MWC Expansion Candidates

The seemingly never ending carousel of conference realignment continues to spin. It seemed like it was going to slow down, but then the Big10 caught everyone by surprise when they added USC and UCLA out of the Pac12. Now the Pac12 and Big12 are in a high stakes game of chess, each trying to remain more relevant than the other. The group of 5 schools are all standing on the corner spinning their signs trying to sell their product to the Power 5 before this chapter of realignment closes. And the fans have realized that most "sports writers" are really good at making up a lot of bs.

New Mountain West Commissioner Gloria Nevarez insists there is a plan in place should the conference lose members in this round of realignment but has been very vague on whether or not the league would seek to add new school as either a proactive or reactive move.

Nonetheless, It's still fun to speculate on who the conference would go after should they choose to expand. Let's take a look at possible expansion targets based on their likelihood to be added.



  • Simply put, as long as Boise State is in the MW, they will block Idaho from joining. Not to mention they really don't add any value to the conference.
  • Add Rating F

New Mexico State

  • Another team that brings no value to the conference. Like Idaho their market is small, their football is straight terrible and their Basketball isn't what it used to be.
  • Add Rating D

Possible But would take some Convincing


  • Marshall is one of the most successful football teams of the past few decades and brings a solid TV market with them. The MW would have to commit to going east by adding at least one other east coast team and Marshall would have to give up a solid situation in the Sun Belt to make a small jump in conference quality.
  • Add Rating A-


  • Like Marshall, Louisiana is good at football and has a good market. Their not as far east as Marshall though and could be paired with a Texas school
  • Add Rating A


  • UTSA would be a fantastic fit in the MWC. They have solid football and basketball programs and a great TV market. Only issue their just joining a new conference in the AAC this season. Would they jump back west to the MWC so soon?
  • Add Rating B


  • Rice is basically the same situation that UTSA is except they excel more in academics and less in sports.
  • Add Rating C+

Could Join if the $ and Situation was right


  • If SMU is added by the Pac12 then Memphis would be looking at a conference made up of a lot of newcomers and not too many familiar faces. TV money could take a hit Memphis may want to be at the top of the G5 until the Big12 hopefully comes calling. Memphis would bring stellar sports and a fantastic TV market.
  • Add Rating A+


  • Tulsa doesn't bring the same success and following that Memphis does but they fit the mold of the MWC and may look for a stronger situation should SMU leave.
  • Add Rating B


  • For USF to join it would take SMU going to the Pac12 and Memphis joining USF in the MWC. Again if the money is good enough and the AAC is weakened, they could make sense in a package deal with Memphis and FIU.
  • Add Rating B+


  • Speaking of FIU. They don't make as much sense as the 3 above teams but if the MWC wants to get into SEC country a mix of FIU, USF, Memphis, and Louisiana would be a great get for the MWC.
  • Add Rating B-

Would Jump at the chance to join the MWC


  • UTEP doesn't bring a ton to the table but their a geographical fit and are located in a large city in sorta Texas and are familiar with many MWC teams from their days in the WAC.
  • Add Rating C

La Tech

  • La Tech Left the WAC for CUSA in 2012 and has watched the conference crumble around it ever sense. They would jump at the chance to join a more stable situation. La Tech would bring decent sports and a solid market.
  • Add Rating C+


North Dakota State

  • Not the best market but would be immediately competitive and recognizable in sports
  • Add Rating B-

South Dakota State

  • Literally copy and past the description for NDSU
  • Add Rating B-

Sacramento State

  • Not as successful or recognizable as the Dakota schools but still an elite FCS team that expands the MWC California presence.
  • Add Rating C-

Montana State

  • Another FCS powerhouse with a tiny market but good geographical fit.
  • Add Rating C


  • Copy and paste MSU
  • Add rating C

Should the mountain West lose schools

Best Case:

Add - Memphis, USF, Louisiana, FIU, Tulsa

Worst Case:

Add- UTEP, Montana, Montana St

Mid Cases:


Add - UTSA, RICE, Louisiana

East Coast Case:

Add - USF, Marshall, Louisiana, Memphis, Tulsa

What do you think? who did I leave out? who shouldn't be here?