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Mountain West Conference lands rich new TV deal with two TV partners

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The Mountain West Conference has a brand new TV deal locked in, and it’s a big one for the conference. The Mountain West announced it has agreed to terms on a new media rights deal with CBS Sports Network and FOX that will run through 2025-2026. The six-year contract is valued at $270 million for the conference.

The new media contract with CBS Sports and FOX will send 23 Mountain West Conference football games to CBS, CBS Sports Network, FOX, or FOX Sports 1, and an additional 10 games may be added to CBS Sports Network or CBS’s streaming digital platform, which is a paid service. FOX will air game son both network television and FOX Sports 1. FOX will have first dibs on any Boise State home games as part of the deal. FOX will broadcast the Mountain West Conference championship game as part of its package of games on either FOX or FOX Sports 1.

Boise State continues to be a winner in the new deal with a higher percentage of conference TV revenue share. However, it has been noted this will be the final time Boise State gets such an advantage.

Also of note, Hawaii will be keeping its own local rights agreement. In return, Hawaii will hand over conference games as part of the TV deal. Hawaii’s revenue share will be calculated differently as well.

The new media deal is certainly heavy on traditional television outlets as opposed to the push for digital streaming options. Even though the media landscape continues to move away form traditional cable options, the Mountain West Conference going with a relatively shorter contract shows the conference is still comfortable with the media landscape’s stability for the near future. And for how much the conference will distribute to conference members for the next six years, everyone should be pretty happy about the deal. As far as Group of Five conferences go, the Mountain West has a very good deal in place with multiple viewing options to expand the visibility of the conference’s football and basketball brands.

Wyoming stays in-house to replace assistant who resigned after DUI arrest

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When it came to filling a full-time hole, Wyoming and Craig Bohl didn’t have to look far.  In either the football building or the family dinner table.

Thursday, the Cowboys announced that Aaron Bohl will become the team’s full-time linebacker’s coach.  Bohl had been serving in that position since Willie Mack Garza resigned in late October after being arrested and charged with driving under the influence.

Bohl, the son of Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl, had been a defensive graduate assistant for his father’s program prior to his in-season elevation.  The younger Bohl had been in his grad assistant position since joining the Cowboys in January of 2017.

In addition to Bohl’s permanent promotion, the program also announced a title adjustment for Bart Miller.  Moving forward, Miller will serve as the Cowboys’ run-game coordinator.  Miller will continue on as offensive line coach as well.

In his first season as line coach, Miller’s unit helped pave the way for 214.8 yards rushing per game.  That number was 23rd nationally and second in the Mountain West Conference.  Miller came to Wyoming in February of this year from Ohio.

The twin announcements came days after Wyoming’s Arizona Bowl win over Georgia State.  The Cowboys finished the 2019 season 8-5.

Wyoming thumps Georgia State to take home win in the Arizona Bowl

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Georgia State began 2019 with the thrill of a victory for the ages and ended the season with the agony of a bowl defeat to forget.

The Panthers were unable to take advantage of three takeaways and wound up getting thumped by a surging Wyoming squad, as the Mountain West visitors will return North for the New Year with a 38-17 Arizona Bowl win on Tuesday afternoon in Tucson.

Wyoming QB Levi Williams made the most of his first start at the college level, throwing for three touchdowns, one interception and 234 yards on just 11 completions — including this beauty in the first half:

As good as the true freshman was under center though, the day belonged to another in the backfield.

Namely, that would be tailback Xazavian Valladay, who was terrific and gives the team plenty of hope about forming a young core going forward. He rushed for 204 yards and a score while also leading the team in receiving with 91 through the air and another trip to the end zone. The sophomore really came on strong down the stretch for the team and the bowl effort capped off a 1,000 yard season on the ground and plenty promise.

As a result, it was yet another eight win season for the Cowboys under head coach Craig Bohl, who continues to develop one of the more consistent Mountain West programs at a place that has typically been tough to win at. While racking up 524 yards of offense delighted the very pro-Wyoming crowd in attendance in Tuscon, the coaching staff had to enjoy the complete effort the game represented that included several key 4th down stops from the defense and a long field goal conversion as well.

The Panthers weren’t so lucky to end the year on a high note despite marching right down the field for an opening drive touchdown to kick the game off. QB Dan Ellington threw for only 156 yards (one TD, one INT) and also led the team in rushing with 70 yards on the ground plus a score. GSU will wind up losing four of their final five to close out 2019 thanks to the effort, which dampens what had been a terrific start under head coach Shawn Elliott.

College Football Bowl Preview: Your Dec. 31 Viewer’s Guide

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Your trusty and semi-daily college football bowl preview that today takes a quick-hit look at the Dec. 31 bowl menu, one that features two teams each from the ACC, Big 12 and Pac-12.

WHO: Virginia Tech (8-4) vs. Kentucky (7-5)
WHAT: The 18th Belk Bowl
WHERE: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina
WHEN: Noon ET on ESPN
THE LINE: Kentucky, +3
For the remainder of an extended preview, click HERE.

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WHO: Florida State (6-6) vs. Arizona State (7-5)
WHAT: The 82nd Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl
WHERE: Sun Bowl Stadium, El Paso, Texas
WHEN: 2 p.m. ET on CBS
THE LINE: Florida State, +4½
For the remainder of an extended preview, click HERE.

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WHO: Navy (10-2) vs. Kansas State (8-4)
WHAT: The 61st AutoZone Liberty Bowl
WHERE: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, Tennessee
WHEN: 3:45 p.m. ET on ESPN
THE LINE: Kansas State, +2½
For the remainder of an extended preview, click HERE.

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WHO: Wyoming (7-5) vs. Georgia State (7-5)
WHAT: The 5th NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl
WHERE: Arizona Stadium, Tucson, Arizona
WHEN: 4:30 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network
BUY TICKETS: Click Here

THE SKINNY: A member of the Mountain West Conference has won three of the first four playings of this bowl, with the lone loss coming in overtime. … As 26-point underdogs, Georgia State began the 2019 season with a stunning win over Tennessee in Knoxville. That same weekend, Wyoming upset UT’s SEC East compatriots, Missouri. … Both teams enter the postseason, though, having lost three of their last four games. … Four of the Cowboys’ five losses this season have come by five or fewer points.  Four of the Eagles’ five losses this season have come by 14 or more points. … If the passing game is your thing, look elsewhere.  Georgia State is 93rd nationally in passing at 201.8 yards per game.  That’s a veritable aerial circus compared to Wyoming, which is 125th (out of 130 schools) at 128 ypg. … The two teams have combined for 29 passes touchdowns; an even dozen individual quarterbacks have thrown for more scores than that this season. … The Eagles average 245.2 yards rushing per game, while the Cowboys give up less than a hundred per contest.  Their 99.4 yards per game is sixth-fewest in the country. … NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl fun fact: The past two games have gone into overtime, while the first was decided by just five points.  We won’t mention Air Force’s 24-point drubbing of South Alabama in 2016.
THE LINE: Georgia State, +7
THE PREDICTION: Wyoming 14, Georgia State 13

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WHO: Utah (11-2) vs. Texas (7-5)
WHAT: The 27th Valero Alamo Bowl
WHERE: Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
THE LINE: Texas, +7
For the remainder of an extended preview, click HERE.

Starting DT Javaree Jackson dismissed by Wyoming

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After spending the majority of the 2019 season as a starter along the Wyoming defensive line, Javaree Jackson has seen his time in Laramie come to an end.

Earlier this week, Craig Bohl announced that Jackson had been indefinitely suspended from his football program. The only reason given at the time was an unspecified violation of team rules. A couple of days later, a UW official confirmed that Jackson has been dismissed from the Cowboys team.

As was the case with the suspension, no specific reason for the dismissal has been divulged. The Casper Star-Tribune writes that “Jackson’s name has not appeared in local court documents or the Albany County Detention Center booking log as of Thursday afternoon.” A check of that log early Friday afternoon shows the same.

Thursday afternoon, Jackson tweeting his thanks to the university for the opportunity to play football.

Jackson started 11 of 12 games at defensive tackle his season for the Cowboys.  His seven tackles for loss are fourth on the team, while his three sacks are tied for third.  Among Cowboys defensive linemen, his 35 total tackles lad the team.

All told, Jackson played in 30 games during his time with the Cowboys. The 6-5, 276-pound lineman started in a dozen of those appearances.

Wyoming is in the midst of preparations for the Dec. 31 Arizona Bowl. A win over Georgia State would be their eighth, the third time in four years they’ve hit that exact number under Bohl.