Mountain West has 12 teams, so what is next?

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Mountain West is a 12-team league for the 2013 football season, so what does the league do next.

The 2013 Mountain West Conference will have 12 football playing members now that Boise State and San Diego State, so the question that arises now has to be what is next. Historically commissioner Craig Thompson has been slow to make changes to the league, Boise State fans disliked the commissioner for taking their time to invite them in the league.

The few times where Thompson did move quickly was when he added Nevada and Fresno State -- later Hawai'i -- which was to kill off the WAC. The other was setting up a deal to keep Boise State in the league, which came to be on New Year's Eve.

The Mountain West had a teleconference on the matter on Wednesday keeping San Diego State, and some key points in that teleconference came out that Thompson is not sure if the league will have a title game or expand beyond 12 teams.

With the Mountain West still lagging far behind the other five power leagues, a conference title game must happen in 2013. With 12 teams that is allowed, and the value of a title game has to be worth a couple of million dollars, with a max of probably $5 million (these are just educated guesses on my behalf).

If this is not done in 2013 then Thompson and the league have failed miserably. This could be a game placed on CBS and take place either prior or after the SEC title game on Championship Saturday. The paramaters of a title game should have the championship game played on the campus of the better team, because if this game is played at a neutral site to whether it be in Las Vegas or Denver it will not sell out.

The only way it might is if local schools play in the game, but seeing UNLV, Colorado State, Air Force or Wyoming in the title game is not likely, and those are the schools in that area who could help a solid crowd if played on a neutral field in those cities.

As for a division set up, that has been discussed on this site, here and here.

Here we go again for a refresher about how divisions would look. There will not be any permanent cross-division permanent, and there will be an eight-game league schedule.

Pacific Division

UNLV
Nevada
San Jose State
San Diego State
Hawaii
Fresno State

Mountain Division

Air Force
Wyoming
Colorado State
New Mexico
Boise State
Utah State

The other, less likely, is a North and South split of teams.

North

Boise State
Air Force
Wyoming
Colorado State
San Jose State
Utah State

South

San Diego State
Hawaii
New Mexico
UNLV
Nevada
Fresno State

The Mountain and Pacific -- or East and West -- looks a lot nicer and fits better, also the league does not want a Big Ten or ACC scenario where the divisions are set up where the average fan can not figure it out. Not that non-Mountain West fans even know the teams now, but a North/South split would not be good idea.

As for other teams who could join the league, Thompson was also mum on that idea as well. If there are going to be any more moves we know the teams involved are BYU, UTEP, Tulsa, Houston and New Mexico State. If any of those teams are going to be added it likely will not happen until about June, and 2013 will have 12 teams. Beyond that, the league could go to 14 teams, but that will be down the road.

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