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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2003 7:12 am 
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"Adding Texas Christian could doll up the Mountain West in BCS eyes. Without some kind of BCS inclusion, the Mountain West is doomed to be a second-rate conference."

Seems to me that TCU would be a candidate as well since the goal of expansion would be to attain BCS status. TCU also adds the Dallas market. These are not hypothesis from me, these are direct quotes from the above article.











fbg, we don't start up new topics when there are already general threads they could be posted in. Do so and you get locked. Everyone else seems to realize that that something as general as your post should fall into the "MWC Realignment Thread" and not a new one.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2003 9:14 am 
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Sounds like the MWC will probably expand, but will be cautious, at least at first. But if they want to be a major player, they'r etaking a real chance leaving teams like TCU up for grabs (though they may be waiting to see what happens to C-USA first). They also need to rethink keeping Wyoming. If it's about tradition, that's fine. But if it's about money and reaching for the BCS slot, they need to think carefully. They need to have clout in football, probably need to go to 12, and they need to establish a solid recruiting base for the conference. They also need to grab what little they can of large markets that are available, and they need to try and convince ESPN, etc., that they have an upside in terms of viewership. They also need to make each division as solid a regional fit as possible, to build up rivalries and gradually pull in local interest, and to cut down on travel costs as much as possible.

The Western division is a no-brainer, apart from coosing between Hawaii and Boise State. Boise brings in the #125 tv market, a marginal bowl, and a pretty succesful (thoguh they haven't beaten anyone big away form home) football team. Hawaii brings old WAC tradition, probably a couple of lower-tier bowl games, an attractive destination for fans and players, a questionable commitment to a football program that could be very succesful, increased travel costs, and the #72 tv market. My guess is they'll go with Hawaii. Greater upside, especially if they invest in the program. BYU and Utah are probably partial to Hawaii, and that would clinch it.

East

BYU
Fresno
Hawaii (Boise St.)
San Diego State
Utah
UNLV

The West, IMHO, ought to be based roughly in Big 12 territory. Air Force, Colorado St., and New Mexico would be a solid regional nucleus. Tulsa could add power in hoops, the # 59-61 tv market (depends which source you use), and a pretty valuable recruiting destination for the conference. OK has pretty good football talent per capita. Certainly better than Wyoming or Idaho.
Houston's programs are flatlining, but it'd be an extremely vauable recruiting destination for the conference, and even a small share of the nation's #11 tv market would be valuable when it comes to negotiating a tv deal. Houston may never recover, but there is definitely potential for the school to become a power again in at least one sport, especially if the MWC gets BCS status and a couple of extra invites to the tourney per year. TCU is a no-brainer if they can be pulled in. Instant football credibility and a team in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. Valuable for recruiting and for tv (market rank #7). With the addition of SMU, assuming the school really commits to upgrading its football program, the MWC could add another team int eh same market, and perhaps rekindle some of the old SWC rivalries. Granted, it's not Texas/Texas A&M, but if SMU begins to win, people in Dallas will tune in to TCU/SMU games. UTEP is a more valuable addition than SMU right now, so they might be preferable, but if the MWC can get some assurances of efforts to improve form SMU, I think SMU would be a more valuable addition.

West

Air Force
Colorado State
Houston
SMU (UTEP)
TCU
Tulsa

Add a BCS bid and a couple of extra tourney participants to this group, and I think the conference could start slowly digging in to a respectable shar eof the new markets. More importantly, national interest in the conference would increase, because with the BCS bid and hoops respect, recruiting would improve, especially with the pipelines into California and Texas. The MWC would never enter SEC territory, or porbably even ACC territory, but they could definitely take a step up in terms of money and ratings, and they could take an even bigger step much earlier in recruiting, and get the rest of the nation interested in key conference games. TCU could probably enter Virginia Tech territory in terms of national respect. Air Force would be a major draw with one or two extra athletes per year. And BYU and Colorado state, with slightly better recruiting, would be legit top 10 teams instead of perennial late season losers. The basketball potential for the conference would be even more exciting.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2003 10:20 am 
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I really like the idea of the Mountain West going after TCU. TCU wouldn't join if CUSA stays together, but if UofL leaves, they would readily consider the Mountain West.

Here are some of the reasons to add TCU:

1.Dallas-Ft.Worth TV market

2.Texas Recruiting

3.Good Academics

4.Leaves the WAC intact. If you gobble up the WAC by taking Fresno, Hawaii, Nevada...ect. you won't have anyone in the West to play football against save the PAC-10.

5.9th team to even out FB scheduling

6.National perception of the conference



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2003 10:30 am 
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MWC lifts moratorium on expansion

By KELLY LYELL
KellyLyell@coloradoan.com

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Mountain West Conference Board of Directors voted Tuesday to lift the conference's moratorium on expansion a year early, allowing the conference to come up with criteria for evaluating and accepting new members if it chooses.
"We're not necessarily expanding; we're just exploring our options," MWC commissioner Craig Thompson said on a conference call at the conclusion of the conference presidents' annual meetings in Carlsbad, Calif. "We might say, 'Hey, eight is great,' and we don't even need to consider adding somebody."

Thompson said the conference would begin developing parameters over the next 12 months by which potential members will be evaluated.

"I think there's a number of reasons to look at expansion," Thompson said. "One would be the possibility of helping us in our BCS position. Another would be we're three years out in our TV contract and maybe bringing in more members would help us there. And then some general scheduling issues, such as getting an additional game in football, a home football game with additional members."

Expansion also may be necessary to keep the conference from being left behind if the anticipated move of Miami, Boston College and Syracuse from the Big East Conference to an expanded 12-team Atlantic Coast Conference occurs.

"I'm certainly excited that we have decided to lift the moratorium on expansion," CSU athletic director Jeff Hathaway said. "It now gives us the ability to let (NCAA) Division I-A teams and Division I-A conferences know that the Mountain West is at least open to exploring the possibility of expansion. . . . We can look and see what everybody does, evaluate who's interested in the Mountain West Conference, and there's a lot of programs that are, and who we're interested in having join the conference."

The moratorium on expansion was agreed to when the league was created May 26, 1998, to break away from a Western Athletic Conference that had grown to what many felt was an unmanageable 16 teams. The presidents of Air Force, Brigham Young, CSU, New Mexico, San Diego State, UNLV, Utah and Wyoming formed their own league and agreed to not discuss the possibility of adding more until 2004.

"I think (the presidents) are very pleased with the eight-team configuration," Thompson said. "This is just a process to see if we can get better, if we can strengthen ourselves with more than eight members."

Tompson said the primary concern of the Board of Governors, which is made up of the presidents of the MWC's eight schools, is gaining access to the BCS. Currently, the only way an MWC team can gain qualify for one of the four BCS games (Fiesta, Orange, Rose and Sugar bowls) is through one of two at-large berths by finishing the regular season ranked among the top six teams in the nation in the BCS ratings. The current BCS contract runs through the 2005 football season.

The ACC, however, is trying to lure Boston College, Miami and Syracuse from the Big East to form a 12-team conference with two divisions, and the loss of those three schools likely would cost the Big East its BCS berth and could prompt a major shakeup in conference alignments across the nation.

"This is a very interesting time," Hathaway said. "In the next 10 days, we could see some of the biggest changes since the last shift of conference affiliation a few years ago . . . It's a trickle down that takes place, and none of us can look into the crystal ball and see what's going to happen."

Thompson said there have been no formal requests by schools to join the MWC. But he and Hathaway both acknowledged they have heard a lot of informal discussion about possible new members. Schools that reportedly have shown an interest include WAC members Boise State, Fresno State, Hawaii and Nevada as well as New Mexico State and Utah State. New Mexico State is a member of the Sun Belt Conference, while Utah State is in the Big West Conference in most sports but will begin playing football in the Sun Belt this fall.

"Any time you expand, you either strengthen the conference or weaken the conference; you don't stay the same," Hathaway said. "And from our standpoint, we want to make sure expansion means we're strengthening our conference."


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2003 10:31 am 
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Alt wants UNR to join MWC
By Steve Guiremand
<steveg@lasvegassun.com>
LAS VEGAS SUN

Nevada-Reno athletic director Chris Ault knew the question was coming. And he didn't flinch.

With the Mountain West Conference voting Tuesday to lift its moratorium on expansion, would the Wolf Pack be interested in joining in-state rival UNLV in the MWC?

"My position has been to improve your product and always keep your options open," Ault said. "I would like to one day see UNLV and Nevada playing in the same conference again. Back when I was coaching, the games had so much more meaning then, not just in football but all sports."

But Ault is happy with the move the Wolf Pack made when they left the Big West Conference to join the Western Athletic Conference four years ago.

"It's a great conference to be in," he said. "Our league is also looking into expansion possibilities. A lot is going to depend on what happens in the next few months. If the Big East splits up, I think Conference USA could be done. The ripple effect from just the ACC expanding is going to be very interesting. You could have a lot of teams jumping from one conference to another."

UNLV President Dr. Carol Harter said last week that she would lobby hard for the Mountain West Conference to add Nevada-Reno if the MWC does expand.

"We truly appreciate Dr. Harter's support," Ault said. "I think it speaks to the rivalry of the state. There are a lot of common denominators we have with the Mountain West Conference in terms of geography and the fact we play many of their teams already in non-conference play."

Nevada-Reno, Hawaii and Fresno State are the three most prominent teams mentioned if the Mountain West Conference expands.

Fresno State president Dr. John Welty turned down an interview request on Tuesday.

"Dr. Welty says we're not in a position to comment at this time," said Shirley Armbruster, director of news services at Fresno State.

Hawaii athletic director Herman Frazier also didn't respond to an interview request.

Here's a list of schools that are sure to get a strong look if/when the MWC expands.

Nevada-Reno

Pros: Already has a key supporter in UNLV President Dr. Carol Harter. Geographically a natural fit. BYU even flew into Reno on the day of its football game last year because it was such a close trip. Has good football and basketball facilities.

Cons: Has only the 114th biggest TV market in the nation. Not a name program on the national scale.

Fresno State

Pros: Excellent facilities and fan support. TV market (No. 57) is only a few notches below Las Vegas (No. 52). Football program is one of the best in the West.

Cons: Pat Hill signs about five academic non-qualifiers a year and makes no bones about it. School is in the middle of another academic fraud scandal. Not an easy place to travel to because of limited flights. Great place for farming but not to visit during the hot and humid spring and summer months.

Hawaii

Pros: The Warriors are the only game in town and draw extremely well. TV market is a solid No. 71. And the school already has a big rivalry with BYU from the Cougars' old WAC days. Hawaii also has an automatic tie-in with the Hawaii Bowl if it can win eight games.

Cons: Very expensive to travel to, especially when you throw in all the Olympic sports.

Boise State

Pros: Fast-growing city that is easy to get to from Salt Lake City, Denver or Las Vegas. Good facilities and an underrated athletic program that ranks 66th overall nationally (UNLV is 160). Football program finished No. 12 in ESPN coaches' poll. Would give the MWC a tie-in with the Humanitarian Bowl.

Cons: TV market is just 124th. Just two years removed from the Big West Conference.

Others to consider

If Conference USA does implode, look for the WAC to make a strong push for both TCU and Houston. Why? Dallas is the seventh-largest TV market in the nation while Houston is 11th. So why shouldn't the Mountain West also look into moving into Texas? It's much cheaper to fly to Dallas from Denver or Las Vegas than it is to fly to Honolulu. And the TV contract would figure to be a lot more valuable. SMU, another Dallas school in the WAC, also would make sense under that scenario.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2003 10:32 am 
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Conference growth is possible by 2006
By Steve Guiremand
<steveg@lasvegassun.com>
LAS VEGAS SUN

After three days of meetings in Carlsbad, Calif., the Mountain West Conference's Board of Directors apparently came to a simple conclusion:

Eight is not enough.

The four-year-old conference, which broke away from Western Athletic Conference in 1999 because it felt 16 teams in a conference were too many, voted unanimously on Tuesday to lift its moratorium on expansion and formed a committee to begin developing parameters for possible new additions in the next 12 months.

The reason for the move could be summed up in three letters: BCS.

"The No. 1 priority coming out of the meetings was trying to gain access into the BCS," Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson said. "We're not necessarily expanding, but we're going to explore our options."

The Mountain West Conference is on the outside looking in on the Bowl Championship Series and its $13 million paydays. Only the champions of the Big East, Atlantic Coast Conference, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-10 and Southeastern Conference recieve automatic invites to the BCS bowls: the Orange, Sugar, Fiesta and Rose.

With the strong possibility the ACC is about to pilfer the Big East of heavweight teams such as Miami, Syracuse and Boston College, Thompson is hopeful that could open a spot for the Mountain West. Whether the MWC needs to add teams to have a better chance at snagging a BCS berth is something the committee will look into during the next year.

"There are a number of reasons for us to look at expansion," Thompson said. "Number one, it could help us with the BCS. Another is that it could bring more value to our next television package. And you have the scheduling issues. Maybe we add another (conference) game to the football schedule."

Thompson said he has not been approached by any schools yet interested in switching to the MWC.

"I've talked to a lot of people in the hallways, but no formal presentations have ever been brought to me," he said. "We're not even at the point to talk about (which teams might be added)."

And just because the conference has gone ahead with the subcomittee to determine its expansion options, Thompson said there still is no guarantee that the Mountain West will add teams.

"I think they're very pleased with the eight teams in this conference," Thompson said referring to the MWC presidents. "This is just a process to determine if we can make the conference better, to strengthen ourselves if we did expand. That's why it's even taken four years to take this first step and even look at the possibility of expansion."

As for rumors that MWC stalwarts BYU and Utah could be targets if the Pac-10 Conference expanded to 12 teams, Thompson didn't seemed fazed.

"I have no concern about that," Thompson said, pointing out that Utah president Dr. J. Bernard Machen and BYU president Dr. Cecil Samuelson are on the Executive Committee that will oversee the conference's expansion prospects. "I'm not concerned that anybody would leave the Mountain West Conference at this point."



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2003 12:14 pm 
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The MWC if it wants to go to 12 (as it probably must to have a shot at a BCS slot) will have four spots available, and will probably play it by ear with Wyoming.

If the conference wants to move up in the world, they must invest in the available Texas teams (once C-USA is raided) TCU, Houston, and SMU. They have to expand into large markets, and these are the only ones available. Fresno is the other given. These moves would add markets and would make the MWC the only conference with a significant presence in both Cali and Texas. Might as well go for Tulsa too. The conference could use the basketball boost and Oklahoma has talent in both sports. This would dramatically improve the conference's potential to recruit, I believe in both sports. Better TV, plus more tourney invites, plus a possible BSC spot, plus a title game = more interest from both fans and recruits.

If Wyoming gets booted, the final slot is tougher to fill. Nevada, while a very nice fit and great for the UNLV rivalry, doesn't bring much potential for improvement for the conference as a whole. It should boil down to Hawaii, for their market and bowl ties, Boise St. for their rapid improvement, fan support, and reltively convenient location, and UTEP. I'd probably go for Boise. They probably have the most potential in football success, they'd fit well in the west, they'd bring their own bowl (such as it is) and if they start winning division titles they'd probably have every eye in the state glued on the tv set.

West

Boise St.
BYU
Fresno St.
New Mexico
UNLV
Utah

East

Air Force
Colorado St.
Houston
SMU
TCU
Tulsa

If, however, the conference just wants to go to 9, and they have big problems with Fresno's academics, then they should go cheap and snag Nevada.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2003 12:34 pm 
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ACCNole32, your alignment looks interesting for the MWC, however, don't think the conference wants to expand east.

Surprising Boise State and Nevada are considered the front runners. The other two teams that most in the west want is Fresno State and Hawaii.

The WMC is not going to kick Wyoming out unless the school make that choice. Wyoming was selected as the 8 members on the break out from the WAC. Wyoming was selected over TCU, Fresno State, Hawaii, etc.

I think the more likely scenario for the MWC is:

East: BYU, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado State, Air Force, New Mexico

West: Boise State, Nevada, UNLV, Fresno State, San Diego State, Hawaii

Much like the ACC is controlled by the NC schools, the MWC is influenced by the Utah schools. Those schools would favor a western expansion to ease travel.



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2003 12:39 pm 
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Makes sense, but I think they're missing out.

Maybe the lone exception will be TCU, purely for a BCS shot? They're making a mistake by going to 12 if they're only looking west. If they were going to 9 or 10 it would make more sense.

If you're right, sounds like the WAC may have the last laugh. Those schools could fall right into their lap.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2003 1:00 pm 
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ACCNole32, while I like TCU, don't think they are close to a Miami that can make a BCS conference by just being there. If that were the case, Conf USA would already be a BCS conference.

TCU is in a difficult possition unless the Big 12 becomes unstable. Really don't see this happening as the Big 12 is actually the best conference right now.

TCU is too far west for the Big East and too far east for the Mountian West. Other than offering the metro plex, they really dont' bring enough to justify the cost of travel for either the MWC or the Big East. Both the MWC and new Big East conference will be included in the BCS arrangement when the contract is renewed.

TCU better hope the Big 10 get Missouri or else they may be stuck in a remake of the old SWC which will not be any better than the future Conf USA left overs.

Conf USA, new SWC, WAC, and MAC may have to work out some sort of arrangement to survive after 2006.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2003 2:22 pm 
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If the MWC were to ever goto 12, I'd favor this lineup assuming Wyoming makes the cut. If they can't, I'd think Nevada would make sense since they are already in the footprint.


West

*Hawaii
*Fresno St.
San Diego St.
UNLV
Utah
BYU

East
Boise St.
Air Force
Colorado St.
New Mexico
*UTEP / Wyoming
*TCU



Is it a BCS conference...I'm not sure. I think if you're thinking BCS then it's only worth adding 2 schools. TCU and Fresno St.

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Last edited by Quinn on Fri Jun 06, 2003 8:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2003 3:15 pm 
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How does adding schools that it left behind (Fresno State, Hawaii, Texas Christian) or relatively new members of I-A (Boise State, Nevada) make the Mountain West Conference more attractive to the BCS? Please don't tell me it is because the BCS absolutely "needs" a sixth conference to replace the BIG EAST.


Last edited by yungwun on Fri Jun 06, 2003 12:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2003 3:18 pm 
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Hey KingCal, you guys are leaving one of my favorite teams out. Where is San Diego State? Great City, nice basketball arena, campus is very close to the stadium.

I do like UTEP. UTEP has really good attendance and is in a very large metro area. Sun Bowl is in a great location.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2003 6:09 am 
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Following four years as an eight-team league, the Mountain West Conference voted unanimously Tuesday to explore expansion possibilities by lifting a moratorium in place since the conference's creation.
Fresno State, Hawaii, Boise State and Nevada -- all members of the Western Athletic Conference -- are thought to be the leading candidates for MWC expansion.

"This is just a process to determine if we can strengthen ourselves with more than eight members," MWC commissioner Craig Thompson said after the conference's meeting in Carlsbad. "If we feel there's somebody out there or a compelling reason to add additional members, we ought to take a look at it."

Thompson cited the MWC's desire to strengthen its Bowl Championship Series status, help in upcoming television contract negotiations and balance its football schedule as the primary reasons for exploring expansion.

He said it was too early to discuss how many new members could be added or the merits of specific schools. The conference will spend the next 12 months evaluating expansion options, Thompson added.

"Nobody particularly has approached us," Thompson said, "and we're not even at the point where we would talk about individual institutions."

In separate interviews last week, Fresno State president John Welty and athletic director Scott Johnson responded cautiously when asked if the Bulldogs would push for inclusion into the MWC.

The MWC was created in May 1998, breaking away from the cumbersome 16-team WAC it helped create. Fresno State has been a WAC member since 1992.

"From where I sit right now, I think the WAC has taken some steps to not only stabilize itself but to add strength," Welty said. "And we need to continue in that direction until such time there's changes that suggest otherwise.

"It's very muddy waters at this point. It's not clear to me where we would best be located looking over the next 10 years or so."

Johnson added, "We're all in a wait-and-see mode, trying to protect our own interests."

One WAC school has begun lobbying the MWC, at least publicly. Hawaii president Evan Dobelle recently told the Honolulu Advertiser "it makes more sense" for his school to be in the MWC than the WAC.

In addition, UNLV president Carol Harter said she intends to push Nevada as a MWC expansion candidate.

WAC keeps rule

During its annual meeting in Half Moon Bay, the WAC Board of Directors voted to keep the controversial rule requiring athletes to pass six units in the semester of their team's season to be eligible for postseason competition, commissioner Karl Benson said Tuesday.

In voting to affirm, the WAC's presidents went against a recommendation to repeal the rule made last month by the conference's athletic directors.

To comply with the rule, Fresno State was forced to declare seven football players ineligible for last year's Silicon Valley Football Classic


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2003 8:17 am 
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Thanks, I've made the update. I simply forgot to add SDSU.



As for the MWC, when the 8 teams left the WAC, they didn't have to factor in the BCS at the time. Things have changed now.


There are few teams outside the BCS that the MWC could add that would make them a clearcut BCS conference. TCU and Fresno help the most, but hardly the impact the MWC needs. Not when you can take the top CUSA and BE remaing teams and get the last spot.

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