Neil Gardner, Southern Utah University
Brad Sorensen of Southern Utah University.

Big-5 futures

Up: Utah — Season still a success

Stable: BYU — Looking for elusive road victory

Up: Utah State — Can still get to five wins

Down: Weber State — Big Sky season ends

Up: Southern Utah — The year of the Thunderbird

Player to watch

Southern Utah quarterback Brad Sorensen

The sophomore from Grand Terrace, Calif., has had a breakout season for the T-birds. He's thrown for 642 yards in the last two games against UC Davis — where was named National Player of the Week — and Dixie State.

Game of the week

Utah at Notre Dame

Saturday, 12:30 p.m., NBC

Any other week this would be HUGE deal for the Utah and the program's fans — and despite last week's loss, it still is a big deal.

Conference expansion

WAC to add Texas schools

The Western Athletic Conference is expected to announce on Thursday the addition of the University of Texas-San Antonio and Texas State University, along with the University of Denver as a non-football member.

A person familiar with the decisions, speaking on condition of anonymity because final approval of the additions were still being worked out, told The Associated Press on Wednesday night that the three schools will become members of the WAC in 2012.

Texas-San Antonio administrators were scheduled to appear in Austin on Thursday before the UT System board of regents and discuss a change in conferences.

WAC commissioner Karl Benson had a teleconference with reporters scheduled for Thursday at 3 p.m. MST to make an announcement about WAC expansion.

The WAC needs to replace Boise State, which is moving to the Mountain West Conference after this school year, and Fresno State and Nevada, which will join the MWC in 2012.

The additions of Texas-San Antonio and Texas State will give the WAC eight football members in 2012.

UTSA is starting a football program that will begin play in 2011. Former Miami coach Larry Coker is the Roadrunners' coach.

Texas State plays in the Southland Conference in the Championship Subdivision of Division I, but has been exploring the possibility of moving up to FBS. The Bobcats are 4-5 overall and 1-4 in the Southland Conference this season.

Denver competes in the Sun Belt in most sports and does not have a football team.

The University of Montana, an FCS powerhouse, is also considering a move to Division I's top level. If it does, it could also find a home in the WAC.

The other members of the WAC are San Jose State, Idaho, New Mexico State, Hawaii, Louisiana Tech and Utah State. Hawaii has been considering becoming an independent in football.

—Associated Press

State of the state

BYU (4-5)

Opponent: Colorado State

Location: Fort Collins, Colo.

Day: Saturday

Time: noon

TV: The mtn.

Radio: 1160 AM, 102.7 FM

About the Rams (3-7): They have the fourth-best passing attack in the conference. ... They haven't beaten the Cougars since 2003. ... Gave San Diego State a game, falling 24-19. ... CSU's three wins came against Idaho, UNLV and New Mexico.

Utah (8-1)

Opponent: Notre Dame

Location: Notre Dame, Ind.

Day: Saturday

Time: 12:30 p.m.


Radio: 700 AM

About the Fighting Irish (4-5): Brian Kelly is 9-1 coming off a bye week. ... Kicker David Ruffer is 18 for 18 on field goals in his career — the longest streak in the nation. ... ND is facing Utah at home for the first time ever. The Utes are the 68th team to visit the stadium.

Utah State (3-6)

Opponent: San Jose State

Location: San Jose, Calif.

Day: Saturday

Time: 6 p.m.

TV: none

Radio: 1230 AM, 95.9 FM

About the Spartans (1-8): They are underdogs despite the fact that the Aggies haven't won at Spartan Stadium in 30 years. ... Former head coach (1997-2000) Dave Baldwin is USU's offensive coordinator. ... SJSU's only win this year came against SUU, winning 16-11.

Weber State (5-4)

Opponent: Northern Arizona

Location: Flagstaff, Ariz.

Day: Saturday

Time: 3 p.m.

TV: none

Radio: 1430 AM

About the Lumberjacks (5-4): Running back Zach Bauman rushed for his fifth 100-yard game of the season to help NAU beat Northern Colorado last week. ... Beat Montana State 34-7 on Oct. 16 — their signature win on the year.

Southern Utah (6-4)

Opponent: Eastern Washington

Location: Cheney, Wash.

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Day: Saturday

Time: 2 p.m.

TV: none

Radio: 91.1 FM

About the Eagles (7-2): They play on the famed red turf of Roos Field, which was installed this summer. ... The Eagles are leading the Big Sky conference with a 6-1 record. ... Both teams are on five-game winning streaks.

Dixie State (2-8)

Season over

Snow College (8-2)

Opponent: Columbia Basin

Location: Ephraim

Day: Saturday

Time: noon

Radio: 650 AM

Note: Snow won the Western States Football League. Columbia Basin won the Northwest Community College Football League to play in this postseason matchup.