More from the MWC on Hawaii

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.

Familiar faces for Lester, Ogbonna

They may not have an advanced scouting report, but Wyoming junior receivers DeJay Lester and Mazi Ogbonna are familiar with some of the Southern Utah players when the two teams play Saturday in Laramie.

Lester and Ogbonna came to UW last winter from Snow College in Ephraim, Utah, which isn’t that far from Southern Utah in Cedar City.

Starting right tackle Brandon Beddes, starting defensive end Tyler Osborne and starting punter/kicker Ryan McNamara were teammates of Lester and Ogbonna at Snow.

“I talked to a couple of them (Sunday) night,” said Lester, the backup behind sophomore Chris McNeill at one of the four receiver spots. “They texted and said they were ready to come up here and play. (Southern Utah) has some good persoonel. Some of the players we played with at Snow that are there are high-caliber players.”

Ogbonna is listed as a starter in this game.

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On his radio show Monday night, UW coach Dave Christensen said UW has 71 players on scholarship right now. The maximum for a FBS program is 85.

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After 10 starts as a true freshman last season, you would think UW quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels has a better feel of what to expect in his first start of 2010.

Maybe, but that doesn’t diminish his excitement.

“It’s incredibly different and really exciting starting a new chapter with a whole new team, and me being a major part of it,” he said. “Every year is a different year and for me my year really started against UNLV last year (his first ever start). I have that  same feeling in my stomach now.”

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This will be UW’s first true night home-opener since 1988 when it beat Brigham Young 24-14. It also will debut its new suites and club seats, and the hype seems to be at a similar level for this opener that the one in 2007 when  a sellout crowd watched the Cowboys beat Virginia 23-3.

But that game was played during the day.

“You can’t get caught up in the hype, but it adds excitement to the whole thing,” Carta-Samuels said. “College football is more exciting because more people are involved and  more is riding on each game. But high school football is the most fun to play because you’re playing at night under the lights. You have everyone you know there.

“It’s going to be awesome under the lights in our home stadium. I will have my family there behind me, as well as the student body who is like my new family. It will be really exciting.”

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The first Mountain West Conference coaches teleconference was Tuesday morning. It went about 30 to 40 minutes long due to the influx of questions.

BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said he knows nothing, and likes it that way, in terms of whether or not his school will leave the MWC. BYU has until Wednesday to decide if it wants to be elsewhere next season.

MWC Commissioner Craig Thompson wasn’t available for comment on the call. He often is at the end after all the coaches are done.

TCU coach Gary Patterson put his teams through the heat this summer, and Colorado State looks to be the only FBS team to start a true freshman at quarterback.

For more on that, see Wednesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle www.wyomingnews.com and Laramie Boomerang www.laramieboomerang.com.

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I made a mistake in my post yesterday. My live chat to talk Wyoming football, or anything for that matter, will be at 3 p.m. THURSDAY. Not Friday as I stated yesterday. Here is a direct link to the chat http://wyomingcowboysblog.com/2010/08/31/live-chat-cowboy-football/

On Friday, our special UW football section comes out. I think you’re going to like it. You definitely need to pick up a copy of the Tribune Eagle or Boomerang that day to check it out!