So much for the rumors that the Mountain West Conference was on the verge of extending an invitation to everyone's favorite Cinderella, Boise State -- at least for now. According to ESPN's Bruce Feldman, MWC commissioner Craig Thompson has ruled out the league expanding at this time, citing the unsettled college football landscape.
But this hardly means that the MWC isn't eyeing a bold move in the short-term. While Thompson indicated that Boise State's bid "unraveled" in the last 48 hours, the real issue, per their own admission, is that the MWC prefers for any Pac-10/Big 12/Big 10 shakeup to play out -- at which point the MWC would presumably swoop in and try to pick up the leftovers. If the Pac-10 does indeed cannibalize the Big 12, and the Big 10 picks up Missouri and/or Nebraska, this could mean that MWC would be the most geographically natural landing spot for Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State and Baylor/Colorado (depending on whether the Texas legislature can bully the Pac-10 into taking the ugly stepchild of the Texas Big 12 schools).
Boise State will likely remain in the mix -- Chadd Cripe of Broncos Beat reported that the MWC commissioner said that the "door had not closed" on Boise State joining the conference -- but in the meantime the MWC is trying to position itself to pick up the pieces of a potential Big 12 cataclysm, bolstering their claims that they deserve treatment as a major conference.