Peavler: What on earth is Craig Thompson thinking with his comments about BYU?
There are some teams in the Mountain West that probably won't schedule BYU any time soon. These include San Diego State, New Mexico and Wyoming. That said, it's possible that BYU could schedule home-and-home series with Air Force and Colorado State, and don't be surprised if teams that already have series' with BYU agree to more of them in the future.
In short, BYU is going to play three or four Mountain West teams every year. Nothing Thompson said is going to change that simply because it is against the best interest of the teams in the Mountain West to shut BYU out of their schedules.
The biggest irony of this whole story is that Thompson did more damage to his own conference than he did to BYU with his silly comments.
With the walls starting to ominously rise around the so-called "Power 5" conferences, the Mountain West needs as many friends as it can get. Angering BYU's fan base won't help the conference's cause.
The second unintended consequence is potentially even more damaging. Suppose for a moment that either Boise State or Utah State have a breakthrough season and run the table in 2014. The Aggies play Tennessee, Idaho State, Wake Forest, Arkansas State and BYU in non-conference play, while Boise State faces Ole Miss, UConn, Lousiana-Lafayette and BYU. Naturally, Thompson will lobby for either team's inclusion into the new college football playoff.
Imagine Thompson standing in front of the selection committee. Undoubtedly, he'd point to the SEC win, but it's doubtful that a win over the middle-of-the-pack team even in that conference would move the needle enough to make a positive case. At any rate, BYU would be either the first- or second-toughest opponent either team will face in non-conference play so Thompson would have to try to play that win up before the committee.
Thompson would then likely hear his own words to Dodd thrown right back at his face:
“We're playing them more out of history, geography and convenience than schedule strength," Thompson told Dodd. "Now that will bite me in the (backside) but you know what I'm saying. We have a history with them."
Thompson's words could be more prophetic than he now realizes.
Whatever the reason for Thompson's statement, his words are both an empty threat and detrimental to the interests of his own conference. Perhaps the only thing the Mountain West schools should be thinking about is not whether or not to schedule BYU, but to continue to employ Thompson as commissioner.
Lafe Peavler is a staff sports writer for the Deseret News. Follow him on Twitter @LafePeavler.
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