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The Realignment Circus Marches On (Part II)

More movement leads to more uncertainty for the Mountain West

Oregon Spring Football Game Photo by Ali Gradischer/Getty Images

Last week news broke of Colorado departing the PAC-12 in favor of the Big 12. We touched on the potential impact it could have on the Mountain West. Now the realignment circus has gotten even crazier with Oregon and Washington departing for the Big 10 and Arizona most likely heading to the Big 12. Rumors also suggest that Arizona State and Utah could follow Arizona and Colorado’s lead. With the PAC-12 likely down to four teams, how does this impact the Mountain West?

The Mountain West Dissolves

The Aztecs and Broncos have had a good working relationship in the past. These two schools need to get together and decide what’s best for both schools and how they can help each other. The Aztecs hopes of being in a power five conference are likely gone. So what’s next?

From my understanding, the Mountain West would need nine of the twelve members to vote on dissolving the conference. This is only a discussion because these schools might benefit from joining an existing conference (like the PAC) or creating a new conference. This would allow them to negotiate a new television deal and potentially a bigger payday. Currently, schools only receive three million per year, while Boise State receives five million. Could these schools negotiate a deal with a streaming service that approaches ten million per year? There is also the possibility that Fox and ESPN could be looking for more dlate night inventory and want to purchase a chunk of these games.

Now the bigger question, how do you get enough votes to avoid the payout? San Diego State and Boise State won’t be the only schools leaving the Mountain West in this scenario. But who goes with them? UNLV, Fresno State, and Colorado State are locks. I would also think Air Force is a lock, but I could see them exploring other avenues. The rest of the school could go either way. How would you feel about this conference?

Oregon State
Washington State
San Diego State
Boise State
Colorado State
Fresno State
Air Force

That’s a pretty solid football conference, but might not be very realisitic. Let’s explore some other possibilities.

The Mountain West Expands

Cal and Stanford either join another conference or decide to go independent. Only Oregon State and Washington State are left and they decide to swallow their pride and join the Mountain West. The Mountain West doesn’t stop there and pulls two heavyweights from the AAC in Memphis and SMU. Not only is this a good football conference, it is a great basketball conference. Let’s make it happen!

Nothing Changes

This feels unlikely at this point. But maybe the four remaining PAC-12 schools can somehow find homes in another conference and nothing changes. At this point that seems like it would be a loss for the Mountain West.

How do you see things playing out? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.