early in the season is also important, because when we do upset them it gets national attention. By the time the nation finds out if that BCS team is actually any good will be later in the season, but by then we have already gained the exposure. Just like Texas last year, if we are a little better, we beat that team. I was at that game and if we could have had about 10 plays back, that game is much different. Regardless, I am excited to play Nebraska, Boise, and TCU this coming season. This is going to take time, but we are 2 seasons away from being one of the best teams in the MWC.