Just got off a conference call where the Mountain West announced the additions of San Jose State and Utah State to the Mountain West.
Speculation of this has gone on for months so it was no surprise. But other than two more teams in the MW, there really were not a whole lot of answers to the future of the league or its merger with Conference USA, which announced the addition of five new teams Friday.
Some thoughts on what MW commissioner Craig Thompson said today:
–He said the MW/CUSA merger is still on, but no further details have been hammered out. When the two announced its merger a few months ago there is an end-of-June deadline to either cancel it, extend the talks or re-write what it originally wanted to do. One of those things is to have a championship football game. But you need at least 12 teams to do that. The MW has 10. Will it bring over some CUSA teams to its side? Will it add more teams (Thompson didn’t seem too high on that idea). Or, will it join forces under one name and one league? Stay tuned.
–Thompson said “there is room at the table” in terms of discussion if Boise State and San Diego State would like to stay in the MW instead of bolting for the Big East next season. Thompson also said those schools’ other sports won’t play in the MW if their football teams go to the Big East or elsewhere.
–Scheduling, TV and a football championship game are among the many topics league and conference officials will discuss in the coming days and months.
–Thompson said the main attractions for both San Jose State and Utah State were their committments to athletics, athletics construction in terms of facilities and academic commitments to student-athletes. He also liked how some rivalries will be maintained, such as Utah State with Wyoming and CSU; and San Jose State with Fresno State.
–In terms of TV this season for MW football, Thompson said the league is in talks with networks to possibly add as many as 15 to 20 more games on more regional platforms. UW has just one game with the league’s national TV partners.
That’s it for now, but would love to hear your thoughts on this latest move. You can count on many more to come.
For more on this story, see Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang.