By Brian Murphy
Mountain West TV schedule announced
The Mountain West announced its national television schedule Thursday afternoon — and it contains good news for Boise State fans who long for games on ESPN.
In addition to the Aug. 31 opener at Michigan State, the Broncos' games with BYU (now on Thursday, Sept. 20) and Nevada (Sat., Dec. 1) will be on the ESPN family of networks. The BYU game is set for ESPN. The Nevada game could be on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.
With the demise of the Mtn. — the network goes off the air at the end of the month — the Mountain West needed to find more platforms for its games. In addition, CBS Sports, the primary rightsholder for Mountain West games, must place a certain number of games on networks that reach more households.
Boise State TV schedule:
Fri., Aug. 31 at Michigan State, 6 p.m. (ESPN)
Sat., Sept. 15 vs. Miami of Ohio, 2 p.m. (NBC Sports)
Thurs., Sept. 20 vs. BYU, TBD (ESPN)
Sat., Sept. 29 at New Mexico, TBD (No TV announced at this time; Mountain West controls TV rights)
Sat., Oct. 6 at Southern Miss, TBD (No TV announced; Conference USA controls TV rights)
Sat., Oct. 13 vs. Fresno State, 1:30 p.m. (NBC Sports)
Sat., Oct. 20 vs. UNLV, 1:30 p.m. (NBC Sports)
Sat., Oct. 27 at Wyoming, 1:30 p.m. (CBS Sports)
Sat., Nov. 3 vs. San Diego State, 8:30 p.m. (CBS Sports)
Sat., Nov. 10 at Hawaii, 5 p.m. (NBC Sports)
Sat., Nov. 17 vs. Colorado State, 1:30 p.m. (NBC Sports)
Sat., Dec. 1 at Nevada, TBD (ABC, ESPN or ESPN2)
The New Mexico game is controlled by the Mountain West and could find a television home shortly, according to MW Commissioner Craig Thompson.
"This is the first phase of plans for the 2012-13 academic year," said Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson. "We are working with CBS Sports Network and member institutions to map out regional and local plans for the remaining 2012 football inventory. We anticipate announcing additional telecasts from these efforts in the coming weeks."
The new arrangement worked out very well for Boise State. But not so well for some other Mountain West teams.
Number of national TV broadcasts:
Boise State: 10
Air Force: 6
Fresno State: 4
Colorado State: 1 (vs. Boise State)
Wyoming: 1 (vs. Boise State)
New Mexico: 0
Note: League trying to find TV for remaining games.
Bears waive Venable
The Chicago Bears have waived former Boise State safety Winston Venable.
Venable, Boise State's 2010 defensive MVP, played in 12 games for Chicago and made eight tackles as an undrafted free agent rookie in 2011.
Atkinson picked in Canadian Football League draft
Boise State defensive tackle Michael Atkinson, who will be a senior this fall, was picked in the third round of Thursday's CFL draft by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Atkinson, 6-foot and 312 pounds, is from Windsor, Ontario.
Former Boise State defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford is the No. 1-rated Canadian prospect, but he was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the third round of last week's NFL Draft and has not been picked yet. Crawford did not get picked in the CFL Draft.
Potter honored for academics
Former Boise State offensive tackle Nate Potter was selected to the 2012 National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame Hampshire Honor Society. Potter attended Boise's Timberline High.
The Hampshire Honor Society is comprised of college football players from all divisions that maintained a cumulative grade-point average of 3.2 or higher in college. To qualify, an individual must also be a starter or significant contributor in his last year of eligibility and meet all NCAA-mandated progress towards degree requirements and graduation.
Potter, a business major, was selected in the seventh round of last week's NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals.