SBD/January 23, 2013/Colleges

Rocky Mountain High: MWC Decides On League Championship Football Game

CBS Sports Network will have the first chance to purchase TV rights for the game
The Mountain West Conference beginning this year will "split into two six-team divisions for football and play a conference championship game," according to Brent Briggeman of the Colorado Springs GAZETTE. The winners from each division, to be called "Mountain" and "West," will meet in a conference championship game "hosted by the division winner ranked highest in the BCS standings." Air Force AD Hans Mueh said the home-field set-up is "economically the better way to do it." However, he said of playing at a neutral site, "If there's an offer out there in the future as this game gets more and more credibility, sure, I'm sure the conference would look at maybe having a neutral site game." Meanwhile, Mueh, on future league expansion, said there "isn't any noise out there that I've heard about going past 12" schools (GAZETTE.com, 1/22). In Orlando, Matt Murschel wrote the "biggest motivating factor for creating a conference title game is revenue." The title game can "provide an extra boost" in television revenue, and the MWC is "working to restructure" its current deal with CBS Sports Network (ORLANDOSENTINEL.com, 1/22). Boise State AD Mark Coyle said that the revenue from the conference championship game "will be distributed through a standalone formula separate from all other revenue that is collected by the conference." In Boise, Chadd Cripe notes CBS Sports Network "gets the first chance to purchase the TV rights" (IDAHO STATESMAN, 1/23). ESPN.com's Brett McMurphy noted the MWC championship game will be played on Saturday, Dec. 7, and it has "not been determined which network will televise the championship." The MWC will be the "seventh conference to hold a football championship game this fall," leaving the Big 12, Big East and Sun Belt as the only leagues without one (ESPN.com, 1/22).

BORN IN THE USA: In West Palm Beach, Tom D'Angelo notes Conference USA ADs "began their two days of meetings in Miami" yesterday by moving to accept Florida Atlantic Univ. and Middle Tennessee State Univ. for all sports beginning in '13-14. The league's presidents "approved the decision" (PALM BEACH POST, 1/23).
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