In the middle of last week, it looked like a no-brainer: The Mountain West Conference needed to add Boise State.

Funny how as this week begins, there is no doubt the Mountain West did the correct thing in not offering Boise State membership to the league at Monday’s president meetings.

Too many expansion scenarios are looming among the nation’s power conferences as the never-ending push for money and greed – the two things that run college athletics – explodes once again. This time, one of the six powerful conferences (Big 12) could be on the verge of imploding.

Missouri and Nebraska are clamoring to be part of the Big Ten’s possible expansion. The Pac-10 has suddenly lost its mind and wants to include half of the Big 12 – Texas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and Baylor – in a new 16-team league that makes little geographic sense.

If all those moves were to happen, suddenly Big 12 leftovers Colorado, Kansas, Kansas State and Iowa State need new homes.

A 12-team Mountain West that includes Colorado, Kansas and Kansas State is a much better option than a 10-team league in which Boise State is the lone new addition.

Definitely makes for some awkward moments as things shake out over the next few weeks. Boise State has been pleading – begging? groveling? – to be admitted to the Mountain West for several years. Now when the school gets to the front door for entry, it finds out the door is locked and nobody is answering. Even the back door is padlocked.

It’s kind of like a teenage girl being excited for a Saturday night movie date with the high school football star and then finding out she was the fourth option.

If the Big 12 were to go away and the Mountain West added Colorado, Kansas and Kansas State, it no longer needs Boise State in its quest to become an automatic BCS qualifying conference in football. And the league, already strong in basketball, becomes a very fierce conference in that sport.

Adding the storied tradition of Kansas and a powerful Kansas State program to a league that sent four schools (New Mexico, Brigham Young, UNLV and San Diego State) to the 2010 NCAA tournament makes for a very solid basketball league.

Of course, one thing the Mountain West needs to do at the president meetings that end Tuesday is make sure that none of its current members are thinking of bolting to a better league should dominos start falling. The school’s top three football programs – Texas Christian, Utah and Brigham Young – all would be appealing additions to a league trying to keep afloat. You know, like a desperate Big 12 doing anything it can not to fold.

As for Boise State, the school badly needs to move up from the lower-tier Western Athletic Conference. The Mountain West was the perfect fit for the school less than a week ago. Now the Broncos are in a tough situation if this month ends without the Mountain West opting to include them in any expansion.

Boise State’s problem is that the landscape suddenly changed and it needs the Mountain West much, much more than the league needs the Broncos.

But Boise State can feel good about one thing – if the Mountain West suddenly finds itself in desperation mode, it knows there is a school with an elite football program just begging to join.

  1. Yeah and next we’ll be debating oil spills! 🙂

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