Mountain West expansion: League in talks with Tulsa, UTSA not likely to earn an invite

Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports

Tulsa is in talks with the Mountain West, but Texas-San Antonio is not likely to get an invite.

While San Diego State still gets the first chance to remain in the Mountain West by Jan. 31, but that does not mean that Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson is burning through his long distance minutes contacting other schools to join the league.

Earlier on Monday, it was being reporter that the SMU Mustangs are not interested in joining the Mountain West, and if that is the case than adding the Houston Cougars seems like a far fetched option. It would make sense for both Houston and SMU come as packaged deal, well that is unless Tulsa, or even Texas-San Antonio, decide to join the league.

UTSA was mentioned as a possibility since they are in Texas, and actually have drawn well in their infant years as a FBS program. However, InsiderRunnerSports.com is reporting that UTSA has not been in contact with the Mountain West, but Tulsa has (via ESPN Insider):

"A source was able to confirm that the Mountain West has not been in recent conversation with UTSA for expansion and, this time around, it would be very unlikely an invitation for membership would be extended," InsideRunnerSports.com reported.

"Multiple sources have confirmed to IRS that discussions between Tulsa and the Mountain West are ongoing, but preferred not to make any further information public."

UTSA is too much of a risk for the Mountain West to take a chance on even though they are in a large market such as San Antonio, but the school just doesn't seem to fit. The only way that UTSA could be considered is if Houston is involved as a travel partner.

The other news mentioned, which is much larger, is Tulsa being in talks with the Mountain West. Not only is InsiderRunnerSports.com reporting that Tulsa is in talks, but so is the Tulsa World. Tulsa's head football coach Bill Blankenship mentioned who Tulsa has spoken with about

Blankenship said on Friday that TU officials recently "had conversations" with representatives of the Mountain West, Big East and Conference USA. Presumably and understandably, the C-USA leadership might be anxious to determine whether TU will remain a committed member of the league.

Not a shock that Tulsa is being considered by the Mountain West and the Big East, partly because they are actually a reasonable distance for both leagues and they are an above average football team. If Tulsa is going to join the Mountain West it would be either to replace San Diego State as the leagues 12th team, or the 14th team to go along with San Diego State and Houston.

The good news is that the Mountain West has options, and they are not dependent on San Diego State coming back as the leagues 12th team.

Tulsa would be a good fit, and possibly even better than San Diego State, on the football side. They have had a longer history of success on the gridiron, and bring in a very exciting offense. So, if San Diego State does not pan out to stay in the Mountain West for whatever reason, then Tulsa would make a fine 12th member.

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