Boise State to the Mountain West? Perhaps

July, 22, 2009
7/22/09
2:02
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Graham Watson

LAS VEGAS -- The Mountain West has been talking about expanding, conference commissioner Craig Thompson said, but it's just been general conversation.

Thompson said Wednesday in his address to the media for Mountain West media days that the conversation of expansion comes up in nearly every meeting with directors, but that no specifics have been discussed.

"We spent a lot of time talking in general about expansion specifically, not about particular institutions," Thompson said. "I think the conversation typically at a directors level has centered on maybe a 10th will help us. But the real issue is practical scheduling."

If the Mountain West were to add a 10th team, Thompson said that it might ruin some of the rivalries that have started between Mountain West teams and BCS schools in their area, or rivalries between the service academies. Thompson said that adding a ninth conference game might throw a wrench in scheduling.

"You really take away any scheduling for BCS purposes, if you will," Thompson said. "Now, if conversely a team were to come in and really strengthen the BCS cause, that would be reason for focus. It's something that we've looked at."

I think it's interesting -- though not shocking -- that the Mountain West Conference is looking at expansion. The conference is looking for a way to strengthen its BCS résumé and adding the right team would be a good move. Although Thompson was speaking in generalities, I think it's fair to assume that Boise State would be at the top of the list should the conference expand. I mean, how many teams could really strengthen the conference's BCS résumé?

I think the thing we forget to mention when we talk about this is, what would happen to the WAC if Boise State left? Yes, the conference might be a little more level, but the WAC would definitely lose its selling point. There is no other team in the WAC that garners the kind of attention Boise State does. Losing it would be a big blow.

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