So much for the Mountain West becoming a player in the next round of BCS talks. The league over the summer gained Boise State which would have made the league at least on par with the Big East and much closer to the rest of the BCS leagues, but then Utah left for the Pac-10 along side Colorado, BYU chose to go independent and now TCU is leaving for greener pastures and will join the Big East.
A league without Utah and BYU would still have been a very good league with the addition of Boise State, but now with TCU gone and then adding Nevada, Fresno State and Hawai'i the Mountain West is a shell of itself and is a step up from the old WAC.
Once all the teams get sorted by 2012 the Mountain West will have most likely one dominant team in Boise State who should keep trucking along what they have been doing for the past decade. Then the next set of teams will be a mix of Air Force, Hawai'i, San Diego State and Nevada. Air Force has shown that they are the most consistent of that bunch and will be the main challenger to Boise State for the Mountain West title.
Here is how the league will look in 2012:
|Air Force||Boise State|
|Colorado State||New Mexico|
|San Diego State||Fresno State|
The only downside with Air Force with these moves is in scheduling games. Air Force plays Army and Navy every single year then they have two other non-conference games to schedule. Usually, Air Force has played an inferior team and then a BCS team on the schedule. With a 10-team Mountain West if they go to a nine-game conference schedule that gives Air Force to schedule only one non-conference game. Air Force will fight to have an eight-game league schedule.
The league does gain some more middle ground teams instead of adding dead weight and all of these teams have had some good history, recent or distant. What is missing is an additional dominant team, however Air Force could become that team to consistently be in the rankings and with their style of offense which can keep them in nearly any game regardless of the opponent. Expect the Falcons to keep going on as they always have by being a team that will contend for a conference title in the Mountain West.