Mountain West announces 2013 schedule
At long last, the Mountain West schedule has been released. Of the 10 FBS conferences, the MWC is the 10th to release its 2013 conference schedule, oftentimes months behind its colleagues. After all, the 2013 season is now less than four months away.
Regardless, it's here. The 12-team league, stretching from San Diego to Nevada and from New Mexico to Hawaii, begins its 15th season of play with half the league kicking off play on the season's opening night, Thursday Aug. 29. A league that was strong at the top in 2012, with Boise State, Fresno State and San Diego State sharing the league title, adds the top two clubs from the now-defunct WAC in Utah State and San Jose State.
Here's what jumps out to us:
MWC Debuts: Utah State will play its first Mountain West game at Air Force on Sept. 7. San Jose State's inaugural MWC game comes against, of all teams, Utah State on Friday, Sept. 27.
Midweek madness: MWC teams will play a total of 15 midweek games this fall. The league has gone all-in on Friday nights, staging a total of eight games throughout the fall. We haven't done the research but feel confident in saying that's the most Friday night games of any FBS conference.
Coaching debuts: Ron Caragher's first game at San Jose State will take place on Aug. 29 at home versus Sacramento State. Brian Polian will make his Nevada debut two days later, Aug. 31, at the Rose Bowl against UCLA.
Clear Your Schedule, Part I: Fresno State at San Diego State, Oct. 26.
Clear Your Schedule, Part II: Boise State at San Diego State, Nov. 23.
High-profile non-conference games: Like its non-BCS conference mates, the MWC has stepped up to the plate in non-conference scheduling: Rutgers at Fresno State and USC at Hawaii (Aug. 29); Boise State at Washington, Nevada at UCLA and Wyoming at Nebraska (Aug. 31); Hawaii at Oregon State and San Jose State at Stanford (Sept. 7); Nevada at Florida State (Sept. 14); Utah State at USC (Sept. 21); BYU at Utah State (Oct. 4); Boise State at BYU (Oct. 25) and Air Force at Notre Dame (Oct. 26).
Never too late to start: The first-ever Mountain West Conference championship will be held Saturday, Dec. 7 at the home of the BCS's highest-ranked division champion. We don't know where that will be, but here's guessing it will be cold.