Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009 | 2 a.m.
Who’s going to the penthouse in local sports — and who’s getting the shaft:
Mountain West double jeopardy: And the answer is “Mercury, Mrs. Robinson and Max Hall.” “What are famous Cougars, Alex?” Correct you are. BYU’s upset of mighty Oklahoma on opening night was the best thing to happen to the Mountain West since Utah boat raced Alabama in last year’s Sugar Bowl. If UNLV plays the home game of concentration against Oregon State of the Pac-10 tonight, it’ll only improve the MWC’s chances of trading a New Mexico Bowl berth for what’s behind door No. 2.
Endless Summers: Two weeks ago, Frank “The Tank” Summers’ roster spot with the Pittsburgh Steelers supposedly was in jeopardy. Now he’s the starting fullback. Other former UNLV Rebels playing/sitting on the bench on Sundays this year are Eric Wright (Cleveland), Greg Estandia and Adam Seward (Jacksonville) and John Asiata (Chicago practice squad). Ickey Woods is still retired, although he does appear in Bootsy Collins’ new music video.
Action Jackson: In addition to being one of the best running backs in NFL, Steven Jackson of Las Vegas and the St. Louis Rams is a generous soul. Jackson is partnering with Three Square, the Southern Nevada food bank, to help feed hungry schoolchildren, donating $2,000 for every touchdown he scores this season to the “Backpacks for Kids” program. If he has a season like last year, it will result in a $16,000 donation, which will buy a lot of Juicy Juice.
Mountain West football: Only the Big 12 (six), Southeastern Conference (five) and Atlantic Coast Conference (four) have more college football teams ranked in the top 20 than the Mountain West (three — BYU, TCU, Utah) this week. If this continues, MWC Commissioner Craig Thompson just might be able to climb down off his soapbox and into an automatic Bowl Championship Series berth.
UNLV’s bowl chances: But only slightly, as UNLV played about 2 1/2 good quarters in a 38-3 victory over Division I-AA Sacramento State while Colorado State played four good ones to beat Colorado of the Big 12 23-17 — the Rams’ first victory in Boulder since 1986. CSU, which led 20-3 at halftime and dominated the statistics, was one of the games this elevator operator had penciled in as an easy Rebels win.
Tarp in the park: I know the season ended Monday but I just discovered this while checking on how many baserunners Randy Ruiz left stranded during Tuesday night games in Tacoma. So I thought I would close with it. A fielder can lean against the tarp to attempt to catch a foul ball at Cashman Field but can’t “step up and/or climb up” on the tarp. This ground rule must be changed. If a fielder steps or climbs up on the tarp to catch a foul ball, it only multiplies the degree of difficulty. So if he catches it, it should still be an out.