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Easy predictions to kick off Mountain West Media Days

Easy predictions to kick off Mountain West Media Days

by Tom Scott

Bio | Follow: @thescottslant

KTVB.COM

Posted on July 26, 2011 at 7:29 AM

Updated Sunday, Nov 3 at 6:10 PM

 

(Tom Scott’s column will return Thursday.)
 
Tuesday, July 26, 2011.
 
The Mountain West preseason polls and all-conference teams will be released this morning as the conference’s Media Days get underway in Las Vegas. It’s not going to be hard to pick the top four: Boise State, TCU, Air Force and San Diego State. Take last season’s final Sagarin computer ratings, for example. Those four ranked from No. 4 to No. 37 in Sagarin. Then, a massive canyon, as Wyoming, Colorado State, UNLV and New Mexico all came in below 100. For individual preseason honors, Boise State’s Kellen Moore and TCU’s Tank Carder are heavy favorites as offensive and defensive players of the year.
 
It’ll be interesting to hear how Mountain West media handle the league’s controversial TV contract during commissioner Craig Thompson’s “state of the conference” address tomorrow. They’ve gone around and around about this the last five years. BYU is not hiding its giddiness at leaving the relatively anonymous Versus, “the mtn.,” and CBS Sports Network for its new independent contract with ESPN. It was the Worldwide Leader that had a big hand in building Boise State’s national brand, and the Cougars are looking forward to rebuilding theirs. Jeff Call of the Deseret News says ESPN all but won the 1991 Heisman Trophy for BYU quarterback Ty Detmer. The Cougars’ 28-21 upset of No. 1 Miami that season and their still talked-about 52-52 tie with San Diego State were both telecast by ESPN, and Detmer was the star.
 
The WAC’s Media Days start tomorrow in Las Vegas. Coaches are going to get sick and tired of hearing questions like, “How’s it going to be with Boise State not around anymore?” And, “How does it feel to have a better shot at winning a championship now?” Two coaches get to file away anything that ticks them off this week, as Nevada and Fresno State will still be meeting the Broncos on the field this fall.
 
Jeron Johnson was No. 6 on Scout Inc.’s list of the NFL’s top undrafted free agents, and the former Boise State strong safety was one of the first to go last night. Johnson quickly agreed to terms with the Seahawks, while former Bronco teammates Ryan Winterswyk and Winston Venable settled on the Falcons and the Bears, respectively. Winterswyk is going to Atlanta as a tight end. Later, quarterback Mike Coughlin connected with the Buccaneers and tight end Tommy Gallarda with the Jaguars. The players who weren’t selected in April can officially sign as of 8:00 this morning according to terms of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. 
 
As for veteran Boise State products in the NFL, they can start working on contracts (if offered) today—then they can sign on Friday. Free agents, some of whom will stay with their current teams and some of whom will be on the move, include Gerald Alexander (Panthers), Chris Carr (Ravens), Daryn Colledge and Korey Hall (Packers), Quintin Mikell (Eagles), Legedu Naanee (Chargers), and Derek Schouman (Rams).
 
The Boise Hawks had the tables turned on them last night, as Spokane dealt them an 8-2 spanking in Memorial Stadium. It wasn’t a big inning that did it, but a steady drip-drip-drip, with the Indians scoring in five different innings. Both of the Hawks’ runs came on a fourth-inning home run by Paul Hoilman, his ninth of the year. Boise ends the first half of the season at 17-21. The Hawks and Spokane wrap up their three-game series tonight.
 
We surf the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin in Southern California today for an ECHL nugget. Last time I checked, Boise businessman Larry Leasure still had the rights to an ECHL franchise in Reno, and Ontario Reign president Justin Kemp told the newspaper the city does still have a membership.  "They were approved again to continue on," Kemp said after the league’s Board of Governors meetings.  "They're still trying to get an arena finalized.” According to Kemp, a Reno team could still happen, even as early as the 2012-13 season. Leasure announced back in early 2000 that he had purchased what was then a WCHL franchise for Reno.
 
Already down to just three weeks of racing remaining in Les Bois Park’s comeback season, starting with tomorrow night’s Ladies Night card. For the track to draw 3,531 fans against the Katy Perry concert, the Boise Music Festival, and the Boise Hawks last Saturday night was phenomenal. The feature tomorrow is the Winning Color Stakes for Idaho-bred fillies and mares three years old and up. The purse is $7,950, and the early favorite is Sugar Rocks, with Dirk Crane aboard. Crane is the leading jockey at Les Bois, finishing in the money in 32 of 52 starts, including 14 wins.
 
Other Boise State campus notes: men’s tennis coach Greg Patton has shirt-tailed a high-profile match with the football team’s Chick-fil-A Kickoff appearance against Georgia Labor Day weekend. The Bronco tennis team will play the fifth-ranked Bulldogs in a fall individual tournament September 2 and 3 at the Atlanta Tennis Club. And Boise State golfer Scott Spiewak won the Boise City Championship over the weekend at Warm Springs. The senior-to-be won by four strokes, finishing 7-under-par 137 in the 36-hole tournament.
 
This Day In Sports…July 26, 2000:
 
The Arizona Diamondbacks formulate one of the most awesome one-two pitching tandems in big league history when they obtain Curt Schilling from the Philadelphia Phillies and add him to Randy Johnson in their rotation. It would pay off for the third-year expansion D-Backs when they won the 2001 World Series over the Yankees, with Schilling and Johnson sharing Most Valuable Player honors.
 
(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment Sunday nights at 10:30PM on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 The Ticket. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)

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