Mountain West and WAC Combine Conferences to Shore Up National Confusion

Ross BenesContributor IINovember 30, 2010

BOISE, ID - NOVEMBER 19:  Winston Venable #17 leads the Boise State Broncos onto the field before their game against the Fresno State Bulldogs at Bronco Stadium on November 19, 2010 in Boise, Idaho.  (Photo by Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images)
Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images

Due to the vacating of TCU to the Big East, and Boise State, Nevada, Fresno State and Hawaii looking to join the Mountain West anyhow, the WAC and Mountain West Conference have announced that they are going to combine their two conferences into the Mountain Western Athletic Conference (MWAC).

The new conference will consist of 14 teams.  Eight of the nine teams in the current WAC will join the six teams that will be left in the Mountain West after BYU, Utah, and TCU leave.  New Mexico State was not invited to the new conference, which angered Aggie fans until they realized that they would actually be able to win games in the Sun Belt. Texas State and Texas-San Antonio were also nixed on the invite, and will head back to 1-AA ball (FCS for those of political correctness).

In a press conference held this morning, Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson said "Things have gotten so confusing lately.  Half of the Mountain West has left this season, while half of the WAC has joined the Mountain West.  Why, just last week I couldn't remember if San Jose State was joining our conference or not.  Not to mention the anxiety New Mexico and New Mexico State have caused me over the years, as it is always been hard to differentiate between those two (which was a major deciding point in not letting New Mexico State join)."

The commissioner continued to ramble about uncertainty over conference affiliation of several schools before getting to his reason of consolidating conferences. 

"It isn't good for your conference's national image when the nation imagines half of your conference belonging to someone else.  Hopefully this merger will end all confusion over conference affiliation of non-BCS teams.  If it doesn't, we'll at least know that we tried our best."

Thompson also pointed out that, "Many people have dreamed of the day of being able to answer the question, 'What conference is San Diego State in?' without having to guess.  Ladies and gentlemen, wait no longer, that day is here."

It was also announced that the MWAC will play an annual championship game.  Next year's contest will be played on December 3 at the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas.

"We instituted this game, not only to earn money, that's obvious, but because we believe it will give the champion of our conference a shot at the BCS title game.  When Boise State has to beat a team like Air Force twice in the same season, the nation will be forced to vote our champion into the national championship game.  Also, since TCU left, this was the next best thing we could offer the Broncos." 

Thompson also believes the MWAC will be able to garner an automatic BCS berth in future years given one condition. "If we could just hold on to Boise State, wrestle them to the ground, and not let them get away, then we will earn a BCS bid." 

Whether or not the MWAC earns a BCS berth or claims any national championships is irrelevant.  The fact remains that this move will succeed in what it is setting out to do. And that is to clarify puzzling questions and end agitating conversations.