When TV households do matter

Every pundit has his or her opinion on what a tipping point might be for Big 12 expansion. Every pundit has his or her opinion on what a tipping point might be for Big 12 expansion. A story by Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News contends any decision would revolve around the addition of a conference network. You’ll read that other places, too. If that’s the case, it’s not about TV attractiveness (which Boise State certainly has), it’s about the number of TV sets in a market (which Boise State is seriously lacking). With that as the criteria, Carlton writes that the top four candidates “are believed to be Connecticut, BYU (which has a national following), Cincinnati and possibly Colorado State (Denver market), although the situation is fluid.”

To be sure, CSU is on the fringe of a major market, but a Big 12 Network would have access to all those households in the Denver metro, which is market No. 17. Boise State has a national draw and has Boise to itself, but it’s No. 107. Not many households to add to the network hopper. The smallest market next to Boise among the 10 most mentioned candidates is Memphis at No. 50. Houston and South Florida are in markets No. 10 and 11, respectively, although they’re serious second-fiddles to the NFL in their areas. But how about all those TV sets? And you have Central Florida in the 19th-largest metro, and the biggest in the country without an NFL franchise. That’s where Boise State gets skewered.

Hopefully in Boise State’s case, national brand still counts. There’s been a poll up for some time at the Dallas Morning News website asking fans which two schools are the best options for Big 12 expansion. You can stretch it and say Bronco Nation tried to stuff the ballot box, but this is Dallas. I doubt it. With 478,000 votes cast, Boise State leads with 25 percent of the vote, followed by Cincinnati at 19, Memphis at 13 and BYU at 11.

I don’t mean to open up this can of worms (Caves & Prater did yesterday anyway), but New Mexico athletic director Paul Krebs says he wants to sell beer and wine to the general public during Lobos football games, and he has the support of UNM’s president and the university’s Board of Regents president. “There is revenue to be made and it would help us to increase attendance,” Krebs said Tuesday morning during a presentation to the regents’ Finance and Facilities Committee meeting, according to the Albuquerque Journal. Like Albertsons Stadium, alcohol has been available previously only in select areas, such as suites. Keep in mind that there are lots of empty seats on gameday at University Stadium.

If Graham DeLaet could avoid bogeys, he could contend every week. Of course, that could apply to anybody, but bogeys essentially neutralized the birdies he produced yesterday, giving him a two-under 70 in the first round of The Players Championship. TPC Sawgrass nicked DeLaet for three bogeys, but he did notch five birdies, including one on the renowned No. 17 with the island green. The famed par-three hole was not so kind to fellow former Bronco Troy Merritt, who was looking at coming in under par until a double-bogey on 17. Merritt shot a 73.

With the U.S. Olympic Trials seven weeks away, what will Nick Symmonds do now? U.S. District Judge Michael J. McShane has dismissed Run Gum’s Olympic Trials logo restriction lawsuit (aka the Nick Symmonds lawsuit) vs. the USOC and USATF. Under current rules, athletes at the Olympic trials can display only the logo of an approved apparel or equipment company on their uniforms and bodies. Run Gum, an energy gum company owned by the Bishop Kelly grad, is neither. According to LetsRun.com, most athletes at the Olympic Trials get almost no funding from the USATF or USOC and even pay to enter the meet. Symmonds should have an undercurrent of support in his corner.

Northwest Nazarene is in the GNAC championship game today after a dramatic come-from-behind 4-3 victory over Montana State-Billings last night at Vail Field in Nampa. The host Crusaders got a solo home run from Tim Jones and an RBI infield single from Tucker Campbell in the bottom of the eighth after trailing 3-2. The title tilt will be played at 4:30 this afternoon, with NNU facing the winner of a 1:30 elimination game between MSU-Billings and Western Oregon. Meanwhile, the College of Idaho finds out its destination and draw today for next week’s NAIA Championships Opening Round.

Until Boise State gets baseball back (whenever that may be), there’s the club level. And the National Collegiate Baseball Association will hold its 2016 Northern Pacific Regional Tournament today through Sunday at Memorial Stadium. Some schools have club teams in addition to sanctioned NCAA programs. One of those is Oregon, and fourth-seeded Boise State will open the tourney today against the top-seeded “Duck clubbers.” The other game features Utah State against Western Washington.

Even without Allie Ostrander, the Boise State track and field teams should collect some points in the distances today and tomorrow at the Mountain West Outdoor Championships in Clovis, CA (near Fresno). In fact, the Broncos already have, with Elijah Armstrong becoming the first freshman to win the MW 10,000-meters in 15 years with a victory last night. Other BSU athletes have posted the second-best times in four events among conference competitors this spring. On the women’s side, Brenna Peloquin has the No. 2 marks in the 5,000 and 10,000-meters. On the men’s board, David Elliott’s 5,000-meter time is second-best in the conference, and Fernando Martinez has done the same in the 400-meter hurdles. Elliott will be the only returning Bronco defending an outdoor title—he won the 1500 last season.

This Day In Sports…May 13, 1976, 40 years ago today:

In the last ABA game ever played, Julius Erving scores 31 points to help the New York Nets overcome a 22-point third quarter deficit and beat the Denver Nuggets, 112-106, to win the final ABA title. It also marked the retirement of the league’s signature red-white-and-blue basketball. The next season the Nets, Nuggets, San Antonio Spurs and Indiana Pacers would merge into the NBA.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment Sunday nights at 10:30PM on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 The Ticket. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)