After a few weeks of speculation and lots of reports say that Air Force and Colorado State were set to join the American Athletic Conference, instead they will be staying in the Mountain West Conference for the foreseeable future.
Sources: Air Force and Colorado State will also be staying in the Mountain West. They had been heavily courted and considered the AAC, along with Boise State and San Diego State. All four schools will remain in the Mountain West.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) October 1, 2021
Rumors are murky and it’s hard to know what exactly is true but this seems to basically be how things have transpired:
It sounds like Boise State and San Diego State were courted first but turned down the offer as both seem to be waiting for Power 5 offers and saw the AAC as a lateral move at best. Then, the AAC turned their attention to Air Force and Colorado State as new members. Though it was also a lateral move for those two schools, they seemed to contemplate the move as a way to find more conference stability before schools like Boise State and SDSU found new homes and they were left in a potentially sinking conference.
In a surprising announcement, something fell through or they are calculating there won’t be any departures any time soon. With AFA, BSU, CSU, and SDSU all stating they will be in the Mountain West (for now), the conference looks to take on the mantle as the top Group of 5 conference in the country, a claim the AAC had the past few seasons.
It’s a big day for the Mountain West!