HENDERSON, Nev. — Don't be surprised if Boise is added to the Mountain West Conference's list of bowl destinations.

MWC commissioner Craig Thompson confirmed that the league is negotiating with the Roady's Humanitarian Bowl to send a Mountain West team to the game to face a Western Athletic Conference opponent.

The Idaho-based bowl game has an opening since the Atlantic Coast Conference is opting out after this year to enter into an agreement with the Congressional Bowl in Washington, D.C.

The opportunity to play in Boise would provide a fifth bowl game for the MWC. The conference currently sends teams to games in Las Vegas, San Diego, Fort Worth and Albuquerque.

"We'll be working with the Mountain West to see how it might fit starting in 2009—2010 and beyond," said Kevin McDonald of the Humanitarian Bowl. "And try to negotiate for the best selection we can get."

A contingency plan is being discussed that could lead to inclusion this year if the ACC doesn't have a No. 8 team eligible to participate. In 2009, the MWC's fifth choice would play in Boise.

That could change in 2010 when all of the league's bowl contracts are up for renewal.

Thompson revealed the MWC's talks with the Humanitarian Bowl during his annual State of the Conference remarks Tuesday morning at the Green Valley Ranch.

"The future is extremely bright," Thompson said while discussing several topics, including the MWC's 10th anniversary and his belief that the college football postseason is still "not right."

Television, as usual, was also discussed. Thompson boasted about the upcoming agreement with DirecTV and noted that the MWC could eventually play 10 a.m. games on Saturday on CBS.

Conference expansion is not really being explored at this time, and Thompson said the league is keeping a close eye on the San Diego State situation. If the NFL's San Diego Chargers opt to move and Qualcomm Stadium is torn down, the Aztecs will need a place to play. The Chargers, however, could end moving to a new facility in San Diego — a move that would alleviate concerns about SDSU's football future.

Thompson was even asked about his own future, especially with the Pac-10 looking for its next commissioner.

"This is a great spot and it's only going to get better," he said of the MWC.

MORE WINS WANTED: When Mike Sanford left Utah to become UNLV's head coach, the Utes' former offensive coordinator expected his third season at the helm to be a bit of a breakthrough year.

The Rebels, however, had several close misses and finished the season 2-10 overall and 1-7 in MWC play.

"I expected us to win more games than we did last year," Sanford said. "I think we were right there ready to win more games than we did and we didn't. I believe there's a whole process to this thing."

And, perhaps, a long one at that.

UNLV is just 6-29 under Sanford and a paltry 3-21 in conference games.

THE O.C.: Wyoming head coach Joe Glenn is gushing about new offensive coordinator Bob Cole. The ex-Utah State assistant has brought an enthusiasm to the Cowboys that Glenn said has "really changed the dynamics" of the team.

"Bob Cole is pretty special," Glenn said. "He not only brought a significant package of x's and o's, but a real character."


E-mail: dirk@desnews.com