The MWC Chooses Not To Expand...For Now

As many speculated, the Mountain West Conference will wait until the dust settles on expansion throughout college athletics to decide to expand.

"Due to the uncertainty in the intercollegiate landscape and the potential for significant shifts potentially in the immediate future, the board did not make a decision to expand at the present time," said MWC Commissioner Craig Thompson in a press conference.  "The Mountain West will continue to monitor developments and conduct its due diligence.  We're very thorough in all our discussions and prepare for potential scenarios." 

With the potential of grabbing Big 12 teams if the league blows up, the MWC will strategically and weigh all options before making a decision premature.  Nebraska's decision between the Big 12 and Big Ten, which is expected to come by Friday, will be crucial as it looks to determine the future of the Big 12.  

"I think there has been mention that one particular league has asked commitment for date specific and it could be expended," Thompson said as he is clearly aware of the Big 12 deadline.  

Expect a decision to come soon if they do decide to expand.  The deadline to add Boise State to play in the 2011 season is July 1.  They would have to play in the 2011 season to count as a  MWC team in the BCS Evaluation.  Thompson acknowledged that deadline numerous times in the press conference.

"I don't think the door is closed," Thompson said about the league adding Boise State.   "If they are going to give notification, it would have to have to be by July 1 to the WAC."

This is not about lack of interest in Boise State, but rather a decision to weigh all options before making a decision.

 "The interested that the board had in particularly in Boise State coming into the meeting probably hasn't changed going out of the meeting," said Thompson.

Thompson said that the presidents won't meet again in person, but they will be available to meet again via conference call.  He said the league is trying to be "proactive and reactive simultaneously."  

"The take away from this meeting after two days is as at this time, on June 7, they opted not to expand," said Thompson.   "I think the topic of expansion is still very much alive"

Thompson noted that the MWC evaluated expansion by one team, three teams or even to a 16-team conference.  He said that their initial preference wouldn't be a 16-team league, but it is something they would look at if that became the trend in college athletics.

Their options to expand now may be very different than their options in a week or two.  It makes sense for them to wait.  Stay tuned.

Follow Michael Rueckert on Twitter @MichaelRueckert

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