I attended the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation’s Football Kickoff Luncheon today and was able to talk to Air Force coach Troy Calhoun and Mountain West Conference commissioner Craig Thompson.
I wrote an Air Force piece touching on the linebacker corps and the quarterback situation as well as a story about conference realignment now that the dust has settled.
Here are some other notes I couldn’t fit in either of the above stories.
-Calhoun, like Thompson, was glad there wasn’t the massive shake-up of conferences that some had predicted.
“If I’m a fan you are (happy), absolutely, that there wasn’t a tremendous amount of maneuvering,” he said. “Because I think there are some alliances, competitively, that I think are really healthy for the sport, and I think they need time to develop – it’s not something that happens instantly. I don’t think it happens even within five or six years. I think they take sometimes decades to occur.”
-I asked Calhoun if he was glad Boise State wasn’t joining until 2011 because of what the Broncos have back this year (all but one starter from last year’s 14-0 squad).
“It’s probably something you really haven’t thought about a tremendous amount, frankly,” Calhoun said. “The reality is that’s something you’re going to do down the road.”
Calhoun did say, however, that he would watch Boise closer this year because it will be joining the league in 2011.
-I noted in my realignment story that – at least football-wise – the addition of Boise and the loss of Utah was pretty much a push.
“I don’t know if it’s a push,” Thompson said. “I’m thrilled to death with Boise State. I hate to lose Utah. They were a great charter member, did wonderful things, set a lot of standards – BCS, Sweet 16, first-round draft picks, etc., etc. But I’m very optimistic about the future.”
-Thompson – during both his formal remarks at the luncheon and in an interview with me and Pat Graham of the AP after the luncheon – thanked Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn for his help and information during the crazy days earlier this month when conferences were adding, losing and trying to lure schools from other leagues.
“You didn’t know who was being truthful and who was not, and I really want to single out Mike Bohn, because he was kind of able to tell me some information from both sides without breaking confidences,” Thompson said.
-Calhoun said nine schools is an ideal size for a conference.
“When you play eight league games, you give yourself a chance to have some flavor in your schedule that changes from year to year,” he said.
-I neglected to follow up on Army fullback Jared Hassin (who originally came to Air Force), as a couple people asked after reading my First Look: Army post (scroll down). Sorry about that. Promise I’ll get to it.
But I did ask Calhoun about the incoming freshmen – as reader Joe Gray requested. Calhoun said “every single one” of the Falcons’ recruits showed up for basic training.
“They don’t have gigantic smiles on their faces right now,” Calhoun said. “But I love the spirit of the group. That’s going to be a good group.”
Calhoun said he wouldn’t be surprised if some of the freshmen earned playing time this year – specifically on the punt block and kickoff cover units. Calhoun said the secondary will get a good influx of talent from the incoming freshmen.
-One more effect of Utah leaving and Boise State joining the MWC: Air Force’s baseball team will make the 2012 MWC Tournament, no matter what. Because Boise State doesn’t have a baseball team, there will be just six teams in the league. And the league holds a six-team tournament. Recently, Air Force has been the lone team left out of the tournament.