Colorado State, Air Force To Remain In Mountain West
How things have changed
Mountain West staying together
Well… this is a change of events not many people saw coming. Just earlier in the week it seemed like a down deal that Colorado State and Air Force were going to leave the Mountain West and going to the AAC.
This was reported by multiple insightful national college basketball and football reporters, but now things have changed and the Rams and Falcons are remaining in the Mountain West.
Sources: Air Force and Colorado State will also be staying in the Mountain West. They had been heavily courted and considered the AAC, along with Boise State and San Diego State. All four schools will remain in the Mountain West.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) October 1, 2021
Details are scant at the moment but perhaps Boise State and San Diego State decided to remain in the Mountain West played a part in this?
There is the thought that the Broncos and Aztecs are waiting to see if or when the Big 12 wants to add more teams and make a move to that league.
As for this about-face, the first thought was that Air Force and Colorado State wanted to get ahead of the curve and go to a potentially more stable AAC if the Mountain West were to lose top end programs like Boise State and San Diego State.
Maybe Craig Thompson made a compelling pitch to remain together in the conference or perhaps the schools athletic directors or presidents didn’t want to send their softball, baseball, or volleyball teams to Tampa, Philadelphia or Greenville, N.C.
This is undoubtedly good news for the Mountain West and not so good news for the American. AAC commissioner Mike Aresco is trying to save face and in a statement, in response to this report that the AAC had not officially extended invites to anyone.
“The American Athletic Conference has not offered membership to any institution,” Aresco said. “Our process for considering potential members remains deliberate, strategic and focused on the continued proven success of our conference.”
Usually when these reports are out there that teams are joining a news conference the deal is 100% done, but somehow in this case it was not a done deal but many, many reporters said it was all but done. Perhaps not officially, but with so many reporting the same thing with Colorado State and Air Force leaving it seemed all buttoned up and completed.
The Mountain West is not out of the woods yet because the Big 12 is very likely going to want to add a few more teams once Texas and Oklahoma are officially out of the conference.
Now is the time for Craig Thompson and the Mountain West members to do something bold with this league and perhaps go after a weaker AAC or maybe try to get some basketball-only schools to boost the overall profile.