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MWC computer schedules champs for Lobos

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Anytime teams don’t play every team in their conference, there will be scheduling inequities.

The University of New Mexico football team is getting theirs out of the way early.

Tuesday, the Mountain West Conference released its schedule matchups for 2013-16. The league now has 12 football-playing members, and each team will play only eight conference games — five in its division, Mountain or West, and three against teams from the other division.

The matchups are computer-driven, so there’s really no one to blame. And it seems logical to believe things will even out over four years.

Still, at least for next season, the computer has done the Lobos no favors. They’re the only Mountain Division team that has to play all three of the MWC’s 2012 tri-champions — Boise State, Fresno State and San Diego State. And they’ll play all three on the road.

That could be tough on a program still very much in rebuilding mode under second-year coach Bob Davie.

The Lobos play the Broncos, the Bulldogs and the Aztecs again in 2014, but in Albuquerque. In 2015-16, they’ll play Boise State as a Mountain Division rival but won’t face Fresno State or San Diego State.

If one looks at this scheduling cup as half full, it should be noted that the Lobos have a chance to make between $300,000 to $500,000 anytime they step on Boise State’s blue turf.

As part of the Mountain West’s agreement with Boise State that kept the Broncos from bolting to the Big East, MWC teams that play games on national TV will get a $300,000 bonus from the Mountain West. If the game in question is played on a Saturday, there’s another $200,000. “National” in this case is defined as ABC, NBC, CBS or any of the ESPN networks, but not CBS Sports or NBC Sports.

This bonus applies to any Mountain West game, but it’s Boise State that, in concert with the conference, is negotiating a TV package for its home games independent of the MWC’s deal with CBS Sports.

All Mountain West schools, regardless of whether they play Boise State in a given year, will get an equal share of whatever deal BSU and the league can carve out for Broncos home games.

The Lobos this fall will host Air Force, Colorado State and UNLV, teams they faced on the road last season, as well as Mountain West newcomer Utah State.

ANOTHER LOBO: According to newspaper and online reports, Anthony Rios-Carlsen, a 6-foot-2, 194-pound linebacker from Canoga Park (Calif.) High School, has committed to play for UNM. The player confirmed his commitment to the website collegelevelathletes.com.

The Lobos have awarded all 25 of their scholarships for 2013. Thus, it’s unclear what Rios-Carlsen’s status would be.

According to MaxPreps, Rios-Carlsen averaged 11.8 tackles per game last season as a senior. He also caught 26 passes for 435 yards and two touchdowns as a tight end, but it appears he’s coming to UNM as a linebacker.

BAUMGARTNER SIGHTING: Rios-Carlsen, in his interview with collegelevelathletes.com, said he was recruited by new UNM wide receivers coach Scott Baumgartner.

Baumgartner’s hiring was previously reported by coachingsearch.com and footballscoop.com, but without attribution to a source. There has been no announcement from UNM.

Baumgartner had been wide receivers coach at Nevada under coach Chris Ault but was not retained by new Wolf Pack coach Brian Polian after Ault retired.

The vacancy filled by Baumgartner was created when Taylor Stubblefield left for Wake Forest.

The Lobos still need to replace running backs coach DeAndre Smith, who took a job at Syracuse.

THE NUMBERS GAME: According to information provided by Brian DeSpain, UNM’s director of football operations, the Lobos will have 77 scholarship players in the fall — eight short of the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision maximum.

Of those, 21 will be sophomores and 23 will be redshirt freshmen or true freshmen. The roster includes 17 juniors and 16 seniors.

Those numbers illustrate why Davie considers his walk-on program so important.

The scholarship numbers are bolstered by walk-ons such as cornerback Tim Foley, who started six games last season, and running back David Anaya, who played in every game on offense and/or special teams.

A walk-on will be called on to replace four-year deep snapper Evan Jacobsen.

Several players on scholarship, including tight end Andrew Aho and wide receiver Jeric Magnant, entered the program as walk-ons.
— This article appeared on page D5 of the Albuquerque Journal

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