BOISE — Boise State football coach Chris Petersen always uses the same one-word description for the wait to play night games: "painful."
Here comes the pain - in a potentially large dose.
The Broncos play Wyoming at 8:21 p.m. Saturday at Bronco Stadium. They play at San Diego State at 8:30 p.m. next week. ESPN could serve up another night game Nov. 30 against New Mexico. If the Broncos qualify, the Mountain West championship game is set for 8 p.m. Dec. 7.
The late kickoffs are set by TV partners eager to drag out college football programming from morning to midnight.
Each team will receive a $500,000 TV bonus from the MW for Saturday's game. Wyoming also received $500,000 for its late game last week against Fresno State.
"Yes, it's worth it," Petersen said. "A lot of people get to see you and the university gets money for it, too. That's what we're all about. That's what it comes down to."
Said Wyoming coach Dave Christensen: "I like games at any time when they're on ESPN."
The MW, as part of the deal to keep BSU in the league, implemented a TV bonus structure this season. Schools receive $300,000 for weeknight games on ESPN, ESPN2 or a broadcast network, or $500,000 for Saturday games (MW-controlled games only). So far, the big winners have been Fresno State ($1.3 million), BSU ($1.1 million) and Wyoming ($1 million).
BSU could get another $500,000 for the New Mexico game.
Night games can be an attendance challenge - ticket sales have been sluggish for the BSU-Wyoming game - but there's a different atmosphere at night, too.
"There is something about those night games that has always been good around here," Petersen said. " I just hope it's not so late that (fans) are tired. We need to have that Bronco energy."
Chadd Cripe: 377-6398; Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat