The Mountain West Conference made itself famous recently by trying to stand up to the BCS and fight for their own automatic bid in the NCAA's postseason bowl system. It's a battle that continues to rage on, but if they really want to be taken seriously in their quest there's a simple solution.
They must expand.
During their recent media days, the idea of expansion has been brought up and centered around the idea to get Boise State to join the conference. While this would be a great move for the Mountain West, and certainly a step in the right direction, it would be a mistake to stop there.
For the MWC to really make some noise in the college football world, they would have to add not just one team, but three, and raise their total number of schools to 12. This would allow them to restructure the conference into two, six-team divisions and add a conference championship game at the end of the season.
So we've discussed Boise State as the likely No. 1 target of expansion, but who would you attempt to bring in as the 11th and 12th schools?
Well if you're going to raid the WAC and attempt to bring in their most prolific football school, why not go after two other elite teams from that conference?
Hawaii and Fresno State would add a lot of credibility and history to the MWC and would create a number of nationally marketable football games.
Here is how I would set up the two divisions with the idea of trying to keep the WAC teams together and also taking location into factor as well:
Division 1: Air Force, BYU, Utah, TCU, New Mexico, and Colorado State
Division 2: Boise State, Hawaii, Fresno State, Wyoming, San Diego State, and UNLV
While this would most likely destroy the WAC as we know it, the MWC would be in a much better position to protect itself from an eventual raid from the PAC-10. They have also been talking about adding two teams to bring their total to 12, with BYU and Utah being the top targets.
Perhaps even if the PAC-10 did come calling in a few years, if this 12-team MWC secured an automatic BCS bid, the Cougars and Utes would not feel the need to make the jump.
Follow Allen Pope on Twitter at http://twitter.com/allenpope
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