Q: How do you feel about the University of Utah's decision to leave the Mountain West at the end the season to join the Pac-10 Conference?
A: "Utah was a great member of this conference, a charter member that set a lot of standards for the Mountain West Conference. It's been a benchmark program with two BCS bowl games. They were the first non-automatic qualifying team to appear in a BCS game in the Fiesta Bowl in '05. Utah has been a great member of this conference."
Q: What do you feel about the addition of Boise State to the Mountain West Conference?
A: "Boise State is going to be a tremendous addition to the Mountain West Conference. They are one of the hottest names in college football right now. As a program, they have grown impossibly fast. They've obviously had phenomenal success in going 26-1 the last two years. They have more than just a regional following. I think people have really caught on to who they are. People are aware of the teams Boise State has played and the teams it has beaten. Geographically, it will be a nice fit. We don't have a lot of history against them, but there is a history there with most of our sports. They are going to be a tremendous asset to the Mountain West Conference."
Q: What are your feelings about the BCS and how it currently relates to the Mountain West Conference?
A: "Our statement all along has been that if we're 9-3 in bowl games against BCS automatic-qualifiying members and have played in three BCS bowls and have one of the top five or six records in bowl games and regular-season games against those leagues, if we look like them, why are we not treated similarly to them? We understand we are only halfway through this four-year cycle of being evaluated (to become the seventh automatic-qualifying conference). Our message is simply that in terms of performance, we look, act and play an awful lot like a BCS automatic-qualifying league."
Q: What are your thoughts about the conference's current television package?
A: "We continue to push on distribution. The positives that were there (when the television contract was negotiated) four years ago remain. We play almost exclusively on Saturdays, when college football should be played. We have nearly every football game being televised. We have 100 men's basketball games being televised. We have 40 women's basketball games and nearly 20 volleyball games being televised. All of those rank us in the top two or three in the country in total number of sheer exposures."
Officials from the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl were on hand Wednesday as the MWC wrapped up its 2010 football media days. The third selection from the Mountain West Conference will meet the seventh selection from the Atlantic Coast Conference on Dec. 27 at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, La.
The Independence Bowl's relationship with the Big 12 and SEC ended after the conclusion of last year's game.
"I've always had an interest in trying to make the bowl better," said Shreveport native Richard Wright, who served on the executive committee of the Independence Bowl before becoming the preisdent and CEO of AdvoCare. "We view this as a major step up for us from a bowl standpoint to have the Mountain West as one of our affiliates."
Officials from the MWC's four other bowl partners were also in attendance: MAACO Bowl Las Vegas, San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl and New Mexico Bowl. Representatives from both the Rose and Fiesta bowls were also available at the MWC event.
BY THE NUMBERS
9 - Teams on UNLV's schedule that appeared in bowl games in 2009
10,847 - Mountain West Conference student-athletes who have graduated with a 3.0 GPA since the conference's inception in 1999
4,624 - Mountain West Conference student-athletes who have graduated with a 3.5 GPA since the conference's inception in 1999
5 - Mountain West Conference teams earning bowl bids each of the last three seasons
FROM FLORIDA TO THE FRONT RANGE
Colorado State's 2010 roster includes 22 players from Florida, eight of whom hail from Orlando. Of those eight, quarterback Nico Ranieri, running back Marvin Ford and linebackers Charles Favors and Marquis Ford - all freshmen - attended Dr. Phillips High. Located in southwest Orlando, the school in 2008-09 featured 12 students that scored a perfect 800 on the SAT test. This, despite there being one small distraction when it comes to focusing on classwork. Universal Studios is located roughly 2,500 feet from the school's front door.