People generally show allegiances to certain stores when shopping. Folks may get all of their groceries from one store, or maybe all their electronics from another store. There's a myriad of reasons for it, but at the end of the day it's just the fact that they're comfortable shopping there. It seems that this is the case with football conferences as well, because if you asked the Mountain West where it did its shopping, the Mountain West would tell you that you can't go wrong at the WAC store.
The Mountain West has already picked up Boise State, Nevada, Fresno State and Hawaii in previous trips. Now it sounds like the Mountain West has hit the WAC store one more time in hopes of grabbing some Utah State.
School officials from the Mountain West Conference are meeting in Las Vegas today and tomorrow and are expected to vote on several conference issues ranging from TV deals, to scheduling, to conference expansion. The conference has been looking at expanding from 10 schools to 12 in order to secure a lucrative conference football championship game. Adding a conference championship game could add millions of dollars of revenue to the conference in the form of a TV deal and ticket sales. If the money gained from the championship game offsets the money lost by splitting the revenue sharing between an additional two schools, then the conference is likely to expand.
The final vote for expansion was expected to take place Monday night. Sources said prior to the vote that expansion was likely and Utah State would then likely be asked to join and would accept the offer. No exact timetable was given for the announcement, but it is expected to be official in the next 24 to 48 hours.
Utah State has been on the Mountain West's radar since last August when the conference put in a call to gauge the school's interest in jumping ship from the WAC. Since then, current conference members Fresno State, Nevada and Hawaii have all made it known they will be leaving the conference effective July 2012.Odds are that if the Mountain West does add Utah State to the fold, it won't be the conference's last trip to the WAC store. If the conference wants to expand to 12 teams, adding Utah State would leave them with only 11 schools, as Utah, BYU and TCU are all leaving the conference by 2012. The next target would likely be San Jose State, which has also been mentioned in expansion talks over the last couple weeks.