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August 22, 2014

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Friday Links Feast: BYU-TCU set to grab national spotlight … sort of

From now on, you'll be able to get this here each Friday — links. Lots of links.

I'll bring you some reports from around the Mountain West Conference. Plain and simple. No greens fees. No tickets necessary. Nothing. Gratis. Enjoy.

— While Saturday's game between No. 8 TCU and No. 16 BYU up in Provo won't be seen on any of ESPN's family of networks, the Mountain West will still get its time in the national spotlight thanks to the Worldwide Leader. Of course, if you're a regular College GameDay viewer, you'll know that one of the most entertaining parts of the broadcast is the bevy of fan-made signs in the crowd in the background. However, what kind of restrictions will there be in Provo? After all, some of the BYU brass allegedly had issues last season with a sign in the stands at Amon G. Carter Stadium during TCU's 32-7 drubbing of the Cougars. That could make it worth tuning into all on its own. It still would be better if the game was actually on ESPN or ABC, but as we all know, no Mountain West school will sniff that territory in the regular season again for quite some time. But the last two times the MWC got that kind of televised attention (BYU defeating Oklahoma to start this season, Utah downing Alabama in the Sugar Bowl in January, both on ABC), things turned out golden for the league. This would be an ideal game for that stage, since it's probably the best matchup in the land this weekend. Too bad.

— As for the Utes, at 5-1, they begin a three-game home stretch down the road from Provo this weekend. It all gets under way with 4-3 Air Force — maybe the toughest team in the league to figure out this season — coming to town. And after the Falcons' 10-0 blanking of potent Wyoming last weekend, it's not necessarily that intricate ground game the Utes need to be most concerned about.

— A guy like this must be a welcomed sight for Aztecs football fans in the wake of the Chuck Long experiment. Despite a 38-28 loss to BYU at home last weekend which dropped San Diego State to 2-4, if you watched that game, you'd see that things are looking up for one of the league's perennial doormats.

— Amid all this talk about UNLV's big-time transfer duo of Derrick Jasper and Chace Stanback, along with San Diego State blue-chip freshman forward Kawhi Leonard, Wyoming has a sleeper when you talk about the most important newcomer this hoops season in the Mountain West. Not only will 5-foot-9 J.D. Luster replace one of the league's most prolific scorers of all-time in Brandon Ewing, but the redshirt frosh from San Diego was also recently named team captain for the Cowboys, who surged in the MWC race late last season behind an infusion of young talent. He's even having quite an impact on the program's future, apparently, from a recruiting standpoint.

— In one more recruiting note this week, one of the top prep hoops prospects in Mountain West country stayed in the conference, as Jasmine Porter announced her decision this week to attend SDSU, rather than staying in her backyard to attend Utah. UNLV was also in the running for the No. 92 prospect in the 2010 class.

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