With no mtn. in 2012 and an expanded conference of ten schools for the year, the Mountain West released their national TV football schedule. A few notes:
* The CBS Sports Network count of games produced by the channel remained roughly flat compared to previous years. NBC Sports Network picked up two more games than they did in prior years. The added component of four more telecasts through ESPN and the Navy-Air Force on CBS means that the conference will net slightly more than a incremental increase in national telecasts.
* New Mexico is the only Mountain West school not appearing as part of the national package. Wyoming and Colorado St. make one appearance each. Could change if any games are added to the national schedule.
* Nothing is known about what the conference will do with the rest of the games under their control. The press release announcing the national schedule notes that regional and local plans will be announced in the coming weeks. Whether that means a syndication package that ESPN or CBS manages, internet exclusives and/or ESPN GamePlan coverage is anyone's guess.
Other interesting items related to the MW filling out their plans
* ESPN is just about done with Thursdays and Fridays. Assuming that ESPN does not do a doubleheader on the opening Thursday night and that they take all four Pac-12 Thursday night games, the only remaining opening is Thanksgiving. It has been rumored to be TCU at Texas, but is still open. As for Friday nights, assuming ESPN/ESPN2 do one game on Friday nights and that the November 2nd opening is for Washington-California, the only opening is on 9/29. Could be Hawai'i at BYU, one of two available Big East games or one of three Big 12 games.
* In the C-USA spring football guide, they note that CBS Sports Network will carry at least fifteen C-USA games. If they don't pick up a Patriot League game on the opening Thursday night (New Hampshire-Holy Cross has been conveniently moved to that date), UCLA-Rice could be the lead-in to Minnesota-UNLV. The other available slots for C-USA:
All times Eastern. Late evening spots are possible for UTEP only
EDIT: Removed two slots (12pm, 9/22 & 12:30pm, 11/10) because of Patriot League telecasts.
9/1: All day including late evening
9/8: 12pm, Evening
9/15: 3:30pm, Late
10/6: 3:30pm, Late
10/13: 3:30pm, Evening
10/20: 12pm, Evening
11/10: 4pm, primetime, late evening
Black Friday: All day
11/24: All day including late evening
There are also the possibility of Thursday night games. Besides UCLA-Rice, Houston-SMU on October 18th and East Carolina-UCF on October 4th are Thursday games. The Patriot League will likely take a 12pm spot one week as well.