Mountain West Expansion Slows

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Mountain West Conference Expansion Not Happening; Sorry, Utah State And San Jose State

With reports coming out that the Mountain West Conference was considering adding Utah State and San Jose State at some point this week, the conference released a statement Tuesday announcing it’ll stand pat for now.

Though the MWC is losing TCU, Utah, and BYU, they’re gaining Boise State, Fresno State, Nevada, and Hawaii. With 10 teams on board, they won’t be able to hold a football championship game, which would’ve been the conference’s only real reason for adding Utah State or San Jose State. In the past they’ve even considered North Texas as a potential filler school.

From the conference’s website:

Over the past two days, the Board of Directors has engaged in a very thorough discussion of several key topics pertinent to the future of the Mountain West Conference. This has included, but not been limited to, issues related to television, the Bowl Championship Series and membership.

The Board feels strongly the membership configuration already established going forward creates outstanding prospects for future success. In addition, we are continuing with our strategic initiatives related to our television partnerships and the MWC’s efforts to effect change in the BCS structure. The Board is excited about what is undoubtedly a bright future for the Conference.

Whether this offseason’s conference realignment family fun will be as exciting as last year’s remains to be seen, but it sure is starting nice and early.

For more MWC, visit Mountain West Connection.


Hawaii Football Will Join Mountain West Conference In 2012

In November, reports emerged that Hawaii's football program would move from the Western Athletic Conference to the Mountain West Conference, and on Friday, those reports have been confirmed. From CBS Sports:

The University of Hawaii is joining the Mountain West Conference for football and the Big West in other sports, abandoning the Western Athletic Conference after 32 years.

School President M.R.C. Greenwood said Friday that Hawaii will make the move in 2012, following Boise State, Nevada and Fresno State to the MWC.

As expected, Hawaii's other sports programs will remain in the Western Athletics Conference. Hawaii's football program was the oldest in the WAC.

In 2010, Hawaii finished 24th in the BCS rankings and put together a 10-3 record, including a 7-1 mark within the WAC. The Rainbow Warriors made school history in 2008, when they became the third non-BCS team to appear in a BCS bowl. On December 24th, they'll face Tulsa in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.


WAC To Hawaii: Please Don't Go, Girl

In the ongoing telenovela that is the Mountain West expansion/WAC contraction/WAC re-expansion rigamarole, we've now reached the point where all involved parties have acknowledged their adultery, Hawaii is lugging boxes out of the house and deliberately avoiding eye contact, and the WAC has reached the "bargaining" stage of grief: In between sobs, cutting out Hawaii's eyes in all conference group photos, and stress eating, they've offered the Warriors a football-only membership to keep the family together:

Hawaii and the Mountain West acknowledged Thursday night that they are negotiating to have the Warriors join the league as a football-only member.

The WAC's offer to its longest-serving current member came after athletic directors at Idaho, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State, San Jose State and Utah State voted on a Thursday conference call.

Benson's e-mail also suggests that the Mountain West is still evaluating the impact of adding Hawaii on its television contract and the evaluation could take up to a month.

Our fervent hope, as always, is that this will stretch into the offseason to give us something to write about in March.

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