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One of the topics sure to come up today during the Mountain West Conference football coaches teleconference today will be future scheduling. Last week's news that Nevada and Fresno State won't join the MWC until 2012 means that several, if not all, MWC teams are now looking for one more opponent to fill out their 2011 schedules. After all, with the departures of BYU and Utah and the arrival of Boise State (but not FSU and Nevada), the MWC will be an eight-team league next year. Colorado State coach Steve Fairchild was asked Monday about the possibility that BYU or Utah being on CSU's schedule next year. Utah already has 12 games, so that's not going to happen. However, the Cougars still have two, maybe three, openings. Here's Fairchild's reply: "I am not sure we will do that. But anything is a possibility right now; there are no contracts signed." CSU posted a scheduling explanation on its official website Monday, saying that it was in discussions with Purdue for a fifth nonconference game, but those talks fell through. It also noted that the Rams have contacted Big 12 teams. From BYU's end, it will be interesting to see if some of those MWC schools — especially the ones who have said they don't want to play BYU again (Wyoming and San Diego State, for instance) contact athletic director Tom Holmoe. Suddenly, they could be as desperate to find opponents for 2011 as BYU is.———————————— Interesting story on the Las Vegas Sun's website today about the development — or lack thereof — of BYU freshman quarterback Jake Heaps. But calling Heaps a "physical specimen" is kind of a reach. Here's my offering in today's paper, taking a look at some of the things BYU coaches are doing to keep the team together although the defense is clearly outperforming the offense. One of the steps they have taken is to change the signs on the team buses. There's no longer an "offense" bus and a "defense" bus. Rather, both buses have a "Band of Brothers" sign on them.———————————— As mentioned before, BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall's news conference Monday was short and sweet. Here are a few leftover comments from Mendenhall: Opening statement: "We are glad the bye week is over, and anxious to play football again. I think our team is eager. I had that sense last week in practice. We had a great chance to watch some younger players play in scrimmages, and I think we had a chance to get healthier, plus work on some execution. Hopefully it will pay dividends, and we are anxious to play UNLV on Saturday." On whether he expects more than incremental progress from the offense this week: "Maybe the equivalent of Saturday was a game, and this is the next one. Probably on the same pace, but maybe just a hair more because we have had a chance to focus on fundamentals so much. I don't think you will see leaps and bounds, nor some gigantic ....but I do think you will see some continued improvement." On whether the bye week was productive in evaluating where Cougars are at: "I think it was very productive. I think we have a lot clearer idea of what has worked. At some point in the season it is not that you give up on trying to be your ideal offense, but you have to then acknowledge 'what can we do? what are we doing? and what is realistic?' I think that is what this past week has done for us as a football team. Again, not giving up on having the offense we have had in the past, but getting a better idea of what we currently can do really well, and then looking at bits and pieces of what is realistic to add to it." On whether he's seen results from his change to being def. coordinator:"You know, hard to say. Again, if you go back to the motive of why I became involved, and I have used this a bunch, it is trying to recapture the soul of the team, and a better word would be to inspire the team. So if any player, especially on the defensive side, isn't trying harder, then the move really wouldn't have been worth it. So that has been really my intent, to get them to play harder than they were, get them to achieve more than they were, and really invest more. Because schematically we were very sound. I hope then that by having that affect players like Vic, or maybe Brian Logan, or maybe Brandon Ogletree, or maybe Jordan Richardson, or whomever you might name, that then that might permeate into special teams as well as the offensive side, just by a daily example. So that was the reason I made the move to begin with. So I hope it has an influence." On whether UNLV is more dangerous because it is not bowl eligible: "I think rather than the focus being so much on UNLV, there is so much still to work on with our team. But they have some capable weapons. I know Bobby Hauck very well. They are as capable, especially offensively, as Wyoming who we just played, if not more so. Again, it is Year One for his program, and every single chance they have to get better, they will leverage and take advantage of. So, I think it will be, again, nothing is coming easy to our team, currently. And I wouldn't expect that not to happen Saturday as well. We are preparing for a tough game." On his relationship with UNLV coach Bobby Hauck: "Bobby and I actually interviewed for the same job. I was leaving Snow College. Steve Kragthorpe was on the offensive staff at Northern Arizona. He was able to get me an interview for the secondary coaching position at Northern Arizona. Bobby Hauck was coming from being a graduate assistant at UCLA under Rick Neuheisel and we ended up going head to head and interviewing for the same position. Then we both ended up working on that same staff with some really good coaches. I coached the free safety and the two corners, and he coached kind of in a 4-2-5 scheme, he coached the strong safety. So we worked really closely together. We have been friends for a long time. His wife, Stacy, is from Montana, and so is my wife Holly. And they knew each other in college, so we go back quite a ways."