UNR's Ault excited about jump to Mountain West

UNR, like Boise State, yearned for years to leave the Western Athletic Conference for the Mountain West.

But the Broncos, once in, couldn't leave quickly enough, saying the Mountain West wasn't the same conference it had wanted to join.

So they have agreed to leave for the Big East Conference in 2013.


The Wolf Pack, at least according to football coach Chris Ault, couldn't be happier to be joining the Mountain West this year.

"We know where we're going to be, and that's all that matters," Ault said Tuesday. "I know this other stuff gives the media an awful lot to talk about, and there's certainly some unrest among some of the schools, but we're not one of them."

Anyone who even casually follows the Mountain West knows this is a time of major change.

Boise State and San Diego State are expected - circumstances can change quickly - to enter the Big East in football next year, and Texas Christian leaves this year to begin play in all sports in the Big 12 Conference.

UNR and Fresno State join the Mountain West in all sports this year, and Hawaii will play in football only. All three leave the WAC, which by comparison makes the Mountain West look like the model of stability.

"This transition has been great, and it's a great time to have it because there are so many other things that are up in the air," Ault said. "But we know we will be in the Mountain West next year against some good football teams. I know one thing, the way the Mountain West has grown ... it will continue to be a rising conference."

Maybe Ault, who should be a paid spokesman for his new conference, is excited because he's one of the few Mountain West coaches with a dependable starting quarterback.

Cody Fajardo became a surprise starter last season, and he completed 68.8 percent of his passes for 1,707 yards. He was named the WAC Freshman of the Year.

Ault must have been in a good mood. Not only did he heap praise on the Mountain West, he made this head-turning statement about Fajardo:

"He's probably the best quarterback that I've had in terms of fundamental mechanics of throwing the football."

■ NOTES - UNLV coach Bobby Hauck confirmed what has been long suspected: The starting quarterback job is between junior Caleb Herring and redshirt freshman Nick Sherry. While noting the experience of Herring and senior Sean Reilly, Hauck said, "Sherry has a lot of talent and had a pretty dang good spring session." ... Air Force's seniors were honored Monday at the White House for winning the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy. Falcons quarterback Tim Jefferson convinced President Barack Obama to do the Heisman pose, and safety Jon Davis told the world's most powerful person, "You're the man." ... First-year New Mexico coach Bob Davie inherits a mess. Of the 67 scholarship players from the past three recruiting classes, 34 have left. "That's a shocking figure," Davie said.

Contact reporter Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2914. Follow him on Twitter: @markanderson65.