Brad Rock: MWC 101: What Boise should know

Published: Sunday, June 13 2010 12:40 a.m. MDT

Dear Boise State:

Now that you've moved up the college football chain by joining the Mountain West Conference, allow me to offer congratulations, as well as a little advice. Seeing how you're now a bigger league, the first item on your agenda should be to act accordingly, which means ditching that unsightly blue turf. It was sort of cute back when you were trying to attract attention, but now it's time to grow up.

Nobody should have a field the color of Play Doh.

Still, I'm glad you're here. You're daring, entertaining and you have enough attitude to frighten Mean Joe Greene. I figure if anyone can increase the pressure on the BCS, you can.

As you begin preparations, you should know a few things about the up-and-coming conference you've just joined. The Mountain West has a lot of good things going for it. For instance, your new league includes San Diego, which is the same as Hawaii — where you used to play — minus the cheesy ukulele music. It has Las Vegas, which is as good a place as any to forget a loss. But the best part is that nobody actually loses in Vegas.

The MWC has Provo, too, which might remind you a little of Boise — quiet, with a high percentage of both Mormons and chain restaurants. The only difference is the potatoes aren't as good in Provo. But the fry sauce is to die for.

The conference also includes Salt Lake City, which was a nice town back when there actually was a town. With all the construction, it now looks a bit like Machu Picchu — lovely mountains, but everything else is rubble.

There are a few things I probably should warn you about. First, those Ute fans can be nasty. Rumor has it they poured beer on Max Hall's mom. You might not have to worry about that, since you haven't been playing down-to-the-wire games every year with them and you never called them classless.

But BYU fans can pose a problem, too. They may seem nice, but you might get smacked upside the head with a set of scriptures, large print edition.

Also, remember that only in Utah does "the Y" mean something other than the YMCA.

BYU has a lot of rules. Don't drink this, don't smoke that, don't stand here, don't go in there. But that's nothing compared to the rules at Air Force. There, they check you in at the guard gate. Try smuggling in a sandwich, and you might wind up in the stockade.

Another thing you really need to prepare for is Laramie, Wyo. Getting there is a pain, even in good weather. Once you hit a snowstorm on an early fall day, you'll think Rushton, La., was a garden. And if you thought Las Cruces, N.M., was a cow town, wait till you see Laramie. It actually wants to be a cow town.

Fort Collins is a peaceful college town, and you'll probably like it. Just remember, the Poudre River is pronounced POOH-der, not POU-drah, PEW-ter or POW-der. And never, ever call CSU the Agricultural College.

New Mexico is a place like no other. OK, it's a place like all others in the Southwest — a lot of adobe and art of howling coyotes. Still, order the chili rellenos at Cervantes, and you'll forget the cliches.

TCU stands for Texas Christian University, though having lost to you in the Fiesta Bowl, the feelings may not be entirely Christian anymore. Be prepared to attend games where guys wear cowboy hats, gals wear cowboy boots and everyone talks like Ross Perot.

Lastly, bear in mind that you have enemies that would love to rub your face in your own Smurf Turf. That's a normal reaction when you've gone 13-1 against teams from that conference since 1996.

So see you in 2011, and good luck.

In the meantime, do something about that stadium turf.

It's already giving me a headache.

e-mail: rock@desnews.com

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