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Camp Dates Announced!

Finally! Football is only a month away and camp starts today begininning with Air Force, and the rest starting by the end of the week.

MWC FALL CAMP START DATES

AUG. 3
Air Force

AUG. 6
New Mexico
UNLV
Utah
Wyoming

AUG. 7
Colorado State

AUG. 8
BYU

AUG. 10
San Diego State
TCU

Live European football scores, results.

It is Official Utah to Play Pitt in 2010 and 2011

What was rumor is now official with Pitt traveling to Utah in 2010 and Utah returning the trip in 2011. Here is the official announcement from Pitt. 

This is a huge deal for Utah who have been doing one and done games or playing Pac-10 schools for a home and home.  Event though Pitt is not a huge top 15 year in and year out opponent, this game will be against a recognizable opponent nationally and from a BCS league in the Big East.

The 2010 season for Utah has three BCS schools from @ Notre Dame, Pitt, and @ Iowa State.  A very nice schedule to gain more credit by playing BCS schools and they need to win them as well to get national recognition.

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Podcast Appearance

Yesterday I appeared on In the Bleachers Podcast to discuss all things MWC ranging from who will win the league, a big name opponent for Utah in 2010, BCS talk, and expansion.  So, if you ever wanted to hear what I sound like go download the podcast.

While you are enjoying this great episode of In The Bleachers why not go ahead and subscribe to their weekly show and subscribe to their website for a great daily reading about college football.

Making the Rounds: Random Offseason News

ESPN: Air Force is joining the in on the barage of football games at Yankee Stadium and will take on Army in 2012.  Also, Notre Dame is possibly looking at scheduling TCU, but not in 2010 as some suggest.   That game, if scheduled, would be a one and down if the money is high enough and might be in either 2011 or 2012.

Kelly Lyell, The Coloradoan: The Rams finally get back safety Klint Kubiak after he had a right ankle sprain that cost him five games and torn ligament in his left knee that cost him two more.

Kubiak was one of the teams leader last year and should be able to help improve a defense that was last in the Mountain West.

Jake Schaller, The Gazatte: Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson at the annual media days was still fighting the fight against the BCS.  Thompson believes the league must prove it on the field but had this to say about the BCS:

“If we don’t do well, they’ll say, ‘Yup, see, they can’t do it. They’re not there,’If we do have success, they’ll say, ‘Maybe they’re right, maybe they can play at this level.’ … It is what it is. We know we have to win games.”

On the field performance is the key for the Mountain West to have a chance of inclusion to the BCS, but even that may not be enough because the rules for BCS inclusion are so vague. However if the league is able to continue its 2008 success then the BCS will have to include the MWC.

Lya Wodraska, Salt Lake Tribune: The Utes picked up another recruit in Star Lotulelei who is a 6-foot-3, 290-pound defensive lineman. He was planning on going to BYU but while at Snow College communication was lost, so Lotulelei ended up at Utah.

“BYU didn’t stay in touch with me,” he said. “I heard from the Utah coaches, both coach (Jay) Hill and (Kalani) Sitake stayed in touch with me. I’m excited, Utah is close to home so my family will be able to see me a lot.”

Looks like Utah was able to snag this recruit from BYU, but it may not have mattered because BYU has only a few scholarships left for the2010 season.  That could be why BYU did not keep in touch.

Dick Harmon, Deseret News: The bottom of the Mountain West is looking form someway to catch the Big three — BYU, Utah, and TCU.  Air Force looks to be the closest with the resurgence from new head coach Troy Calhoun.

UNLV and Colorado State are making strides but are still not there. The rest New Mexico, Wyoming, and San Diego State, are hoping that their new hires will be the move that gets them over the top. New Mexico head coch Mike Locklsey believes the difference is not that large:

“Now, having been indoctrinated into the league as a head coach, you see that there is the Air Force Academy, Colorado State, and UNLV is nipping at your heels. New Mexico? I didn’t know much about it, but when you look at the run New Mexico’s had over the last 10 years, they’ve won as many conference games as some of the Big Three as we’ve talked about.”

Brent Schrotenboer, San Diego Union Tribune: The Aztecs have finally reached a ten year deal to keep San Diego State in Qualcomm Stadium.  The 2008 season had the Aztecs playing in the stadium without a lease, but Qualcomm allowed them to play the season while working on a new deal.

Qualcomm was weary about  a new lease because of they were losing about 30,000 dollars per game, below is the basics for the new deal:

“Under the new lease, SDSU will pay the city about $95,000, including the $30,000 in additional expenses and an estimated $15,000 from the added surcharge. Most tickets will include the surcharge except for student tickets and some others.”

This is a relief for the Aztecs, because without this they would have no place to play.  The surcharge is going to be just one dollar per ticket to all sporting events to cover the rest of the costs.

Joey Nowak San Diego Union Tribune: Head coach Brady Hoke is doing a great job in recruiting and so far has a verbal commit from four star quarterback Tyler Bray.  He also is the fourteenth rated pro style quarterback and is the 229th ranked player in the 2010 class.

His choice game down to San Diego State, USC, and Tennessee and his decision came down to where other top quarterback recruit Jesse Scroggins was going.  Scroggins chose USC which made Bray’s decision easier.  Here is what his high school coach Dace Steele had to say on his choice:

“I think (Bray) felt he had a good opportunity to come in and be productive fairly early in his career at (SDSU). The program is in the right direction, so I was excited for him when he decided that’s what he wanted to do.”

Even though Bray has said his choice is firm Tennessee is still pursing Bray, because the Vols lost out on the Scroggins sweepstakes.

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Fiesta Bowl Rematch in 2010 With Pitt Traveling to Utah

The good writers at BlockU found this nugget from Utah Assistant athletic director for corporate sales and ticket operations Zack Lassiter’s twitter feed.

“Fiesta Bowl rematch in the works. Pitt to play at RES in 2010 as part of a home and home series. Contract on its way to Pitt for signature”

Now that would be cool to have a home and home with a BCS league and for the game to be played first in Rice-Eccles

This is what 2010’s OOC schedule looks like right now for the Utes:

@ Iowa State

Pittsburgh

@ Notre Dame

San Jose State

Good to see the Utes are able to make some noise in scheduling home and home and not just the one in done they have inked in recent years: most notable Michigan in 2008 and Notre Dame next year.

UPDATE: For some reason the twitter post has been removed, I was going to do a screen shot to post, but life got in the way and when I checked back it was no longer there.

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Previewing 2009 New Mexico Opponents: Texas Tech Red Raiaders

Texas Tech is going to take a step back from last year, because the lost all-everything wide out Michael Crabtree to the NFL and gun slinger Graham Harrell to the CFL.

The pirate Mike Leach historically has had little problem replacing the production at quarterback, but the only difference is that Graham Harrel is the only three year starter under Mike Leach’s offense.

New quarterback Taylor Potts is a former three star recruit and should produce at least 4,000 yards even though he has little game experience which is detailed in the chart.

Passing Com% Yards TD INT
Taylor Potts 63.9 260 2 1
Rushing Carries Yards Yards Per Carry TD
Baron Batch 113 758 6.7 7
Receiving Catches Yards Yards Per Catch TD
Detron Lewis 76 913 12.0 3
Lyle Leong 18 206 11.4 3
Edward Britton 35 577 16.5 6
Rashad Hawk 5 65 13.0 0

Everyone knows what to expect from the Red Raiders offense, all passing all the time.  The player most likely to try to replace Michael Crabtree will be Lyle Leong who as the secondary receiver still managed 76 catches and near 1,000 yards.

His yards may not be able to improve too much but Leong will be the primary target and increase his touchdown total to around ten.  Not only do the Red Raiders have to replace their play makers they only return four starters on offense; which happens to include four offensive lineman.

Even though four lineman need to be replaced that area should not see a drop off and the only problem will be how long it takes for them to gel up front.

Even though the Tech offense is known as ‘Air Raid’ they did have two backs rush for over 750 yards and a 6.7 yard per carry, and the Raiders used much more two back sets then in recent years.  They also return their leading rusher from 2008 in Baron Batch who will be accompanied by redshirt freshman Harrison Jeffers who happens to be the fastest player on the team.

The offense will be fine, especially in the Big XII where there is little or no defense, and speaking of defense the Raiders must stop someone to try to break the choke-hold of Texas and Oklahoma at the top.

However this is not the year for the Red Raiders who will most likely finish fourth in the Big XII South and they should welcome the Alamo Bowl with open arms.

They do return six players on defense, but it was a mediocre defense and gave up 28 points per game which surprisingly was fourth in the Big XII.  The defense main responsibility is to try to slow down which has been so-so over the years.

The star on defense Jamar Wall who plays cornerback and had seven picks and he has the ability to take away half of the field on pass defense.  However the rest of the secondary is very questionable, and in a league with Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy at the quarterback the secondary will be in trouble.

The defensive line should be the strength of the defense which will be led by Colby Whitlock and Rajon Henley and are very good against the run.  The rest of the line includes Brandon Sesay, Sandy Riley and then there is incoming freshman Pearlie Graves, who turned down Tennessee and Michigan to join Texas Tech so there is  optimism at the end position.

The Red Raiders will definitely take a stop back but still has a solid chance at getting nine wins for the upcoming season.

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