Just got off the phone with Javan Hedlund, associate commissioner for communications for the Mountain West Conference. I asked him if I could talk with Commissioner Craig Thompson about Hawaii joining the league in football only. Thompson was flying back from Las Vegas and even though he didn’t talk to me, Hedlund asked him some questions for me.
I asked why only football for Hawaii? I assumed it was because it was too expensive for both the MWC and Hawaii to have all its teams travel to and from the islands. That was basically the case. Hawaii wanted to be in the Big West in other sports to cut down on travel and costs. All of the Big West schools are in California with relatively easy flights to Los Angeles or San Francisco. Also, the MWC presidents gave Thompson permission to go after Hawaii in football only.
With 10 teams in 2012, will the MWC play a nine-game conference schedule with an unbalanced league slate of four home games and five on the road, or vice versa, every year?
Hedlund said that will be discussed later. I know I am not a fan of unbalanced league schedules like that.
There were some travel subsidies agreed upon to make this move financially sound for both Hawaii and the MWC. What were they?
Hawaii will pay a “prescribed fee” to MWC teams that play at Hawaii each year, but MWC don’t have to do the same when Hawaii comes to their place. Hedlund said Thompson wouldn’t say what that fee is.
Is the MWC done expanding?
I think it is, but Hedlund said Thompson told him the league is “potentially interested but not actively looking” to expand at this time.
One would assume the Hawaii Bowl in Honolulu where Hawaii plays its home games would join the MWC’s list of bowls. That likely will happen but there will have to be some talks. However, that should be a mere formality.With a bowl game in Boise as well, don’t be surprised if bowl MWC bowl ties with the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth (where TCU is located) and the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La., don’t get re-worked in the future.
Any thoughts on these issues? See my column in Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle www.wyomingnews.com and Laramie Boomerang www.laramieboomerang.com for more.