I don't know about you, but I'm sick of the 'Power 5' dominating college sports. You know who I'm talking about. The Pac 12, the Big 12*, the Big 10*, the SEC, and the ACC. These guys run college sports, and if they have their way, they'll run it even more moving forward. There's only way to bust up this hegemony, and that's to push your way to the table.
This is where the Mountain West Conference comes in. Widely regarded as one of, if not the best, conference outside of the Power 5, it's time for the MWC to flex it's muscle and make the Big 12 scoot over at the table.
How is that ever going to happen, you ask? Easy. Really, really easy. So easy it's scary, actually. Let's start with basketball.
Currently, the MWC is home to the basketball programs for Nevada, Boise St, Wyoming, Utah State, UNLV, New Mexico, Colorado St, San Diego St, Fresno St, Air Force and San Jose St. Not bad, not great, but decent enough. This year, it's been pretty obvious that two teams are getting shafted in the Top 25 rankings: Gonzaga and St Mary's. What if the MWC added them as affiliate members for basketball? That's a win for everyone, and immediately puts the other conferences on notice.
But we aren't done yet, because the MWC is adding two programs that are bringing their football teams, too. New Mexico State, who are currently looking for a new conference, and North Dakota State. NMS gives you a rivalry in New Mexico and a strong basketball program, while NDS is the king of the College Football Subdivision, strengthening you on the football side.
Now you've gone from 11 to 15 teams in basketball, and 14 in football. Hawaii is a football only member of the MWC. To keep things even, the Mountain West could now add other strong FCS programs that can help with both sports programs, like Montana, Northern Arizona, or South Dakota St, and another basketball only member, like Grand Canyon University.
In my ideal future, the Mountain West Conference looks like this in basketball and football.
That's a pretty strong looking conference to me, definitely stronger than the Big 12! And it would be the first large conference to reach 16 members in football, which is a big step up.
What do you think? Too much, not enough? Would the MWC be better off doing some of this and rather than taking more FCS programs try and pull away some of the smaller Big 12 programs, like Kansas and Kansas St? Let me know in the comments!
*The Big 12 - currently has 10 members.
*The Big 10 - currently has 14 members.
One week after publishing this article, reports surfaced that Gonzaga and the MWC are talking.