The Mountain West Conference is Looking at Expansion Again

The Mountain West Conference will be having an executive board call tomorrow morning, according to commissioner Craig Thompson. It's a previously arrainged conference call, but the subject matter isn't---the conference realignment playing out in the Big 12 Conference.

Texas A&M has announced that it intends to leave the Big 12 for possibly the SEC, and with Oklahoma and Oklahoma State considering a move to the Pac 12, sources now are saying that Texas and Texas Tech could also go with them. The Pac 12 was interesting adding them last year, but has not offered an invite this year. But Pac commissioner Larry Scott says he is willing to listen if Oklahoma or anyone else wants to join his conference. So how could all that play out in the coming weeks or months? For one thing, for any Texas team to leave the Big 12 conference they need to get by the Texas legislature who always seem to have their hands all over any conference movement. This time is no different and they are once again threatening to get involved. Baylor has a lot of pull with the legislature so don't be surprised to see them try and prevent any Texas defections that could leave them without a BCS conference. Don't forget, the Texas politicos have a lot of power and were the ones who insisted that Baylor be admitted into the Big 12 in the first place. Will the demise of the Big 12 conferece happen? If Oklahoma State billionaireT. Boone Pickens says it's all over, then it's all over.
So assuming that all four do bolt for a new Pac 16 conference, where does that leave the rest of the Big 12? Missouri and Kansas could have the Big East, the Big 10 or the SEC to go to. If Missouri followed Texas A&M to the SEC as their 14th team, Kansas (and just possibly Kansas State) might find themselves a home in the Big East. Jeremy Mauss wrote here earlier today that the Big East is also reaching out to the remaining schools. The Big East would love nothing better than to have at least two of those schools on board to save themselves in case the ACC comes calling.

Any scenario could leave Baylor, Iowa State and maybe Kansas State without a home. And if Texas decided to take their Longhorn Network and go as an independent that could leave Texas Tech scrambling as well. It is doubtful the Pac 12 would admit Texas Tech without Texas as part of the deal.

"There couldn't be a better time to call," Thompson said after Boise State's 35-21 victory against Georgia in its first game as a member of the Mountain West.

And why not go after remaining schools? Thompson is out in front of this thing with a pro-active approach. He's getting the Mountain West Conference presidents on board in case the opportunity arises to admit any of the remaining Big 12 schools. "There's several options to take and several things to look at," he said. "That's all we can do right now, set up for all these different things."

At least the MWC is not sitting back waiting to get poached in case whatever schools are left in the Big 12 decide to try and rebuild.

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