I personally think they showed better management than the Big 12 or the Pac 10 during the expansion talk by locking down Boise when they did (I know the Big 12 ended up in a better place financially, but I don't think it was their management that made it happen as much as falling into something created by outside forces). There were scenarios out there where the Big 12 North could've taken the best parts of the MWC, CUSA and WAC to rebuild the former Big 12. But adding Boise so quickly stopped some of that before it started.
Before the Pac 16 talk started, the MWC already was rumored to have a plan in place to pursue Boise, Fresno State and Houston. There's no reason why that plan can't move forward along with a 12th team like Nevada, Tulsa, Rice or SMU.
The last 2009 regular season Coaches Poll included these teams:
- #3 TCU
#6 Boise State
If the MWC takes Boise and Fresno State, it will be very hard for that league to keep its ESPN contract. One of the biggest problems with the MWC is the lack of an ESPN deal. Currently, their games are shown on CBS College Sports and Verses. And the WAC knows its vulnerable.
Also, the Pac 10 may move back to an eight game league schedule from their current nine game schedule once they expand to 12 teams. If so, their members will need to find non-conference opponents to fill the final slate at the same time that the Big 12 is moving to a nine game regular season. And it may not be as simple as the P10 members picking up the old B12 member non-conference games. I think the MWC members are going to end up picking up some nice match-ups from Pac-10 teams. Another potential win for their credibility.
Some changes I expect to see over the coming weeks (beyond the obvious Utah to the Pac 10 discussion):
- MWC Expansion - to include Fresno State and/or Houston at a minimum.
- WAC Implosion - This looks unavoidable to me.
- La Tech's Advancement - if Louisiana Tech can get into Conference USA to replace Houston, they're going to leap on it. Their program would take a nice step forward with the opportunity to face Southern Miss, Memphis, UAB and Tulane regularly as opposed to trips to Moscow, Idaho and Las Cruces, New Mexico.