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How the Conference USA - Mountain West merger might affect Boise State

Two of America's more desperate football conferences announced a merger yesterday, and beginning in 2013, the Mountain West and Conference USA will be one. Happy Valentine's Day, lovebirds.

The new superconference of mild irrelevance hopes to feature 18-24 teams and hold semifinals before its championship games and, most importantly, get itself a new television contract. Boise State narrowly avoided getting its foot caught in the trap when it chose to bolt for the Big East. Good call, I'd say. But still, the CUSA-Mountain West marriage might have some affects on Bronco Nation. For instance:

Where will Boise State's Olympic sports go if the WAC no longer exists?

Many folks are predicting the demise of the WAC if the new CUSA-MWC makes good on its promise of 18-24 teams by poaching several lesser and lesser WAC ones. If enough schools leave, there may be no WAC, and if there is no WAC, then Boise State's basketball teams and the like will need to find a new place to call home. There's always the Big West, which will adopt Hawaii's orphaned non-football programs, or the West Coast Conference, which picked up BYU. Someone will want the Broncos, and that's more than I can say about ...

The Idaho Vandals: No one's expansion target

Wither Idaho football? Hopefully! The Vandals appear to be collateral damage if the WAC does indeed go by the wayside. No one is talking about Idaho when it comes to conference realignment, probably because people have forgot the Vandals exist.

Boise State may have no one to collect its exit fee

Brian Murphy asks:


Are Bronco fans missing out?

I'll admit that the idea of a 24-team superconference with its own quasi-playoff sounds intriguing if only because any type of playoff in any way, shape, or form is intriguing at this point. And with the unknown of BCS bids and the Big East's football reputation, I would be lying if I said that I had not considered what life would have been like if the Broncos would have remained tied to Craig Thompson's hair cart in the Mountain West.

But I have faith that the Big East will be the best place for Boise State football in the present and the future, so it's hard to lust after a Mountain Conference USA West with the Colorado States and Rices of the world. I'm intrigued, but ultimately not interested.

Your turn

How does the CUSA-MWC merger make you feel? Wistful? Relieved? Ambivalent? What do you think about the future of Boise State's Olympic sports? Share your thoughts in the comments.