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Potential Realignment Dilemma Part 2: Football and The Potential Return of An Old Foe

Part 2 of this series focuses on football and the potential return of an old conference rival.

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

In part one of the piece I talked about the importance of adding a 12th non-football member to balance out the conference schedules. This is a basketball conference first but football is the breadwinner in college sports unless you're the Big East Conference. Football has 12 teams currently so there is already balance, but the conference may need to add at least two more schools to keep itself afloat. With the outlook of college football bleak and the possibility of a division 4 looming the Mountain West needs to put itself in position to entice the big conferences. That means potentially poaching a couple conference teams. Here are a couple teams the Mountain West should potentially look into.

BYU: This is an interesting choice because the cougars left the conference to go independent after the 2010 season. They left thinking it would give them a better chance to gain entry into the more lucrative bowls of college. However the best bowl they have gone to is the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. They schedule some big name opponents but they had a contract with the old WAC to play a few games against them. It wasn't enticing enough to get into the better games. BYU brings a lot to the conference, a storied program with a lot of fan fare. They travel well almost every place they play. If they return there will be some controversy, but it would need to be on the conference's terms not BYU.

UTSA: Texas-San Antonio would be a good edition. The Texas market back in the conference could play a big role in future television contacts. They're an up and coming team with Larry Coker in charge and bringing them in could be huge for conference competition. Also playing in the Alamo Dome wouldn't be a bad thing at all! The problem would be getting them a travel partner like the PAC 12 has which allows for scheduling to more balanced.

UTEP: This makes good sense because this puts another team in the southwest along with New Mexico. It would give them a potential new rival and this also brings another good basketball program to the conference. The El Paso market could be a potential problem but it would allow for more schools to recruit Texas if their happens to be an instate for in Texas.

Houston: There has been rumors circling around that Houston isn't happy with their situation in the AAC. If that is the case then the conference needs to make a move quick because I believe this would be the biggest addition to the conference due to the market and the football program is consistently good. Plus the Houston area is a recruiting hot bed and teams would be able to recruit there successfully.  You would probably need to bring another Texas program in maybe UTSA or SMU to entice Houston into leaving.

SMU: This would be another good addition. Their basketball program is ranked and football is on their way back. Dallas is a huge market filled with lots of high school talent. It would be interesting to see if they're happy with their situation in the AAC and if they would be open to leaving for the MWC. Much like Houston and UTSA another Texas school would be needed so they're not the lone Texas school in the conference.

The difference between football and the Olympic sports is that they're already even with 12. So the conference would need to add two teams to make it an even 14. Also the divisions could possibly change to a North/South format. Hawaii would be an interesting situation because they would have to be in a division where their travel costs aren't flying through the roof. The divisions would ultimately depend on who is added. If BYU is added then a Texas team i.e UTEP would make the most sense to be the 14th team because you can keep the current divisions just move Boise to the West. Realignment isn't over especially with teams and conferences trying to better position themselves for the CFB Playoff. This should get interesting in the 12 to 18 months.