Mountain West announces 2014 schedule

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The Mountain West released its 2014 schedule on Thursday, which kicks off with an intriguing Thursday night matchup between Boise State and Ole Miss at the Georgia Dome. The Mountain West Championship will be played on Dec. 6 on the campus of the highest-ranked divisional winner.

Utah State at BYU on a Friday night in early October looks pretty fun, as does Fresno State at Boise State later in the month, among the conference games. On to the full slate:

Thursday, Aug. 28
Boise State vs. Mississippi (Atlanta)

Saturday, Aug. 30
Nicholls State at Air Force
Colorado State vs. Colorado (Denver)
Fresno State at USC
Washington at Hawai‘i
Southern Utah at Nevada
UTEP at New Mexico
Northern Arizona at San Diego State
North Dakota at San Jose State
UNLV at Arizona
Utah State at Tennessee
Montana at Wyoming

Saturday, Sept. 6
Air Force at Wyoming
Colorado State at Boise State
Fresno State at Utah
Oregon State at Hawai‘i
Washington State at Nevada
Arizona State at New Mexico
San Diego State at North Carolina
San Jose State at Auburn
Northern Colorado at UNLV
Idaho State at Utah State

Saturday, Sept. 13
Air Force at Georgia State
Boise State at Connecticut
UC Davis at Colorado State
Nebraska at Fresno State
Northern Iowa at Hawai‘i
Nevada at Arizona
Northern Illinois at UNLV
Wake Forest at Utah State
Wyoming at Oregon

Saturday, Sept. 20
UL-Lafayette at Boise State
Southern Utah at Fresno State
Hawai‘i at Colorado
New Mexico at New Mexico State
San Diego State at Oregon State
San Jose State at Minnesota
Florida Atlantic at Wyoming

Saturday, Sept. 27
Boise State at Air Force
Colorado State at Boston College
Fresno State at New Mexico
Nevada at San Jose State
UNLV at San Diego State
Utah State at Arkansas State
Wyoming at Michigan State

Friday, Oct. 3
Utah State at BYU

Saturday, Oct. 4
Navy at Air Force
Boise State at Nevada
Tulsa at Colorado State
San Diego State at Fresno State
Hawai‘i at Rice
New Mexico at UTSA
UNLV at San Jose State

Saturday, Oct. 11
Air Force at Utah State
Colorado State at Nevada
Fresno State at UNLV
Wyoming at Hawai‘i
San Diego State at New Mexico

Saturday, Oct. 18
New Mexico at Air Force
Fresno State at Boise State
Utah State at Colorado State
Hawai‘i at San Diego State
Nevada at BYU
San Jose State at Wyoming

Saturday, Oct. 25
BYU at Boise State
Wyoming at Colorado State
Nevada at Hawai’i
San Jose State at Navy
UNLV at Utah State

Saturday, Nov. 1
Air Force at Army
Colorado State at San Jose State
Wyoming at Fresno State
Utah State at Hawai‘i
San Diego State at Nevada
New Mexico at UNLV

Saturday, Nov. 8
Air Force at UNLV
Boise State at New Mexico
Hawai‘i at Colorado State
San Jose State at Fresno State
Idaho at San Diego State
Utah State at Wyoming

Saturday, Nov. 15
Nevada at Air Force
San Diego State at Boise State
Hawai‘i at San Jose State
New Mexico at Utah State
UNLV at BYU

Saturday, Nov. 22
Air Force at San Diego State
Boise State at Wyoming
New Mexico at Colorado State
Fresno State at Nevada
UNLV at Hawai‘i
San Jose State at Utah State

Saturday, Nov. 29
Colorado State at Air Force
Utah State at Boise State
Hawai‘i at Fresno State
Nevada at UNLV
Wyoming at New Mexico
San Jose State at San Diego State

NC State adds Division 2 graduate transfer kicker

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It’s possible Dave Doeren‘s life would feel completely different right now if he had a better kicker in 2016.

In this reality, Doeren is 25-26 after four seasons in Raleigh, coming off back-to-back 7-6 seasons following his 8-5 breakthrough of 2014. But if his Wolfpack could kick last year, Doeren is most likely riding high after an 8-4 regular season buoyed by a win over Clemson in Death Valley. Because not only did NC State lose that game on a late field goal whiff, the Pack also suffered a 33-30 loss to East Carolina in which it endured two missed field goals.

NC State’s two kickers combined to hit only 9-of-17 tries last fall, good for 121st nationally, and ranked 104th with a 93.3 percent conversion rate on 45 extra points. And the situation wasn’t getting better this spring.

To rectify that situation, NC State announced the addition of kicker Carson Wise. A graduate transfer from Division II Carson-Newman, Wise will have two years of availability for the Wolfpack.

Wise connected on 21-of-31 field goals and 97-of-101 PATs last season, numbers that, on their face, do not represent massive changes from what NC State posted last season. But Doeren is banking on Wise as a solution for NC State in 2017.

“I’m excited to have Carson join the family,” Doeren said in a statement. “He is a talented player who should be a great addition to our special teams as we look for him to handle our field goal and kickoff duties this fall.”

Arkansas House votes to exempt sporting venues from expanded gun law

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Remember how we talked about it’s impossible to follow sports and ignore politics? Not long after John Swofford released a statement on how a North Carolina law would effect ACC sporting events, the Arkansas legislature passed a bill that will do the same in the SEC.

The Arkansas House voted 71-20 to allow its state colleges and universities to exempt themselves from a law that greatly expands venues permitting concealed-carry handguns. Until the passing of SB724 today, guns would have been permissible inside Razorback Stadium, among other places.

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey released a statement earlier this week urging state lawmakers to remove sporting venues from the bill. “HB 1249 creates concerns for the Southeastern Conference and its member institutions,” he said. “It remains our collective desire to provide a safe environment for student-athletes, coaches, officials and fans, and will continue to closely monitor the status of this legislation.”

Passing the bill was made more complicated by the involvement of the NRA, according to Rep. Jimmy Gateway.

The bill must now head back to the Senate before it can receive final approval from Governor Asa Hutchinson.

John Swofford releases statement on North Carolina repeal of HB2

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It’s pretty much impossible to keep politics out of the sports page today. SEC commissioner Greg Sankey was forced to release a statement on Tuesday urging Arkansas state legislators to exempt Razorbacks sporting venues from a bill that would greatly expand areas allowing concealed-carry handguns, and now ACC commissioner John Swofford has been forced to wade back into political waters.

North Carolina’s state legislature brokered a deal Thursday with new governor Roy Cooper to repeal House Bill 2, the controversial law requiring persons within Tar Heel state borders to use public bathrooms matching their gender at birth. The “bathroom bill” cost the state a reported $3.76 billion in revenue, and some of that lost revenue related directly to college football.

Following the NCAA’s lead of revoking the state’s championship event hosting privileges due to HB2, the ACC moved its football championship game from Charlotte to Orlando (the men’s basketball tournament was previously booked for Brooklyn), a move that cost the conference itself money as well.

Thursday’s repeal of HB2 is more complicated than simply yanking the bathroom bill (this is where I’ll direct you to a much more appropriate place to digest the political news of the hour than a college football blog) and, as such, Swofford’s statement is appropriately nuanced.

The ACC is still undecided where this December’s title game will be played, and Swofford will kick that decision upstairs to the league’s presidents.

Oklahoma OL Christian Daimler to pursue graduate transfer

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Oklahoma offensive tackle Christian Daimler will pursue a transfer, according to a message posted to his Twitter account Thursday.

As a fifth-year senior, Daimler qualifies as a graduate transfer and will be eligible immediately. “I could not be more excited about what my future holds,” Daimler wrote. “Wherever I end up I know that I will always be a Sooner and for that am I so proud. This University [sic] will forever remain close to my heart. Boomer Sooner.”

If that name does not immediately ring a bell, you are forgiven. Daimler appeared in three games as a Sooner, all over last season.

Hailing from Houston, Daimler, who stands 6-foot-7 and is listed at 321 pounds, was a 3-star recruit when he signed with Oklahoma over Texas A&M, Arizona State and Colorado, among others.