Weber State and Southern Utah could play in the future as Big Sky Conference foes at Rio Tinto Stadium on the Friday before General Conference -- if a lot of details can be worked out.
Weber State athletics director Jerry Bovee and Southern Utah AD Ken Beazer have discussed the potential for a neutral site showdown between the in-state rivals once SUU joins the Big Sky in 2012.
"This is an important game for both of our institutions in the future and we want to build it to where it becomes, at our level, a nice in-state rivalry in conference. We're the only schools (in Utah) playing conference games in-state. Ken and I are going to work together to figure out what that means and where it fits. Right now everything is on the table."
The biggest hurdle would be trading off a home game, Bovee said, but that could possibly be resolved if each team can schedule at least five home games in a season and trade using the neutral site game as rotating sixth home game.
WSU and SUU have also informally discussed playing the game on the Friday previous to the General Conference held by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints annually on the first weekend of October, which comes with its own set of logistics challenges.
Rio Tinto Stadium officials have expressed interested in hosting the contest if all the hurdles can be cleared.
If they can, the Wildcats and Thunderbirds could be looking for a similarly snappy title for their rivalry game. No word on if Bovee and Beazer are fans of Saturday morning kids cartoons from the '80s, but if they are, they might consider calling it the ThunderCat Bowl.
Sophomore tailback Josh Booker expects Weber State's 35-28 loss Saturday at Stewart Stadium to be on the Wildcats' minds a year from now when the 'Cats and T-birds play their first league game against each other.
Southern Utah scored 25 consecutive points to come back from a 21-10 second-half deficit.
"We definitely will have a lot of juices flowing next year when we play against them, especially with the way that we lost this game," Booker said. "We'll have a lot of resentment and a lot of anger going into this game next year. I think it could turn into a rivalry, but we're definitely looking for revenge after this. This is one of the harder losses."
Linebacker Mo Neal won't be on the field for that game, but he thinks the rivalry will grow.
"I'm a senior but I feel like it is going to be a great rivalry for this conference between Weber State and Southern Utah because both are great teams with high potential, very high potential," he said. "It's just making the conference a whole lot more competitive."
Weber State's men's and women's basketball teams will hold their annual Purple and White scrimmages Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Dee Events Center.
The Weber State men start their season Nov. 7 with an exhibition game against Colorado-Colorado Springs. The regular season begins Nov. 11 against Northern New Mexico.
The Wildcats women open exhibition play Nov. 5 at home against Adams State and start the regular season Nov. 13 at Boise State.
Weber State's Wildcat Club luncheon will be held today at noon at the Ogden Marriott Hotel on 24th Street. Cost is $10 per person. The luncheons are open to the public. For more information, call the Wildcat Club at 801-626-6576 or visit WeberStateAthletics.com.
Roy Burton covers Weber State sports. He posts news about the Wildcats at blogs.standard.net/wsu-sports-blog and at twitter.com/RoyBurton.