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Who was Paul J. Schneider's inside man?

The Boise State - Mountain West rumor mill has been in full-blown milling mode for the past few months. The Broncos need the MWC. The MWC needs the Broncos. You do the math.

Paul J. Schneider did the math, and then he did some asking around. Tom Scott picks up the story from there:

Paul J. Schneider reported on KTIK yesterday that a "reliable source" (who would annihilate him if his or her name was revealed) says Boise State has received a letter indicating that the Mountain West will invite the school to the conference next spring. MWC commissioner Craig Thompson still maintains there's been no formal discussion about expansion and no conversations with Boise State. And Schneider followed up later, saying that BSU spokesman Frank Zang denies there's any such letter or discussion.

Well done, Paul J. Not only did the former voice of the Broncos unearth a juicy tidbit in the saga of the Mountain West - Boise State merger, he blabbed about it on local sports radio for all to hear. Bob Behler, are you taking notes? This is the kind of journalism Bronco fans respect.

And who's to say Schneider's claim isn't true? It certainly sounds plausible. And we have found that whenever both parties start vehemently denying things, those things typically turn out to be true.

The only way we can know for sure is to know the who, what, and why behind Schneider's source. Here are the suspects we have wrangled so far:

Max Corbet. The assistant athletic director/media relations keymaster seems a likely candidate for being privy to such information as conference relocation. But are his lips loose enough to spill the beans to Paul J.? We've had conversations with Corbet about getting press passes, and our impression of the man is that he is a hard-liner with a professional demeanor and no regard for other people's feelings. But Paul J. is not "other people."

Todd Miles. Boise State's former Sports Information Director recently took a job at Long Beach State in a similar capacity. Might he have been interested in burning bridges on his way out the door? The only problem with this theory is that Miles would have had to fly back to Boise from Long Beach State, rummage through the athletic office's incoming mail, steam open the letter from the MWC, set up a suspicious lunch date with Paul J. at the A&W, then fly back to LBSU before anyone noticed. He must have really wanted to burn those bridges.

Tom Scott. It would be the ultimate con! Scott could have surreptiously mentioned Schneider's flubsy while all the while being the mastermind before the not-so-secret announcement. What an innocent cover. Scott has deep connections to the Bronco athletic program, so it would be likely that he would have his finger on the pulse of MWC rumblings. Nice try, Tommy, but we see right through you just like we saw through Sawyer on LOST.

David Augusto. The only problem with Augusto as a potential suspect is that we doubt people tell him important things like this. And if they did, he would sooner write them in his diary than spread them to Paul J.

Alphabet soup. Schneider could have discovered the MWC epiphany via low-sodium noodles and broth, as if Campbell's soup was some sort of prophet. However, the odds of a bowl of alphabet soup randomly spelling, "Dear Bob Kustra, won't you join the Mountain West Conference? Sincerely, Craig Thompson" are some long odds.

The Ghost Whisperer. She speaks to dead people on her CBS show. Who's to say she couldn't divine the contents of a letter she's never seen?

Jared Zabransky. For some reason, Zabransky is still a fixture around Bronco athletics, showing up on the sidelines at games and in bobblehead commercials that break the unintentional comedy scale. But guarded secrets? Would the Broncos really entrust him with that? Perhaps a better question to ask is whether or not Paul J. frequents P.F. Chang's.

Imaginary friend. This would be the same imaginary friend from whom ESPN's Chris Mortensen gets his information.

Read more: Ignoring the spread and accentuating the positives [Scott Slant]