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Report: “Everybody else” but Air Force prefers nine conference games

Published: September 30, 2010, 9:40 am, by admin

The Idaho Statesman ran a Q&A with Mountain West Conference commissioner Craig Thompson, and one of the topics was scheduling in the new-look conference. When the conference has 10 teams, a nine-game conference schedule seems inevitable, even though Air Force is against it.

The Falcons want an eight-game conference slate, to keep its flexibility in non-conference scheduling. Air Force is unusual in the conference because it has two games against Army and Navy that are annually on its non-conference slate. Air Force likes to play a lesser opponent on Parents Weekend and a big-name school for exposure and financial reasons in its other two games.

“Air Force is kind of the outlier,” Thompson told the newspaper. “And I understand exactly their position — Army, Navy, nine conference games. Are they going to play Oklahoma or are they going to play Northwestern State? They’re going to have to make that decision. They don’t want to have to make that decision. I get it completely. But I think everybody else is pretty much saying nine.

“It’s partially financial. You don’t have to pay … whatever the game fee is. It’s a free game. It naturally makes sense (as a conference). That’s the true winner, you played everybody. What happens if hypothetically TCU and Boise State don’t play or you don’t play one of them? You say, ‘Well, wait a minute, you won the conference but you didn’t have to play Boise State. That’s not right.’ ”