MWC could seize shot to get stronger

June, 10, 2010
6/10/10
12:51
PM CT
Depending on how much more the landscape of college athletics changes, the Mountain West Conference might be in position to really take advantage of it and strengthen its league.

Commissioner Craig Thompson was not available for interviews thanks to a pre-arranged family vacation. But he did issue this statement today:
“The Mountain West Conference is fully in tune with the ongoing developments in the intercollegiate athletics landscape, including today’s announcement of a change in other conferences’ memberships,” Thompson said. “We remain in communication with key parties and are continuing to implement our internal strategies. These deliberations are ongoing and will be remain confidential until the appropriate time.”

So what if Big 12 teams Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State bolt for the Pac-10, er, 16? If I'm the MWC, I'm ready to jump in and expand in a hurry.

And the best part for the MWC is they sit at 9 teams now. They could expand all the way to 16 or settle at somewhere in between. For TV purposes, this game of realignment and expansion is all about college football. But how good would Kansas' basketball program look for the MWC. They could add the Big 12 leftovers: Kansas, Kansas State, Baylor and Iowa State and throw in Boise State and go with a 14 team conference with two 7-team divisions. They could even go another step and take Houston and UTEP or a host of other possibilities (Mizzouri if they don't go Big 10?) and go to 16 teams. Of course, the MWC could also just invite Kansas, Kansas State and Boise and leave Baylor and Iowa State on the outside looking in.

The bottom line: There are plenty of options to make the MWC stronger. Yes, they are already on the path to inclusion in the BCS. But adding these types of teams only enhances that position.

What do you think?
Richard Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. Richard spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News covering the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and high schools.

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