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

Fans can legally pack concealed heat at Georgia football tailgates

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Guns and SEC football are back in the news yet again this offseason.  And this one has the ACC riding shotgun as well.

In late March, the state of Arkansas legislature passed a law (House Bill 1249) that would allow concealed-carry handguns on publicly-owned property, which would’ve include college sporting events.  A day later, and after realizing, amidst considerable controversy, the potential for alcohol-fueled fans attending an SEC football game armed, the state’s senate voted to amend the law to exclude college sporting events.

Fast-forward to this month, and the state of Georgia legislature has passed a law (House Bill 280) that would allow the carrying of concealed handguns on college campuses, with exceptions that include on-campus stadiums, arenas, gymnasiums and the like hosting intercollegiate sporting events.  That bill is scheduled to become law in the state July 1.

In clarifying the language of the law, the university confirmed in an extensive press release Wednesday that individuals with valid weapons licenses will be permitted to conceal-carry outside of college football stadiums.  In other words, licensed individuals would be permitted to carry concealed weapons outside of Sanford Stadium as well as Bobby Dodd Stadium as part of the game-day tailgating experience.

Only handguns are allowed under this law, and only when concealed.  Long guns, obviously, are not permitted under any circumstance.

“I understand that many of you have strong feelings about this bill,” UGA Chancellor Steve Wrigley began his letter to the university community. “Yet, whether you opposed or supported the legislation, it will soon be state law, and I respectfully ask everyone to exercise patience, understanding and respect as we implement it.

“We all share the same goal of ensuring a safe campus environment. We should work together to implement the law as written and thoughtfully address any complications that may arise.”

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey released a statement amidst the Arkansas gun-law controversy that may or may not have had an impact on that state’s legislature tweaking of the bill. It bears watching whether the commish follows a similar public tack when it comes to this piece of legislation.

The Georgia Bulldogs will open their 2017 season at home against Appalachian State Sept. 2, while Georgia Tech’s home opener is Sept. 9 against Jacksonville State.

Illinois boots three players charged with home invasion and robbery

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Illinois head coach Lovie Smith has dismissed three players charged with home invasion and robbery. Offensive linemen Darta Lee and Howard Watkins and tight end Zarrian Holcombe have all been dismissed from the program, according to a statement.

Lee and Holcombe were previously suspended by Smith for violations of team rules. Watkins had also been indefinitely suspended following the initial allegations. All three players claimed the incident that led to the charges was nothing more than an innocent prank, but the authorities and Smith didn’t seem willing to buy that claim.

Each player faces a mandatory prison sentence of 4-15 years on each count against them if found guilty.

Report: Conference USA to air at least 15 football games on Twitter in 2017

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Conference USA is in a position where it needs to think outside the box and look to stay ahead of the curve in a changing TV landscape. It appears to be ready to air games on Twitter in 2017.

A report from The Virginian-Pilot says broadcast company STADIUM will air at least 15 football games involving Conference USA teams this fall. STADIUM is the result of a recent merger between the American Sports Network, 120 Sports and Silver Chalice (which also owns Campus Insiders and the online ACC Digital Network). The ASN had owned the broadcast rights to Conference USA games through the end of the 2017-2018 sports season that will carry over to the STADIUM deal (allowing for Conference USA basketball games to be aired on Twitter as well). It was announced earlier this month STADIUM intended to broadcast Conference USA games on Twitter, but it was unknown how many games might make it to the networking service. STADIUM reportedly has an interest in continuing to air Conference USA contests beyond the next athletic season.

Conference USA still has broadcast deals with ESPN and CBS Sports in effect as well, so don’t expect the premiere matchups in the conference to be aired on Twitter. However, by sharing the games online, Conference USA is hoping to reach a wide-spread audience and have the opportunity to be a trending topic. It could work, as Twitter would make sure the game is given a steady feed to allow for a pleasant viewing experience and fan interaction in real time.

Conference USA saw TV revenue take a big hit over the last year. Last summer, Conference USA’s television revenue reportedly dropped to just $2.8 million for the entire conference following realignment changes. Finding a home on a streaming platform now would be key for the conference’s future stability.

Alabama DC Jeremy Pruitt named son after former Tide linebackers Reuben Foster and Ryan Anderson

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It is not at all uncommon for children born in the state of Alabama to be named after Alabama football legends, but it is not every day you see a child of an Alabama coach receives a name inspired by former Alabama football players.

Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt announced the birth of his new son, Flynt Anderson-Foster Pruitt, on Twitter. Alabama fans will likely already know the connection to the new child’s name, as used the last names of two former Alabama football players to create the middle name of Anderson-Foster; Ryan Anderson and Reuben Foster.

Maybe this is more common than I’m aware of, but regardless of how often a coach names a child after former players, this is a testament to the relationship the Pruitt family established with both former Alabama linebackers. And now there will be a bond for years to come between the coach and his family and Anderson and Foster.

Helmet sticker to Al.com.