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January 21, 2011


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I am a former El Pasoan now living in Houston, and a die-hard Miner fan. To me, and the numerous UTEP alumni in this area, a move to the MWC would be devastating... We currently get to watch the Miners live in Houston 3 times a year (1 football, 2 basketball) plus a drive to New Orleans or Dallas is an easy task. 10 of us even drove to Tulsa for the CUSA tourney last year. I am STRONGLY rooting against a move to the MWC!


Ok so first you say "No chance for that" re: Houston moving to the Big East then you say you are FOR UTEP moving to the Mountain West because of some remote chance it will?

Make up your mind Joe, which is it?....oh wait you wrote this piece for only one reason...to create some support for your opinion that UTEP should move the the Mountain West and yet you make no case to support it.
Why because it would be a bad move for UTEP to move to the MW and you know it.

Just another in a long line of your stories written to screw UTEP.


Joe, UTEP should beat Houston if we play the way we have for the last 2 weeks. Houston's size advantage is nothing we haven't faced and it is something we will continue to face for the rest of the year. We are going to compete with good defense and good shot selection. Period.

Joe's "no chance for that" comment was about Houston moving to the Big 12. He thinks the prospects of a Big East move are better since TCU is headed that way and could be a travel partner.

All in all, it shouldn't concern UTEP too much. Of coarse Houston, SMU, UCF, or ECU moving would have some ripple effect on UTEP. But the most important thing is for UTEP to take care of UTEP. We need to win. We had an opportunity last year but we ran into the Butler buzzsaw in the NCAA tourney. We had another opportunity at the New Mexico Bowl but we ran into the two headed monster. A better BYU team and our own lack of preparation.

Our position when conferences realign again will be improved by our own performance. We need to make it to the NCAA tournament and win some games. We need a bowl win. Then we need some more of both.


Why would UTEP leave C-USA if the conference just got a new tv deal with Fox? The MWC has a horrible tv deal that will make watching MWC games on tv rare 9as it already is around here). Besides, going to the MWC will be like going to a glorified WAC. People around here will actually support your idea of joining the Mountain West simply for the familiar names like UNM, Colo St, Wyoming, Air Force, etc. That's a pathetic excuse. Get used to the current conference members like SMU, UH, Tulsa, Rice, (Memphis, UAB in basketball), etc. UTEP should simply stay put and compete with the other non-aq TX schools. They shouldn't join the same league which snubbed them when it formed. Screw'em


If we are talking about football, why would the MWC want UTEP? Five winning seasons in 40 years? Another losing season coming next year, with even fewer wins.

And why would UTEP want the MWC? First of all, they snubbed the Miners more than 10 years ago when they split off and formed their own boys club. Then, more recently, they chose Boise St. (understandably) to join them. After that, Nevada, Fresno and Hawaii...the Miners didn't get a sniff. Who will be next before UTEP, gasp, NMSU? At least where the Miners are now, the conference appreciates them. The MWC is just plugging up holes and making itself into the old WAC all over again...only with a worse television package. Yes, even worse than the current WAC.


If Natalicio moves UTEP to the WAC or MWC then Miner fans should demand her resignation. They should already.

When she's gone Joe, please do us a favor and go with her. Are the rumors true that you are an NMSU grad?

I've lived in El Paso for 28 years and this whole "WAC or MWC" movement talk is a perfect example of why this city is 10 years behind the rest of this country.

Please change your thought process.


The posters have spoken! HELL NO, WE WONT GO! HELL NO, WE WONT GO!

Unless a BCS conference comes calling (and they wont for at least 10 years, if we're lucky) moving out of CUSA is simply dumb. Joe, obviously youre a football fan and could careless for basketball. UTEP is a basketbal school and CUSA is a basketball conference, and you want to move our terrible football program into the football conference of the MWC? Stupid. The basketball rivalries with Houston, Memphis, and UAB are just now becoming real rivalries, and you want to end it when its just getting good?

As for Houston tonight, get ready for a barnburner(yes, its one word, I looked it up)!
As Joe suggested, Britten and Bo must stop McNeil. That will be key. Dont forget to flip to ESPN2 during commercials to check out UAB vs Memphis.



Understand that the reasons for people wanting to stay out of the MWC have nothing to do with UTEP being a basketball school. The MWC has lost a lot of it's lustre with the departure of three VERY good football schools. They lost all momentum towards becoming a BCS conference when that happened. And getting into a BCS conference should be UTEP's ultimate goal. You don't do that by concentrating on basketball.

UConn has been a great basketball school for years and was playing lower division football. But they made a big push to make their football program a money maker. They invested in their stadium and their coaches and made BCS bowl game money this year. That will translate to athletics success in ALL sports for years to come. And don't think for a second that Duke is not making football success a priority. UTEP can't afford to take it's focus off of football. Football is the key.


Well how many times did you see UTEP on TV for football & basketball? The MNT network may not be great, however MWC teams get to see all their football games on TV and most of their basketball games on TV. The truth of the matter is the MWC is shooting for Houston or SMU not UTEP.......the El Paso TV market is too small #99.


Good points Cleo. Its good to know other perspectives and reasoning, as I was only providing mine.


I would stay put with c-usa. there is talk that if UCF gets picked up by big East then UTSA would be its replacemnt. Just Imagine UTEP, Houston, SMU, RICE, San Antonio, Tulsa all in the same conference! Who needs the Mouintain Wac Conference


What is a "travel partner", exactly? Everyone tosses this phrase around in every expansion column, but no one ever says what it means. Houston joining the Big East would not help anyone but Houston. Cougar High sucks. The BE has to think bigger.


I've said it before: UTEP basketball will get no respect (even at 17-4) until they can beat top schools ON THE ROAD. This means a tougher non-conference schedule, more away games, and in some cases, more losses. Strength of schedule plays a big part with the RPI and the NCAA tourney bids. It would be better to lose (and just maybe win) at Kansas or Kentucky than win at home against the Western New Mexicos et al.

UTEP football, mediocre as it is, gets no (and doesn't usually deserve) any respect but at least Conf-USA has six bowl bids. All the Miners have to do is win a little bit more. Their non-conference schedule is usually decent (i.e. Texas, Kansas)although it wasn't in 2010.

Andy Springer

I still like a new conference with Houston, Rice, SMU, UTEP, Tulsa, Tulane, La. Tech, & North Texas. That leaves 4 non conference games. UNT has a big name Coach and a new stadium, La. Tech is on the rise. Travel savings would be huge. One game in Houston and DFW every year. In State rivalries are better crowed pleasers than Marshall, Southern Miss and teams from Fla. Never happen, but just a thought.

D Naudin

I like Andy's Conference roster but I would put in Texas State and UTSA as well or maybe in place of some of the non-Texas schools .... a Just Texas schools conference would be great and a terrific draw for kids that get shut out of Texas or A&M.

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UTEP sports blog: Joe Muench has been a sports writer and a sports editor in El Paso for decades, but he’s best known as the columnist everyone loves to talk about. His UTEP athletics blog starts up the conversation again.

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