The Mountain West presidents today decided on how the new Mountain West will look. The 2013 football season will bring new divisions to the Mountain West, an alignment brand new to the conference. Next season San Jose State and Utah State will join the Mountain West in all sports. Within the last few weeks Boise State and San Diego State decided to stay in the Mountain West rather than depart for the Big East. With the conference at 12 teams the next logical step was to host a conference championship game.
The championship game in 2013 will be the first for the Mountain West. The game will be hosted by the highest ranked of the two teams in the championship according to BCS standings. If neither team is in the BCS standings other methods of rankings will judge which team will host. Early figures show that the Mountain West championship game could bring $1.5 million to the conference, a figure much lower than the Pac12 championship, which is near $10 million.
The Mountain West will also be broken into two divisions. They will be broke into the “Mountain” division and the “West” division. The Mountain division will feature Boise State, Utah State, Wyoming, Colorado State, New Mexico, and Air Force. The West division will have Hawaii, San Diego State, San Jose State, Nevada, UNLV, and Fresno State. On paper the West division looks to be pretty tough with SDSU, Fresno, and an up-and-coming San Jose State. In the Mountain division it appears that if you want to win your division you must beat Boise State, a task that hasn’t been easy to accomplish for the Mountain division schools. Boise State boasts a 27-4 vs the Mountain schools, all of the losses coming to Utah State.
The new Mountain West should provide plenty of great match-ups as well as keeping the Front Range schools together for rivalries. The West division should turn out to be a dog fight every season, it would be really surprising to see one of those teams emerge from division play undefeated. As well as five games against division opponents the teams will also play three cross-division games every season, randomly determined. No further expansion has been talked about yet, but if BYU ever needs a home you’d have to think that the Mountain West would be listening. For now they will remain at 12 teams for the immediate future.