2009 Mountain West Conference Football TV Schedule Released

The conference schedule and most of the tv schedule has been released today from the Mountain West. The only games left after non conference road games.  Plus it is good to see the Utah/BYU tilt is on CBS College and The Mtn this year.

2009 Mountain West Conference Football Schedule
Date Game Time Zone Television
Thursday, September 3 Utah State at Utah 7:00 PM MT The Mtn.
Saturday, September 5 Nicholls State at Air Force 12:00 PM MT No TV
Saturday, September 5 Weber State at Wyoming 1:00 PM MT No TV
Saturday, September 5 Sacramento State at UNLV 7:00 PM PT No TV
Saturday, September 5 BYU vs. Oklahoma @ Texas Stadium TBD CT TBD
Saturday, September 5 Colorado State at Colorado TBD MT TBD
Saturday, September 5 New Mexico at Texas A&M TBD CT TBD
Saturday, September 5 San Diego State at UCLA TBD PT TBD
Saturday, September 12 Texas at Wyoming 1:30 PM MT VERSUS HD
Saturday, September 12 BYU at Tulane 2:30 PM CT ESPN2
Saturday, September 12 Weber State at Colorado State 3:00 PM MT No TV
Saturday, September 12 Tulsa at New Mexico 6:00 PM MT The Mtn.
Saturday, September 12 Southern Utah at San Diego State 6:30 PM PT No TV
Saturday, September 12 Oregon State at UNLV 8:00 PM PT CBS C HD – HD
Saturday, September 12 Air Force at Minnesota TBD CT TBD
Saturday, September 12 TCU at Virginia TBD ET TBD
Saturday, September 12 Utah at San Jose State TBD PT TBD
Saturday, September 19 Nevada at Colorado State 3:00 PM MT No TV
Saturday, September 19 Florida State at BYU 5:00 PM MT VERSUS HD
Saturday, September 19 Texas State at TCU 6:00 PM CT No TV
Saturday, September 19 Air Force at New Mexico 5:30 PM MT CBS C HD – HD
Saturday, September 19 Hawai’i at UNLV 6:00 PM PT The Mtn.
Saturday, September 19 San Diego State at Idaho TBD MT TBD
Saturday, September 19 Utah at Oregon TBD PT TBD
Saturday, September 19 Wyoming at Colorado TBD MT TBD
Saturday, September 26 San Diego State at Air Force 12:00 PM MT The Mtn.
Saturday, September 26 UNLV at Wyoming 1:00 PM MT No TV
Saturday, September 26 Colorado State at BYU 4:00 PM MT The Mtn.
Saturday, September 26 Louisville at Utah 5:30 PM MT CBS C HD – HD
Saturday, September 26 New Mexico State at New Mexico 8:00 PM MT The Mtn.
Saturday, September 26 TCU at Clemson TBD ET TBD
Friday, October 2 Utah State at BYU 7:00 PM MT The Mtn.
Saturday, October 3 Air Force at Navy TBD ET CBS C HD – HD
Saturday, October 3 New Mexico State at San Diego State 5:00 PM PT No TV
Saturday, October 3 SMU at TCU 7:00 PM CT The Mtn.
Saturday, October 3 Colorado State at Idaho TBD MT TBD
Saturday, October 3 New Mexico at Texas Tech TBD CT TBD
Saturday, October 3 UNLV at Nevada TBD PT TBD
Saturday, October 3 Wyoming at Florida Atlantic TBD ET TBD
Saturday, October 10 New Mexico at Wyoming 12:00 PM MT The Mtn.
Saturday, October 10 Utah at Colorado State 4:00 PM MT The Mtn.
Saturday, October 10 TCU at Air Force 5:30 PM MT CBS C HD – HD
Saturday, October 10 BYU at UNLV 7:00 PM PT The Mtn.
Saturday, October 17 Wyoming at Air Force 12:00 PM MT The Mtn.
Saturday, October 17 Colorado State at TCU 3:00 PM CT VERSUS HD
Saturday, October 17 BYU at San Diego State 3:00 PM PT The Mtn.
Saturday, October 17 Utah at UNLV 7:00 PM PT The Mtn.
Saturday, October 24 Air Force at Utah 2:00 PM MT VERSUS HD
Saturday, October 24 San Diego State at Colorado State 2:00 PM MT The Mtn.
Saturday, October 24 TCU at BYU 5:30 PM MT VERSUS HD
Saturday, October 24 UNLV at New Mexico 6:00 PM MT The Mtn.
Saturday, October 31 Air Force at Colorado State 2:00 PM MT The Mtn.
Saturday, October 31 UNLV at TCU 3:00 PM CT VERSUS HD
Saturday, October 31 New Mexico at San Diego State 4:30 PM PT CBS C HD – HD
Saturday, October 31 Wyoming at Utah 6:00 PM MT The Mtn.
Saturday, November 7 BYU at Wyoming 12:00 PM MT The Mtn.
Saturday, November 7 Army at Air Force 1:30 PM MT CBS C HD – HD
Saturday, November 7 TCU at San Diego State 1:00 PM PT VERSUS HD
Saturday, November 7 New Mexico at Utah 4:00 PM MT The Mtn.
Saturday, November 7 Colorado State at UNLV 7:00 PM PT The Mtn.
Saturday, November 14 BYU at New Mexico 12:00 PM MT The Mtn.
Saturday, November 14 UNLV at Air Force 4:00 PM MT The Mtn.
Saturday, November 14 Utah at TCU 6:30 PM CT CBS C HD – HD
Saturday, November 14 Wyoming at San Diego State 7:00 PM PT The Mtn.
Saturday, November 21 TCU at Wyoming 12:00 PM MT The Mtn.
Saturday, November 21 Air Force at BYU 1:30 PM MT CBS C HD – HD
Saturday, November 21 San Diego State at Utah 2:00 PM MT VERSUS HD
Saturday, November 21 Colorado State at New Mexico 4:00 PM MT The Mtn.
Friday, November 27 Wyoming at Colorado State 12:00 PM MT The Mtn.
Saturday, November 28 New Mexico at TCU 12:00 PM CT The Mtn.
Saturday, November 28 Utah at BYU 3:00 PM MT CBS C HD
The Mtn.
Saturday, November 28 San Diego State at UNLV 6:00 PM PT The Mtn.

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Way too early 2009 College Football Projections

The season has ended, but it does not mean outlets are bringing us super-dooper-early top 25 lists.  Here are some national outlets and their 2009 lists which pertain to the MWC.

The Rivals.com list seems to be quite different for the Mountain West, they have Utah at 17 and BYU at 22, but TCU is in the others considered along side Air Force.  Very intrigued why TCU is on the outside when they return about half of their defense and quarterback Andy Dalton is back and will be a junior, along with running back Joseph Turner.

Here is what Rivals said:

17. Utah
The Buzz: The passing game will be a huge question. But the defense returns a lot of key players in the front seven, and the Utes will be able to run the ball.

22. BYU
The Buzz: Replacing four starters on the offensive line is the top priority for the Cougars, whose defense should be much better.

ESPN’s Mark Schlabach put out a top 25 and has TCU at 16, Utah at 21 and BYU at 24.   That is a bit more accurate, but I could see Utah in the top 20 if either Paul Kruger or Sean Smith return, but that is wishful thinking since both are considered an early second round pick in the draft if they declare.

Below is what Mark Schlabach had to say:

16. TCU Horned Frogs

Behind the country’s No. 1 defense, the Horned Frogs finished 11-2 in 2008, beating Boise State 17-16 in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. As many as eight defensive starters will have to be replaced if junior defensive end Jerry Hughes enters the NFL draft. Middle linebacker Jason Phillips and safety Stephen Hodge will be big losses, too. Six starters are expected back on offense, including quarterback Andy Dalton.

21. Utah Utes

The Utes finished the 2008 season as the only unbeaten team in the country after upsetting Alabama 31-17 in the Sugar Bowl. They will have to replace quarterback Brian Johnson, their top three receivers and the right side of their offensive line. Nine starters are expected to return from one of the country’s best defenses. Kicker/punter Louie Sakoda also will be difficult to replace. The Utes will play three difficult road games: at Oregon, BYU and TCU.

24. BYU Cougars

The Cougars fell short of their “quest for perfection” in 2008, losing to TCU 32-7, at Utah 48-24, and to Arizona 31-21 in the Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl. BYU will need to find a replacement for wide receiver Austin Collie, who declared for the NFL draft. The Cougars are waiting to see if tight end Dennis Pitta will return for his senior season. Quarterback Max Hall and running back Harvey Unga are definitely returning, but four starting offensive linemen will have to be replaced. Nine starters are expected back on defense.

The next is Sports Illustrated’s Stewart Mandel who posted a top 10 list.  He has the Utes at number seven, but that can determine if defensive back Sean Smith and/or defensive end Paul Kruger return.

#8 Utah: Don’t make the mistake of discounting the Utes just because quarterback Brian Johnson and his receivers are graduating. As you saw in the Sugar Bowl, Utah can play some pretty mean defense. Star pass-rushers Paul Kruger, Stevenson Sylvester and seven other starters return on that side. An experienced line should help the offense rebuild.

The one common thread is that Boise State is either in the top 10 or near the top 10 of all of these lists.  That may be true, because Boise State does have Kellen Moore at quarterback and will be only a Sophomore for the 2009 season.  Never too early to start talking college football for the upcoming season.

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Game Day Links: Sugar Bowl Alabama Vs. Utah

ESPN Preview: Utah

ESPN Preview: Alabama

Deseret News Containing Kruger on Tide’s to-do list

Salt Lake Tribune Sugar Bowl: U. is getting no respect

Salt Lake Tribune: Utes in winning mind-set

Birmingham News 10 Odd Facts Heading into the Sugar Bowl

Birmingham News Predictions, anyone? (Game 14)… the Sugar Bowl edition!

Tuscaloosa News Second-string quarterback Corbin Louks is Utah’s ‘Weapon X’

Tuscaloosa News Seniors make big impact for Alabama

New Mexico Bowl Preview: Colorado State vs. Fresno State

Now before I get into the game itself I am participating  in the Gunaxin’s 2008 Blog Bowl Challenge which pits other bloggers against each other for a prize, but the great thing about this contest is that it brings together the best content for all of the bowls from multiple bloggers.   So, to check out different perspectives on this bowl game and others then click the picture below and it will take you there.

(6-6) (7-4)

New Mexico Bowl, University Stadium 2:30PM MT TV:

The ever so many bowl games are here and this game features two old WAC rivals, and gives this game some meaning to what league is superior. Fresno State was a team that fell of the map after being in the top 25 and being mentioned as a BCS buster.

Then the Bulldogs do what they do best which is beat a big name opponent at Rutgers and then played then number 10 Wisconsin to a close lose. After that Fresno did their typical thing and lose a few conference games and then get crushed in their biggest conference game against Boise State.

Colorado State was not expected to be this good with first year coach Steve Fairchild and a new quarterback, but the Rams were lead by their running attack of Gattrel Johnson III and Kyle Bell.

Fresno had their bowl game invited wrapped up in early November, but the Rams had to win their last two games to become bowl eligible and also has to defeat their rival Wyoming on the last game of the year.

What to expect in this game is a lot of points and the total to have at least 55.  Both teams are pretty identical in total offense per game, with the Rams having a slight edge in the running game and Fresno having the edge in the passing game.

The Rams’ ground attack is fueled by first-team All-MWC 225-pound RB Gartrell Johnson, who is a powerful between-the-tackles runner.   Behind Johnson, 234-pound Kyle Bell provides excellent depth, and he too is at his best running inside.   This doesn’t bode well for a Fresno State run defense that’s giving up an average of 5.3 yards per carry, so look for the Rams to try to control the time of possession and ride the running game.

Even if the running game gets stalled or the Rams have to pass they  have one of the best tight ends in the country in Kory Sperry who catches anything thrown his way.  If not for Dennis Pita from BYU, Sperry would be getting some big time recognition.

Rashaun Greer is another receiving threat for the Rams who has 1,045 yards on the year and a couple of scores, but the real strength is the running game of Colorado State.

Fresno will not back down from anyone and should look to pass against the Rams, because the Rams only have 9 sacks on the year.  So, they will have plenty of time to find their main receivers in Chastin West, Seyi Ajirotutu and Devon Wylie should have plenty of time to separate from the coverage.

The running game could be another strength for Fresno, because Colorado State is not great in stopping the run as they gave up 5.2 yards per carry.  However the main back for Fresno, Ryan Mathews has been hampered by a knee injury for the better part of the season, and it’s unknown whether he’ll be able play in the game.  The replacement will be Anthony Harding and  Jamal Rashad and the way the offensive line for Fresno will allow them to be able to run against the Rams defense.

The Essentials

Colorado State
Offense – 377 ypg, 247 ypg passing, 129 ypg rushing
Defense – 407 ypg, 222 ypg passing, 185 ypg rushing
 Wins versus Bowl Teams – Houston

Fresno State
Offense – 383 ypg, 206 ypg passing, 177 ypg rushing
Defense – 393 ypg, 196 ypg passing, 197 ypg rushing
 Wins versus Bowl Teams – Rutgers

Prediction: Colorado State 27 Fresno State 21

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Plenty ‘O Bulletin Board Material for Utah

Alabama has came out in full force feeling they have been disrespected for matching up with Utah, hey would you rather be playing Cincinnati’s? In less then 24 hours Utah is getting slammed by EVERYONE, why because they play in the Mountain West. This is not the 2004 team who is much better and would have given any team in the country a game and yes I include that   USC team.

In my opinion, which is biased even though I try not too be, is that Utah can play with anyone in the country with the exception of Texas, Oklahoma, and Florida. Those three schools would beat Utah by two touchdowns if both teams played well. As for USC, Alabama, and Penn State the game would by no means favor Utah but they are on equal footing in regards to this years talent.

Back to the Sugar Bowl, Brian Johnson the Utah quarterback put it the best. His first question was asked by some reporter about the history of Alabama football and not the 2008 Alabama team, but then Brian Johnson cut him off mid sentence to say we are not playing history we are playing their eleven guys on the 2008 team, and we will not see Bart Starr or Joe Namath coming out of the tunnel along side Bear Bryant.

Here is the video about the comment it is in the first 30 seconds:

Here is the link to ESPN’s commentary on the Sugar Bowl matchup. The best thing they mention is that Utah can hope to hang with Alabama.

This game is not about Bear Bryant, 12 national title, 13 Sugar bowl apperances, but rather the 2008 Utah Utes against the 2008 Alabama Crimson Tide. A memo to all of those Alabama fans who at any time they read a comment, blog post, news article, or anything that does not say Alabama is God’s gift to the world in football do not need to start rambling off the numbers I just did or many more that I am not aware of. Good smack is fun but no need to bash the other school or just pound your chest and say the SEC is king, Utah is a good team and so is Alabama they are both in the top 10.

For amusement purposes and what will be considered bulletin board material for the Ute players, I will start a post a day until Januaray 2nd and postcomments from fans and media outlets that could be used as bulletin material for Utah. Alabama fans may find this like a slight against them, but some Alabama fans and media are giving the Utes no respect. Again this is all fun.

This first one comes from an ESPN.com chat near the end of the chat

Derek, Atlanta: Why does Bama get the short end of the stick and play Utah? I would think they would prefer a match up like Bama and Texas.

Derek would you rather be playing a 9-4 Virginia Tech or 11-2 C incy who lost to U Conn? Brad Edwards puts it best:

“The selection order often dictates the matchups, and that’s what happened here. The first pick went to the Fiesta, which chose Texas. The second pick went to the Sugar, which chose Alabama, so there was never a chance to match those teams.”

Alabama coach Nick Saban said the Tide were “the only team that plays in a real BCS conference that went 12-0.”Chattanooga Times Free Press

That may have been a slip of the tongue but many people in Utah feel slighted about that remark.

Here is the title from The Birmingham News

Alabama to face Florida Light in Sugar Bowl Vs. Utah

Real classy, yes the article is balanced but the title is a slap in the face, but does it mean since they refer Utah to Florida that Utah wins? Just a thought. Also in the article Sugar Bowl executive director Paul Hoolahan said Well,” he said, “I’d be less than honest to say we weren’t a little concerned about the outcome of last year’s game. Not even close because Utah’s schedule is much better, but Hoolahan also said that since Utah was able to win at Michigan Utah ” was a safe bet.”

I came across the blog, The Rap Sheet, by The Birmingham News writer Ian R. Rapoport and I am not sure if he is writing a tease to get readers to check the blog tomorrow or he really does not know why Utah is matched up against Alabama, and it does not help when CEO Paul Hoolahan said:

There was no other choice,” Hoolahan said. “That was it. That was the choice. Alabama and Utah was the choice. It makes perfect sense for us. I mean, we can go through the steps, but you know obviously, we had the replacement factor…

For those Alabama fans who did not know how the selection work it goes as follows:

Bowl that loses team to BCS title

Bowl that loses team to BCS title

Fiesta Bowl

Sugar Bowl

Orange Bowl

The first two selections went with Fiesta taking Texas and then Sugar taking Alabama, both choose to keep their conference affiliation in line. Then the pick went back to the Fiesta and they had teams like Ohio State, Boise State, TCU, Utah, and Cincinnati. Fiesta took Ohio State for a bigger named matchup and the Sugar felt Utah was the next best selection, in their minds.

In the same blog post there is a comment, by delahaya puts things in perspective and does not whine or complain about playing Utah.

Guys, Utah ain’t chopped liver. They are undefeated and will be motivated to beat an SEC team. Don’t take a win for granted.

Alabama has had a great year and has the opportunity the cap it off with a Sugar Bowl win. The players should be proud of what they’ve done.

Also, one last thing Alabama fans, as Utah fans, should be excited because last year Alabama lost to Louisana-Monroe and played in the Independence Bowl, while Utah was in the Poinsettia Bowl.

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Bowl Announcements Official

The big surprise for me is that Boise was allowed to leave the Humanitarian Bowl and now the Poinsettia Bowl is a must see against TCU.

New Mexico
Colorado State vs. Fresno State
Albuquerque
University Stadium
Dec. 20, 2:30 p.m ESPN
Pioneer Las Vegas
BYU vs. Arizona
Las Vegas
Sam Boyd Stadium
Dec. 20, 8 p.m. ESPN
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia
Boise State vs. TCU
San Diego
Qualcomm Stadium
Dec. 23, 8 p.m. ESPN
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces
Houston vs. Air Force
Fort Worth, Texas
Amon G. Carter Stadium
Dec. 31, Noon ESPN
Allstate Sugar
Utah vs. Alabama
New Orleans
Superdome
Jan. 2, 2009, 8 p.m. FOX

The comments of how Utah are all ready here and it started with Nick Saban “his team was the only one that plays in a real BCS conference that went 12-0.” He also said “Our players are certainly disappointed,” in reference to not making the BCS title game.  Coach come on the SEC was down this year and was not their typical dominant conference and the best win that Alabama has, Georgia,  was not as good as Utah’s win over TCU.

Alabama’s biggest win was over Georgia who finished 9-3.  The Crimson Tide have a great defense, but Utah will hang and their defense is just as good as Alabama.  On offense Utah’s offense is better then ‘B ama yes they have Glenn Coffee at runnign back and Julio Jones at wide out but thats it, their quarterback play is marginal.  The Tide will play tough and might wear down Utah but my early prediction is that the Sugar Bowl be like the TCU game, well I think TCU has a better offense then Alabama.

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Final Bowl projections for the MWC

There were no major upsets, well technically if you count Florida because they were behind in the rankings, but a 10 point favorite. There has been steam gaining that since Florida is ranked sixth by the computers and fourth in the coaches poll. I crunched some numbers and if Florida moves up to number three in the computer rankings which is where Alabama was, then if Florida jumps Texas, only 9 poll votes, and takes the second spot and gets the same votes as Oklahoma did at number two, and finally in the Harris poll if they stay true to their rankings Florida would be number one and just for this purpose get the same votes Alabama did at that spot.

Here is a small chart below to point out how close it would be.  This is my estimation, but Texas could get a strength of schedule boost for beating Oklahoma earlier and perhaps get a big bump ahead of Florida in the computer, but who knows.

Florida                                                                   Texas
Computer Avg .920 (3rd ranking)           Computer Avg  .950 (2nd ranking)
Coaches Poll .9161 (2nd ranking)            Coaches Poll .9154 (3rd Ranking)
Harris Poll .9965 (1st ranking)                  Harris Poll .9115 (3rd Ranking)
Total .9442                                                        Total .9256

Utah vs. Alabama

This is the best possible matchup for Utah because Alabama’s offense is not that great and the only great player is running back Glenn Coffee and freshman Julio Jones is pretty good.

BYU Vs. Arizona

This is a financial decision for the bowl to sell out the crowd and hotel sponsors.  BYU gets the reward by playing a 7-6 Arizona team.

Colorado State vs. Fresno State

Fresno has all ready accepted this bowl invite and almost a certainty to be playing Colorado State, because the New Mexico bowl gets the last selection of MWC teams.

Air Force vs. Nevada

This is a good fit, because San Diego has a presecence in the armed services, and this spot is an at large Nevada gets the cut because they are 7-5 and close to the area.  There is speculation that TCU and Boise State would play here, but I can not see the bowls releasing either since they both have the chance to play at home.  A Boise State versus TCU would be a great matchup and possible one of the highest ranked teams in a non-BCS bowl game.

TCU vs. Houston

This would be another old Southwest Conference matchup.  A good matchup between a great offense and a great defense.

Once the official bowl announcements are out I will post on that.

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