To borrow from the old cliche, you can't tell who's in and who's out in the Mountain West without a program.
Over the last couple of seasons the MWC has lost BYU and Utah, and then TCU, but added Boise State. This year brought in Nevada and Fresno State. Next year, though, the Broncos and San Diego State bolt for the Big East (makes sense, right?), while San Jose State and Utah State join in.
Got all that straight? Yeah, me neither.
As for this season, here's a look at the odds to win the Mountain West Conference crown.
Boise State, despite returning just seven starters from the team that went 6-1 in the MWC last year, is listed as a 10/3 favorite at most shops tracked by OddsShark.com to win the conference this season. The Broncos came within a missed field goal of possibly playing in the national title game last year, but now move on without, among others, QB Kellen Moore, RB Doug Martin, WR Tyler Shoemaker and nine starters on defense.
BSU gets fellow contender Fresno State at home, but the MWC title might be decided on the final day of the conference season when the Broncos visit Nevada.
The Wolf Pack is the second choice on the MWC board at 11/2. The Pack gets back six starters on both sides of the ball from a team that went 5-2 in the WAC last year, including QB Cody Fajardo and three along the O line.
But they'll have to replace their top two rushers, top two receivers and top two tacklers. However, the schedule is kind, with three very winnable conference road games, and Fresno State and Boise State both in Reno.
Those Bulldogs, who went 3-4 in the WAC last year, are the third pick to win the MWC this year at 15/2. FSU returns seven starters on both sides of the ball, led by QB Derek Carr (26 TD/9 INT last year) and 1,500-yard rusher Robbie Rouse, for its first season without Coach Hill. But the 'Dogs have to play at both Boise State and Nevada.
And Wyoming, with 12 starters back after going 5-2 in conference last year, is getting 16/1 to win the conference title this season.
Filling out the 2012 Mountain West championship board is Air Force, with just six starters back after going a disappointing 3-4 in conference last year, and San Diego State, with 12 returning starters but without QB Ryan Lindley and RB Ronnie Hillman, are both getting 20/1; Colorado State, with 15 returning starters for its first season under new HC McElwain, is listed at 35/1; Hawaii, with just 10 starters back for its first season under new HC Chow, is lined at 40/1; UNLV, with 12 starters back for its third season under Coach Hauck, is getting 65/1; and New Mexico, with 14 returning starters for its first season under new HC Davie, will pay off at odds of 100/1 if it can pull off the impossible and win the Mountain West title this season.