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The Dig: T Minus 16 Days Till UTEP Miner Football Kicks Off Edition

In The Dig:  Miner Rush has assembled a hoard of BYU Links to get you through the morning, did Nevada and Fresno State sign $5 million buyouts or not?  Nolan Richardson makes a cameo, Mike Price hammers a nail in to the 3-3-5's coffin; a new basketball offer;  And  a former  Marshall quarterback isn't happy with Doc Holliday.


The UTEP Miners

40 Minutes of Hell

El Paso, Inc.'s  Ray Sanchez asked UTEP AD Bob Stull why Nolan Richardson never became the head coach at UTEP.  He almost did.

"We’ve talked to him," UTEP athletic director Bob Stull says. "He’s a great person, an El Paso treasure. But when the job opened (after Doc Sadler left), he was still under contract with University of Arkansas. He would have lost money if he took the position with us. And then when Tony Barbee left, Nolan was already coaching a women’s college team."

Back to Business

The Miners scrimmaged yesterday in the Sun Bowl.  UTEP athletics has the post scrimmage chatter.

R.I.P Here Lies the 3-3-5 Defense

The Memphis Commercial Appeal has a UTEP preview with some nice quotes by Mike Price on the 3-3-5 disaster.

"We went to something new last year in the 3-3-5, and it just didn't work for us at all," Price said. "Anyone who saw us play even one game knows it didn't work for us. So we're going back to what we were doing before -- and we'll just try to do it better."

The UTEP Miners won't play the New Mexico Lobos in basketball this coming season.

A Bit More on Myron

Duke Keith has one last look at the Myron Strong chaos of last week.

But beware to both consumers and conductors of information, that fruit also includes bad apples and sour grapes. Sometimes it can be tricky to figure out which is which, especially when things get contentious. Not with Strong, though. That's easy pickin's.

Quick Recruiting Hit- Basketball

Durand Johnson is a 6'9 forward/center.  Star News Online says UTEP has given him an offer.  More than being a good prospect, he's a stellar student.

Anderson is 6-foot-9 and 230 pounds and hopes to be 250 pounds when he plays his first college game. RedHawkInsider, a Miami, Ohio recruiting site, reported that he has a 3.8 grade point average

BYUINDEPENDENCEPALOOZA!  Here's What We All Need To Know... Right Now.

A Major Shift

It's official, Nevada and Fresno St. are joining the Mountain West Conference.

"We have had a great experience in the WAC. We have appreciated the strong competition and the wonderful colleagues" said Nevada President Milt Glick. "The offer to join the Mountain West Conference is an opportunity we cannot turn down. The Mountain West is a strong conference and this will enhance our natural rivalry with UNLV and continue our rivalry with Boise State

A Legal Battle?

Andy Katz filed this story late Wednesday night with a nice summary of where the process is right now.  Can the WAC enforce the $5 million buyout on Nevada and Fresno State?  This could be a sticking point...

Nevada agreed to the $5 million buyout to stay in the WAC but the school said it never signed the agreement. This should allow Nevada to leave without a penalty but will likely be a point of contention with the WAC

Is there A Signed $5 Million Buyout for Fresno and Nevada?

Andy Katz says yes:  How will Fresno, Nevada (with $20 million athletic budgets pay that?  MWC can't have that kind of dough either.

WAC says it has signed agreements from Fresno State and Nevada. This will be an interesting legal battle.less than a minute ago via TweetDeck


Why Not?

The West Coast Conference is trying to secure BYU's non-football scheduling rights and burn the WAC.  Hey every other league has made Karl Benson look silly.  Why not the WCC?

WCC commissioner Jamie Zaninovich told early Wednesday the league would be interested in pursuing BYU for all sports except football. Zaninovich said BYU would fit well with the other church-based institutions in the eight-team league. Zaninovich told he reached out to BYU but hasn't heard back

The Logistics

What bowl games will BYU play in?  How are they going to schedule 12 teams as an independent?  The Salt Lake Tribune has some answers.

What are BYU’s other bowl options? While most bowls have conference tie-ins, Army and Navy have signed their own deals in recent years, enhancing their chances of finding spots. BYU also could fill in when a conference fails to fill its bowl quota. Another option is aligning itself with the WAC’s bowls, as Notre Dame does with the Big East.

Ripple Effects

For a while there, even the Big East thought the BYU thing would effect them.  Nunes Magician has the story.

And of course, if TCU and Boise start to explore other options, the floodgates re-open.  If Conference USA begins to expand, maybe the Big East does them a favor and takes Memphis and East Carolina off their hands.  This is all getting way ahead of ourselves, but lesser events have sparked conference realignments (as we just saw)

Do Nevada and Fresno Make a difference?
Team Speed Kills says "Maybe."

Do Fresno State and Nevada really help? Marginally, yes. The only criterion of the BCS's three-pronged test for getting an auto-bid that the MWC needs help on is the second: average finish of all teams in the BCS computer polls. With Boise State and no Utah, the MWC's average finish over the last two years (the first two of the assessment period) was 58. Now with Fresno State and Nevada, it's 57.18. That is an improvement, however small it may be.

TCU Weighs In

What does Gary Patterson know that we don't?

"All I can tell you is this: Just wait and see in the next two weeks before you make any judgments and see what happens in the national landscape," Patterson said. "Things that I know that maybe you don't know. That's all I'm going to tell you."

Not Enough MWC vs. WAC for you?

The Wiz of Odds has even assembled even more content on the matter for you.


Marshall Thundering Herd

Burn, Baby Burn:  Willy Korn transferred from Clemson to Marshall and kind of expected to be the starting quarterback there.  Well, Doc Holliday didn't agree and wanted the highly touted Korn to move to safety.  Korn finally decided to transfer and he did not leave happy.  Lot's of quotes to choose from on this one.

"I just thought that was amazing. I was completely shocked. They told me I was playing safety and I could help them on special teams. I was ready to pack my bags as soon as they told me that."

The Houston Cougars

Great Article:  Steve Campbell has the story of Fabyon Harris.  Harris was the 5th player to sign with James Dickey at Houston in his first basketball class.  For personal reasons, Harris was released from his commitment and won't play in Houston.  The kid has been through a lot and the Rush wishes him the best in his future.

Mother murdered when he was 6. Brother shot and killed on Chicago's South Side this past April. Close friend killed less than two weeks later after an exchange of gunfire with Chicago police. Cousin shot to death in the head just days later. The University of Houston offered a lifeline out of that harsh existence.

Random:  Kevin Sumlin doesn't believe in hazing but he does believe in making freshman sing karaoke.