MW adds San Jose State, Utah State

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.

17 thoughts on “MW adds San Jose State, Utah State

  1. RG,

    Do you see either SDSU or BSU returning to the MW now that AQ status looks to be gone? How about the possibility of bringing UTEP over from CUSA?



    • Don’t see BSU or SDSU coming back. Still will get more money and exposure in Big East. UTEP coming over could happen. But with other teams from Texas in CUSA maybe not. I’d say a 50-50 chance.


  2. The “D 1” 4 game play off may one day (6 to 10 years) go to eight. Depending how creative or non creative the merger (USA/MTN) we may stand far enough above Sun Belt, Mid American etc to challenge the big boys once again. On the near term who really cares if its Utah State, Idaho, Montana or North Dakota State. When I lived in the Bay area it was the Pro teams first and foremost then Preppie school colors were Stanford or Cal. I don’t remember the Hearst empire ever writing about San Jose. The good news is Wyoming isn’t in the WAC or we might have found ourselves without a football home. go Pokes

  3. One last comment or really a question. Will Boise State, SDSU & BYU form a very competitive Basketball Conference (no Football) that would challenge Mtn recruiting & regional TV interest???? Do you think DU and many of the Cal teams such as Santa Barbara etc could grab a big spot light??

  4. Maybe watch Wyoing play Utah State, I have no interest in watching San Jose State. Quality opponents and rivals will fill the seats. Not so sure about what interest San Jose State will bring to the War or AA.

  5. Robert,
    Glass Half Full: I think Wyoming is in excellent position to bring back the 80’s and 90’s when Wyoming athletics were at the top of the WAC. The football teams were not to be messed with, a team visiting the War felt like it came out of one when they left… UW has made massive improvements and the state of Wyoming is in far better shape than most states which translates into solid funding for UW. The fan base is getting more and more excited for FB, Basketball, Cross Country, Wrestling Program is in the Top 10, etc… Point is: Wyoming has a tremendous opportunity in this new landscape.

    Glass Half Empty: The TV dealing is about as bad of a situation as it can be. By and large the Mtn TV network was excellent at providing Wyoming coverage. I am still at a loss why the Mtn has to close its doors? If the MW-CUSA merger means that the two conferences schedule out of confrence games with each other and a championship game, why does that mean the Mtn TV goes kaput? So we have the Mtn Network and CUSA has ESPN or whatever… I think the MW was chasing the phantom $$ and we’re worse off than before. I think the only hope for seeing the non-conference Wyoming games are whatever I can get on pay-per-view or Internet. With Texas next year, I need only worry about 5 games… Guess this is why season tickets were a good idea.

    Welcome Utah State (they are an up and coming FB program, and a natural rival replacement to BYU). Welcome SJSU to the WAC, um I mean new WAC, um I mean the MW. Whoa, flashbacks are crazy…
    Bottom Line: Wyoming has an opportunity here… lets take the bull by the horns and take care of business. Boise State, Utah have showed us the way and Wyoming has been a top program before… let’s get it done.

  6. I have read where people complained about the Mtn…no HD, some programming etc….I never thought that and enjoyed watching a lot of Poke games, news and All 22. Now it’s gone people will realize it is better than what we have now or what we’ll have later on.

    • The MTN did have HD the last 2 years for football. I throughly enjoyed watching (well, at least GETTING to watch) Wyoming basketball games the last few years.

      I had no complaints, because it sure beat listening to games online. No disrespect to Dave Walsh, of course.

      And, I loved going to my favorite bar here in AZ, and having them turn on the Wyoming game on the 50′ screen. “Who is watching the Wyoming game?” would always be heard. “One of our best customers,” was the bar’s response. 🙂

  7. Not a pessimist whatsoever, however I was absolutely hoping Thompson would exit stage left…..permanently. Send his collective suits out to Netherworld, never to suggest a scenario of wilting proportion again. Albatross, that is what we’re left with- yet you’ve got to go to the dance with your best partner. Bring on UTEP, and Idaho. We need 12 teams. Idaho is respectable and could be a fair representative and UTEP has been a great program in both B-ball and the possiblity of these two programs gives partners and access to different parts of the geography that Western folk like. We are not in a superior position to negotiate beyond that. I’m not on board with the CUSA bullcrap. Bottom line is the AD’s and Presidents need to rally the troops have a meeting without Craig and decide what is the best thing to do with the vestiges of our remaining Institutions and get ta deal set. Thompson is a chump and I have zero confidence in him. Go Pokes.

    • I would have liked to see either Idaho or UTEP over SJSU. Even New Mexico State would have been better in the long run than a school from San Jose that is, hopelessly irrelevant even in its own metro area, and will likely remain so–perminently.

      I also agree they need to come on board to bring us to 12.

  8. I expect the MWC to stay at ten schools for the short term, but further changes across the landscape horizon loom. The Big 12 has just named a new commissioner, and I expect that conference to grow to 12 or 14 teams with movement beginning later this calendar year or early next year. Their logical targets are Louisville and Cincinnati, but other schools could become part of the mix including even Colorado State and New Mexico — although I think in the end they won’t pass muster for a BCS conference. The Big East could lose two more schools – Rutgers, Connecticut, and/or South Florida – to an ACC that seems destined to become a 16 school conference. Arkansas is not a sure thing to stay in the SEC; and one has to wonder if and when the Big 10 and Pacific 12 decide to add two more schools each to keep up with the SEC. Whether Boise State and San Diego State decide to stay with the Big East remains to be seen; I suspect in the end they will come back to a conference closer to their locations, which logically would be the Pacific 12. BYU is also an unknown; one knows they are making more $$ than they did in the MWC, but even bigger $$$ may await in the Big 12 down the road. As different as the conference landscape was 5-10 years ago will also be the case even two or three years from now. Its unfortunate Idaho and New Mexico State are being left to hold the bag, but they may yet land on their feet in a better situation than they have been in. I expect Denver and Seattle to end up in the WCC for basketball and other Olympic sports, perhaps as soon as 2013. The WAC has been a part of my life for over 40 years in varying degrees, less so in recent years, but it will be missed. I greatly welcome Utah St and San Jose St to the MWC, but I am concerned with SJSU’s situation for the long term as California is bankrupt and choices will be made soon that may end that seemingly money hole of a football program in San Jose and in other smaller and lower profile California universities in order to save other California state programs and subsidies that have great political support and have more importance and effect.

  9. Not impressed at all with the addition of Utah State and San Jose State. I think that Mexico State and Utep wouldhave been much better additions. Robert- After seeing the spring football depth chart, I noticed defensive end Mark Willis was not listed on the rooster, has he left the program or still on the team?

    • Was told this spring he’s still on the team. Didn’t see much from him this spring.

  10. BE gets rid of their commish. So much instability in that league right now, and a whole lot of infighting with 4 to 5 universities still courting ACC/Big-12. Sure, they hope to hire the next Larry Scott, but I don’t think that is likely. Their product they are going to put on the field when negotiating a new TV contract might not be that impressive, and with further defections overshadowing negotiations… I really wonder how much these TV networks are going to invest in the BE.

    Add to all of this the further defections from the WAC (BSU non-football sports), and the displeasure of going to the WCC for SDSU, there has got to be some leanings for these schools to go back to the MWC. With 4 games in football out east, and with gas prices going up, doubling the fuel burn and prices for these flights is gonna get real expensive quick.

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