So much for waiting on the dust to settle from the implosion of the Big XII. With the news coming from a variety of sources, Boise State has left the WAC and has joined the Mountain West Conference. As per ESPN:
Boise State will be announced as the next member of the Mountain West Conference on Friday, a source with direct knowledge of the pending move told ESPN's Joe Schad.
The Mountain West Conference has officially confirmed the addition, with conference president Craig Thompson releasing a statement saying:
We are pleased and excited to welcome Boise State University to the Mountain West Conference. Since our inception just 11 short years ago, the Mountain West has experienced tremendous success, and the addition of Boise State will further enhance that strength. The MWC continues to strategize regarding potential membership scenarios and bringing Boise State into the Conference is an important part of that evolution."
"The invitation to join the Mountain West Conference reflects the excellence that Boise State University has demonstrated academically and athletically. It will be a privilege to compete and partner with such a successful group of member institutions. This move is in the best interests of Boise State's future, and the university is excited to be part of one of the nation's most outstanding conferences."
And so it begins for the Mountain West in what will almost certainly be the first of many additions they make in the coming months. As mentioned earlier, previously the Mountain West had decided to wait on expansion, but they have reversed course in roughly a week.
To me, it's easy to see why they would add Boise now. With the official time of death on the Big XII seemingly coming sometime next week, combined the increasingly likely chance that Missouri will be spurned by the Big Ten, in a couple of weeks Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa, Iowa State, and Missouri are likely to be without a home. By adding a team like Boise with an eye on expanding even further, the Mountain West increases its legitimacy in the eyes of those homeless institutions and thus increases the probability that they will be able to land them.
Besides, this could be very big for the MWC with regard to the BCS. If you could add those five schools, then you have at a pretty decent football conference. It's no powerhouse by any stretch, but having Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Utah, BYU, Boise State, and TCU in the same conference is at least semi-respectable, and honestly is probably along the same level as the Big East is right now. If nothing else, I know the BCS would absolutely love that scenario. It would give the likes of Utah and Boise State a guaranteed BCS bid, which would get Congress off of their back.