Scheduling isn't easy for the Mountain West


As if top-tier Mountain West Conference teams didn't already have enough inherent troubles with scheduling, there's a new factor coaches are dealing with.

It's unclear when Fresno State and Nevada will exactly leave the WAC to join the conference, and the domino effect of that is creating quirks in the schedules since teams could be playing 14, 16 or 18 league games next season with teams coming in (Boise State) and out (BYU, Utah).

For example, defending conference champion New Mexico recently added a Nov. 24 home game against Northwood, a Division II school from Michigan.

"We were either going to go the DII route or we were going to get a good home-and-home series with somebody, and we just can't do a home-and-home series yet because we're not going to know for a month...with Fresno and Nevada," New Mexico coach Steve Alford told 101.7 The Team.

"Not knowing how many league games you play affects your non-league. If I would have done a home-and-home with that last game, I would have had to returned that in 2011, and I just can't take that gamble yet. I don't want to get caught to where we're playing eight, nine games in the non-league away from The Pit. We're playing seven this year, which is still too many."

Another quirk in the schedule? Somehow, San Diego State is playing IUPUI twice this season at neutral sites -- in November as part of the CBE Classic and also the following month in the Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic.

SDSU coach Steve Fisher has had all sorts of trouble scheduling for a team that might enter the year as the MWC favorite, but was recently able to add the two games in Las Vegas against IUPUI and San Francisco. Because the games are not part of the regular multi-team event tournament schedule, they will be counting games and enable the Aztecs to also play in the CBE Classic, an exempt event, as well.

So yes, scheduling for the Mountain West can be tedious. But hey, that all goes out the window once the teams step on the floor.

"SDSU is one of the most balanced and most athletic teams we’ll face all season," IUPUI coach Ron Hunter said in a statement. "Coach Fisher has really done a great job with that program. Plus, they were in the NCAA Tournament last year and that’s where we want to be."