Having read Brian's article at the Sporting Blog, I was interested to contemplate how and if the Mountain West would expand. Let's assume for the moment- a big assumption, I know- that the conference would decide to expand.
Obviously, Boise State is an attractive option, but I've always heard that the BSU academic scene is somewhat lacking comparatively speaking to the MWC's schools. Does anyone know if this is the case? I don't want to be the snobby Michigan fan- particularly since I'm the alum of a school in another state- but I don't think the MWC's school are exactly New Ivy, yet I've often heard that this rumor about Boise would be a hindrance.
Second, I know football is the elephant in the room, 400 pound gorilla, BMOC, tattooed lady, whatever analogy works for you, but it isn't the only sport. Does it seem that the other sports-Basketball, olympic sports, women's sports, etc.- would be markedly different at Boise vs the MWC?
Third, do you think the conference would be wise to sit at ten teams and play round robin, or should they go all out and add three to create the fairy tale land of two divisions and a championship game where all our hopes and dreams come true and the money pours in (just ask the ACC, right guys?) I think there would be benefit in the 12 team format in that all of the teams would not have to play each other and you preserve teams at least until the end of the year. Furthermore, I think if the MWC did have twelve teams, it would gain automatic status for BCS games regardless, so the championship game wouldn't matter as far as kicking a team out of a BCS bowl game.
The teams that I think make the most sense for inclusion/expansion are: Boise State (duh), Houston, and Fresno State.
Fresno State adds a team in California to go with San Diego State, and opens up a media market in the Silicon Valley (insert Pamela Anderson joke here). Also creates more exposure for recruiting in California.
Houston gives a more logical reason for TCU to be in the conference, and creates the same opportunities in Texas that Fresno State would create in California.
The last question that I have is this: If anyone is familiar with the Houston/Dallas region, do you think Houston or SMU is better positioned for long-term success? If it's SMU, would they be a better fit?
As a NCAAF fan, I'd really enjoy watching the top schools in that conference battling it out, and a championship game at the end of the year could send a team to a BCS game as well.
Sorry if this is too WAY off topic for somepeople, but Brian did write about this over at The Sporting News, and a re-alignment of the westerly conferences could shakeup the BCS as it currently stands.