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Peak Perspective: Should the Mountain West consider adding PAC-12 teams?

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A look at the value the PAC-12 could potentially add.

Conference expansion talk is all the rage, and here at MWCConnection, we’ve been bringing lots of quality posts discussion expansion as it relates to the Mountain West Conference. If you need a refresher, check out the articles we did last week:

Today’s post will take things a step further and discuss what it would look like if the Mountain West added a few teams from the PAC-12 conference. Before getting into the details, here are a few notes to keep in mind while reading:

  • This post was inspired by this tweet:
  • I know this will never happen. It’s purely a fun exercise.
  • The presentation of these points is meant to be fun or humorous
  • However, the article is meant to prove a point that the PAC-12 is not playing like a “power” conference.
  • The MWC is 5-5 against the PAC-12 this year.
  • The MWC is 16-24 against the PAC-12 from 2016-2021 (excluding 2020 where they did not play one another).
  • In all-time bowl games, the MWC is 13-12 against the PAC-12.
  • Air Force is 5-3 all-time against PAC-12 teams.
  • Boise State is 7-4 all-time against PAC-12 teams.
  • San Diego State 7-2 against the Pac-12 since 2016 and 2-0 this year.

(all records were found here.)

Here are the points for and against each of the twelve teams:

Arizona

  • The Wildcats are looking ugly this, already losing to a team from the MWC (San Diego State).
  • Adding them brings a new recruiting state into the conference.
  • Haven't won a conference championship since 1993.
  • A bottom-dweller in the conference.

Arizona State

  • Recruiting scandals seem forthcoming.
  • Adding them brings a new recruiting state into the conference.
  • Haven’t won a conference championship since 2007.
  • A bottom-dweller in the conference.

Cal

  • They got beat by Nevada this year. Could they handle the gauntlet of the MWC West week in and week out?
  • Haven’t won a conference championship since 2006

Colorado

  • A bottom-dweller in the conference.
  • Have never won a conference championship in the PAC-12
  • Do they add any value to the Mountain West?

Oregon

  • The class of the conference, winning 6 of the past 12 conference championships, including the last two.
  • They are good but can’t measure up against teams in the top of the Mountain West (0-3 against Boise State, and they barely escaped Fresno State this year).
  • They use a gimmick to gain an advantage, wearing green jerseys on a green field, where they dominate at home.
  • Adding them brings a new recruiting state into the conference.

Oregon State

  • Adding them brings a new recruiting state into the conference.
  • Maybe a travel partner for the Ducks?
  • Haven’t won a conference championship since 2000
  • A bottom-dweller in the conference.

Stanford

  • They have steadily declined and returned back to their pre-Harbaugh selves the past few seasons.
  • They would raise academics but would it add value on the field?
  • How are their non-football sports? Maybe a football-only option.

UCLA

  • They are good but can’t measure up against teams in the top of the Mountain West (0-4) against Fresno State.
  • Haven’t won a conference championship since 1998
  • Will Chip Kelly stay or will he leave for a job in a bigger conference and leave the Bruins scuffling again?

USC

  • They bring a lot of prestige with them.
  • They aren’t as good as they used to be. Are the Trojans past their prime and do they have value anymore if they aren’t winning Rose Bowls?

Utah

  • The Utes are looking ugly this, already losing to a team from the MWC (San Diego State).
  • Have never won a conference championship in the PAC-12
  • They left the conference once, and would likely do it again.

Washington

  • They haven’t been the same since Chris Petersen left. Clearly, they were just a flash-in-the-pan type of program.
  • Adding them brings a new recruiting state into the conference.

Washington State

  • The Cougars are looking ugly this, already losing to a team from the MWC (Utah State).
  • Their coach has already bolted from the Mountain West once and largely failed. Would he do so again?
  • Adding them brings a new recruiting state into the conference.
  • Haven’t won a conference championship since 2002.

Add

Oregon: No green on green uniforms

USC: They bring in prestigious, as well as a large tv market and a great recruiting area.

West (Coastal) Division

Fresno State

Hawaii

Oregon

San Diego State

San Jose State

UNLV

USC

Mountain (Inland) Division

Air Force

Boise State

Colorado State

Nevada

New Mexico

Utah State

Wyoming

If Air Force and Colorado State, or Boise State and San Diego State leave, add:

UCLA: Assuming Chip Kelly doesn’t leave

Oregon State: As a football-only travel partner for Oregon.

Adding a few teams from the PAC-12 should strengthen the Mountain West, as long as they don’t add too many teams and thus delude the MWC. Oregon and USC should bring in some value and raise the level of competition at the top of the conference.

Your turn: Which PAC-12 teams would you consider adding?