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Scott D. Pierce: Go figure — ESPN suddenly loves MWC

For the third time in four weeks, ESPN's "College GameDay" will originate from a Mountain West Conference site — Fort Worth, where No. 16 Utah will visit No. 4 TCU.

Last week, "GameDay" (Saturday, 8 a.m.) was in Colorado Springs for the Air Force-Army game. Two weeks before that, it was in Provo for the TCU-BYU game.

TCU-BYU was the only matchup between ranked teams that Saturday. Utah-TCU is not the only such matchup this Saturday. No. 10 Iowa visits No. 11 Ohio State. And that game's on ESPN's sister network, ABC.

Hmmmm …

I'm extremely skeptical of the reports that the MWC is going to expand and gain an automatic BCS bid. But ESPN — the home of the BCS starting next season — has sure been nice to the MWC lately.

NO BRONCOS: This is also the week that Boise State thought it might host "GameDay" for its game against Idaho. Not much of anybody outside Boise thought that would happen — and Idaho's losses to Nevada and Fresno State clinched that.

THE MTN. IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Who would've thought that it would take an out-of-control women's soccer player to put The mtn. in the national spotlight?

Clips of New Mexico's Elizabeth Lambert committing various thuglike acts in a loss to BYU in the MWC Tournament have been all over the various sports networks, news channels and Internet.

Lambert pulling BYU's Kassidy Shumway down by her ponytail has been seen on everything from "Good Morning, America" to "Today" to "The O'Reilly Factor."

It continues to play repeatedly on "Late Show With David Letterman." It was even in Tuesday's Top Ten List — No. 3 on the "Top Ten Ways the Marines are Celebrating their 234th Birthday."

"Protect United States from that hair-pulling soccer player." With another replay.

In addition to the clips themselves, two factors played into the media sensation they created. First, these were women soccer players.

And, second, a lot of people remain under the impression that soccer is not a tough, contact sport. It is.

Lambert, however, carried it to a whole new level.

Didn't anybody tell her the game was being televised? Doesn't she know that even if the ref doesn't catch you, the cameras often do?

Apparently not.

You'd think she might have clued in to this because of this fall's other college sports video scandal. Even if you're not a college football fan, it was hard to avoid the clip of Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount punching a Boise State player after the Ducks lost to the Broncos.

Blount is returning to the field for Oregon this week after an eight-game suspension — two-thirds of the season.

It will be interesting to see how many games New Mexico keeps Lambert (a junior) out of next season for her captured-on-video transgressions. Which, arguably, are considerably more serious than Blount's actions.