Friday Fodder: New Mountain West looks like the WAC | NevadaAppeal.com
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Friday Fodder: New Mountain West looks like the WAC

Joe Santoro
For the Nevada Appeal

Sports fodder for a Friday morning … With each passing month, the Nevada Wolf Pack’s move to the Mountain West Conference in the fall of 2012 looks more and more, well, less exciting. By the time the Pack joins the Mountain West Conference it’s going to look very familiar, like a weird blend of the 1980s and 1990s Big West Conference, Western Athletic Conference and Big Sky Conference. The Pack has already been there, done that.

“It’s still a better conference than the one we’re leaving,” Boise State football coach Chris Petersen said this week of the Mountain West minus BYU, Utah and TCU.

Really? Let’s see. No automatic qualifying status in the BCS, Nevada and Fresno will be their toughest league foes and half of the league starts thinking about basketball in early October. Sounds like the WAC to me.

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TCU leaving the Mountain West for the Big East is, surprise, surprise, all about football money. The Big East, for some reason, is an automatic qualifier in the BCS pot of gold.

But is this really a good move for TCU in the long run? It would seem to hurt all of their sports except football.

The Big East will have substantially more travel costs, it won’t have any real rivalries for TCU’s fans to get excited about and their men’s basketball team will be eaten alive every year. Maybe TCU is simply afraid of competing with Nevada, Boise State and Fresno State in football.

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We woke up Saturday morning expecting a new world for Wolf Pack football after it’s 34-31 overtime victory over Boise State on Friday night. Well, the new world looks awfully similar to the old world. Boise State is still ranked higher nationally than the Wolf Pack. The Pack only jumped two spots higher in the BCS standings (to No. 17) and the Pack still are going to bowls in either San Francisco, Boise (think Boise fans will cheer for the Pack?) or lovely Albuquerque. The Wolf Pack in the BCS is sort of like being allowed to eat at a fancy restaurant except that you have to eat in the kitchen with the waiters.

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The NCAA should be ashamed of itself with its latest Cam Newton ruling. OK, stop laughing. We know that will never happen. How do you rule that Newton is eligible to play in the same sentence that you admit Newton’s father broke rules regarding his son’s recruitment? USC athletic director Pat Haden, whose school is suffering greatly because Reggie Bush’s parents received illegal benefits, said this week, “I was told the parent is the child” when it comes to NCAA rules. It’s about time somebody investigates the NCAA.

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Wolf Pack fans, I know you are thrilled that Kyle Brotzman missed easy field goals at the end of regulation and in overtime last Friday. But you have to feel sorry for the Boise State kicker. No athlete, especially a college athlete, should ever have to take the verbal and written abuse Brotzman received last weekend. It’s a sad commentary on our society and sports fans. Brotzman, who is from Meridian, Idaho, will have to live with the painful memory of Friday night for the rest of his life. He doesn’t need some idiot who lost a sports bet, or some moron who lives to tailgate and paint his face in orange and blue to remind him of what he did.

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Derek Jeter needs the New York Yankees more than the Yankees need Jeter. Jeter without the pinstripes is just an aging, mediocre shortstop with no range. With the pinstripes, he is DiMaggio, Mantle, Ruth and Gehrig all rolled into one. The Yankees have already paid Jeter for all his years of great service. Jeter should just accept what the Yankees want to pay him and end this free agent charade before it gets stupid..

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Chris Ault is the perfect example for Jeter to follow. Ault takes much less in salary from the Wolf Pack than he would get someplace else simply because he wants to coach the Wolf Pack. Ault could leave Nevada tomorrow and go coach somewhere else for three times what he makes at Nevada. Ault even has more leverage with the Wolf Pack than Jeter has with the Yankees. The Wolf Pack needs Ault much more than Ault needs the Wolf Pack. And, unlike Jeter, Ault is not slowing down. In fact, he is a much better coach now than he’s ever been. But Ault is Wolf Pack football. He knows it. It’s where he belongs. Jeter is the Yankees. He should know it. It’s where he belongs.

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Drew Brees is Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year. Dumb choice. Boring choice. Unimaginative choice. I would have given it to Colin Kaepernick. Brees never beat Boise.