Just thought I'd put this out there. If you would prefer this in the "news" forum, feel free to move it.
See, this goes back to my posts in the Idaho Plans thread in the CUSA, Mtn West, WAC, MAC, and Sun Belt Expansion Thread.
In the west, a school really needs to be near population centers in order to fill the stands. Not necessarily on Saturdays, as in Wyoming you will get people from not only Laramie and Cheyenne (which is only about 45 minutes to the east), but Casper and other population centers like Gillette, Rock Springs/Green River, Sheridan, Evanston, Rawlins, Lander, Cody, and Jackson. Everyone of those places listed after Cheyenne, really necessitate a Saturday Game there. But in order to get national exposure the mid-week games are what promotes you there. So its tough for Wyoming. I would imagine it would be tough for Idaho, Montana, Montana State, or any other college program located in a rural portion of the west.
*Ft. Collins for CSU, mid-major metro that is less than 1 hour from Denver.
*Colorado Springs for AFA, mid-major metro area and 1 hour south of Denver.
*Albuquerque for UNM, mid-major metro area approaching major status.
*SLC for UUtah, major metro area.
*Provo for BYU, mid-major metro about 1/2 hour from SLC.
*Logan for USU. Small metro but within 1 hour of SLC-Ogden.
*Boise for BSU. Mid-major metro area.
*Reno for UNevada. Mid-major metro, also Carson City and Tahoe area add to the population base in this area -- all within 1 hour away from Reno -- about 1/2 million people.
*Las Vegas for UNLV. Major metro area.
*Fresno for Fresno State, Mid-major metro area that is almost a major metro area.
*San Diego for SDSU. Major metro area.
*San Jose for SJSU. Major metro area -- have tough time with fans in the stands though.
*Honolulu for Hawaii. Mid major metro area nearly a major metro area.
Not Western, but...
*Ft. Worth for TCU. Major metro area -- top 10 most populated metro area in the US -- DFW with about 5 million people.
Now the schools with a possible attendance problem for a mid-week game:
*Laramie for UWyo. About 2 hours from Denver, some UWyo fans may be in Denver and other Front Range Colorado cities nearby. Cheyenne is less than 1 hour to the East, so that helps. But to get fans from the other metro in the State, Casper, it requires time + Gillette, Sheridan, Rock Springs/Green River, Evanston, Cody, Jackson, Lander, and Rawlins are require large commute time. -- Note, all except Capser and Cheyenne (which are both very small metro areas), these places I have mentioned are either small towns, or small micro centers, are big for Wyoming standards, but are small from a national sense -- Wyoming has only 1/2 million people to get people a far distance to fill a 33,000 seat stadium -- Requires commute time.
*Las Cruces for NMSU. Less than 1/2 hour away from mid-major metro of El Paso, but are there a large contingent of NMSU fans there? Requires commute time from Albuquerque, Roswell, Sante Fe, Farmington, etc. Not as bad as Laramie though, as Laramie micro has about 35,000 people and Las Cruces metro has about 175,000 people -- may eventually reach the mid-major population threshhold of 250,000 itself within 20 years.
*Moscow for UI. I've talked about this already.
*Missoula for UMt. I've talked about this already -- would need commuting from 2 to 4 hours away small populations centers of Helena, Butte, Kalispell, and Great Falls on top of the small metro pop located in Missoula.
*Bozeman for MSU. Billings, Butte, and Helena are within 2 hours of campus, but these are small population centers. Too far away to fill a stadium in Bozeman on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday night.
If you are a western school, unless you are located in a mid-major or a major metro area or are within 1 hour of a major metro area, its tough to fill the stands on these mid-week nights.