By Chadd Cripe
© 2013 Idaho Statesman
The Boise State football team will open Mountain West play with back-to-back Friday games, play on three Fridays in all and visit San Diego State on Nov. 23, the Mountain West announced Thursday.
The dates are firm but the schedule does not include TV information or game times. Those will be announced later this spring, probably within a month.
Boise State’s first two league games are Sept. 13 against Air Force at Bronco Stadium and Sept. 20 at Fresno State. Those almost certainly will be ESPN games. The other Friday game, announced earlier this week, is Oct. 25 at BYU (6 p.m., ESPN).
The Broncos have byes Oct. 5 and Nov. 9 — the college football calendar has an extra week this year — and could play in the first Mountain West championship game Dec. 7. That game will be hosted by the division winner with the highest BCS ranking.
The Mountain West left open the possibility of an awkward championship game rematch by placing the San Diego State game late in the season. The Broncos and Aztecs are in different divisions and are defending co-champions along with Fresno State. San Diego State will be in a tough spot, returning from a trip to Hawaii the weekend before playing Boise State.
The marquee game in the Mountain Division could be Oct. 12, when Boise State visits Utah State. The Broncos will be coming off a bye.
Here is the full schedule:
Aug. 31: at Washington
Sept. 7: vs. Tennessee Martin
Sept. 13 (Friday): vs. Air Force
Sept. 20 (Friday): at Fresno State
Sept. 28: vs. Southern Miss
Oct. 5: BYE
Oct. 12: at Utah State
Oct. 19: vs. Nevada
Oct. 25 (Friday): at BYU, 6 p.m., ESPN
Nov. 2: at Colorado State
Nov. 9: BYE
Nov. 16: vs. Wyoming
Nov. 23: at San Diego State
Nov. 30: vs. New Mexico
Dec. 7: Mountain West championship game
A couple notes about how this affects Boise State’s TV contract:
— Boise State will receive $300,000 each for the Fresno State and Air Force games, if they’re on ESPN as expected.
— Boise State is guaranteed at least one Saturday ESPN/ESPN2/ABC game, which would pay an additional $500,000.
— If ESPN acquired the Fresno State game by making a trade with CBS Sports Network, then one home game will be on CBS Sports Network. If not, then Boise State would be guaranteed one more Saturday home game on ESPN ($500,000 more).
— The remainder of Boise State’s home games can appear on ESPN, ESPN2, ABC, ESPNU, ESPNEWS or ESPN3. No more than two can air on ESPN3.
— Boise State does not receive bonus money for the Washington or BYU games because the rights to those games aren’t owned by the Mountain West.
Here is the full Mountain West schedule.