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Ravell Call, Deseret News
Boise State fan Jacob Oswald has his face painted by his mother Renae before the Boise State vs Brigham Young University football game in Boise, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012.

BOISE, Idaho — When Boise State joined the Mountain West Conference in the summer of 2010, other members of the league included Utah, BYU and TCU.

But in the months that followed, the Utes bolted to the Pac-12, the Cougars declared independence and the Horned Frogs jumped to the Big 12.

Does Boise State coach Chris Petersen think about what might have been had those three schools stayed in the MWC?

"I haven't thought about it too much," he said this week. "I know when we went into the conference to start with, we were thinking, 'This is going to be one heck of a conference.' Some really good football teams, and the proximity is pretty good. I think that helps the rivalries. … But the landscape has changed so fast. It's so much different from when we joined."

Boise State is in its second, and final, year as members of the MWC and will join the Big East next year.

The Broncos have busted the BCS twice, winning the Fiesta Bowl both times. But Petersen said his team's focus isn't on the BCS.

"Our goal is never to be the BCS buster. That's not what our deal is. We're always taking one game at a time," he said. "If you get caught up in trying to win all of your games, or we have to go to this BCS game, you're focusing on stuff that's so far out of your control. The only thing we can control is how hard we work, how focused we stay, how we stick together and play as a team — those type of things. I know that's not the stuff you want to hear, but that's the way it is around here."

NELSON HONORED: BYU quarterback Riley Nelson was named to the 2012 Senior CLASS Award Watch List Thursday.

Nelson is one of 30 FBS players that were selected as candidates. To be eligible for the award, a player must be a senior and have noteworthy accomplishments in four areas of excellence — community, classroom, character and competition.

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FLAG-BEARERS: Former BYU tight end Spencer Nead, an Idaho native, carried out the alumni flag before the game. Defensive back Mike Hague carried out the special teams flag, while defensive lineman Romney Fuga carried out the team flag.

EXTRA POINTS: The Cougars donned their all-white uniforms Thursday night. … Special teams member Skye PoVey is playing with a completely torn plantar fascia. … BYU defensive lineman Mike Muehlmann has decided to leave the program. … Thursday marked the first of a 12-game series between BYU and Boise State. The next game between the Cougars and Broncos is scheduled for Sept. 21, 2013 in Provo.