The Mountain West Conference Board of Directors met today in Las Vegas to discuss the topic of future membership. After the recent defections of Brigham Young, Utah, and Texas Christian universities one might wonder if they discussed all the needed topics besides the addition of the University of Hawaii in football?
Prior to losing their three top teams, BYU becoming an independent, Utah to the Pacific Athletic Conference, and TCU to the Big East, MWC Commissioner Craig Thompson seemed more than reluctant to any change particularly with regards to conference expansion. This is evidenced in the fact that the Mountain West only offered Boise State admission once Utah was already PAC-ing up. MWC fans, and especially Western Athletic Conference fans, had long been clamoring for expansion into a 12-team, divisional conference—the number required to support a conference championship game.
Seemingly short sighted, the MWC reasons for not expanding has been most often communicated as sic, "no desire to split current revenues" by more than the current amount of nine teams. That reasoning should feel pretty penny-wise and pound-foolish now but, the question is, "does the MWC get it yet?" As outlined back mid-June of this year in "MWC: Boise State In, Utah Out, Now What?", expansion with the correct teams would not only have protected the MWC from the poaching it’s experienced but also would have been an avenue to increase it’s luke-to-moderately warm Bowl Championship Series Auto-Qualifying resume.
The same situation still exists today albeit now it’s more on investment in a future BCS AQ bid since BYU, Utah, and TCU’s past records applicable to this BCS AQ evaluation period will apply to other conferences - or not at all. However, rebuilding to the same level and even further (with the recent and future expansion) may not be that far off for the MWC.