Mountain West Conference commissioner Craig Thompson gave his State of the Conference address on Tuesday at the league's Media Days in Las Vegas. Here are some of the highlights:
ON CONCERNS OVER FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY: "We're operating under a model that probably is not going to sustain itself over the coming years. We're building bigger and better. We're in a financial arms race. Salaries and costs of doing business and scholarships continue to rise, and it's hard to maintain the revenue generation to sustain those types of movements."
ON RESURGING HOPE TO ADD THE MTN. TO DISH NETWORK: "I said that [DISH Network was out of the picture] a year or so ago, but I think that's back in play. Certainly with the addition of Boise State and a new market and a hot commodity ... that's going to help us with the DISH negotiations. I retract giving up [on it]."
ON HOW BOISE STATE WILL FIGURE INTO THE 2011 MWC SCHEDULE: "What we have agreed upon with the athletic directors' thinking is we're going to take Utah out and put Boise State in their spot. So, if next year Colorado State was playing at Utah, they're going to play at Boise State. Just simply replace them in that schedule."
ON MWC'S BID TO GAIN AUTOMATIC STATUS IN BCS: "You tell me it's four years [of evaluation], I accept it's four years and understand, but why is it four years? Why is it not two years? There's only been two conferences that have performed equally to us in terms of the number of top 12 and four conferences with the number of top 25 teams as the Mountain West had the last two years. Doesn't that mean anything?"
ON THE OFFSEASON REALIGNMENT: "Back in January, February we got a lot of patronizing pats on the back and 'Poor Mountain West, they were so close to an automatic bid, and we were really fighting and then the league fell apart.' BYU was leaving, TCU was leaving, Utah was leaving. ... Jump ahead about four months and it might be a 12-team league, it might be a 16-team league, there might be Big 12 institutions joining forces with the Mountain West. Then skip ahead ... and four teams, four institutions changed places at the end of it all. ... We feel very comfortable with the lineup we'll have in 2011."