If you thought that all the conference realignment talk died in June when OU and Texas declined to go to the Pac 10, essentially saving the Big 12. Now the WAC is falling apart and the Mountain West is a step closer to becoming a legit BCS conference. In a take no prisoners type move the Mountain West took the news of BYU possibly moving back to the WAC in other sports while going independent in football by taking out the competition. The question is, will the Big 12 be affected by this?
"We're simply looking at getting better and we got better tonight with Fresno State and Nevada joining our league," Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson
The Mountain West pillaged the WAC of Fresno State and Nevada, after previously taking Boise State this summer. That only leaves six teams in the WAC which is two shy of the required teams needed to form a conference. Now the conference is either going to become defunct or it'll pick up some stragglers from around the country. That is unless someone else picks up their leftovers. Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State, San Jose State and Utah State don't really have the pull or prestige to jump to a BCS conference so they'll either pillage or be pillaged themselves. The Sun Belt and Conference USA seem to be the most reasonable places for the fun to start. This is also where the Big 12 needs to perk up and pay attention.
Conference USA is already stacked full, unless there's a team willing to bolt. Looking at you Houston! The Cougars were longtime members of the Southwest Conference and were waist deep into the rumors surrounding the Big 12 expansion/replacements just two months ago.
Something else that's interesting is that the Mountain West now has eleven members with BYU (included in the count) still flirting with a departure. The Mormons want to go independent in football but are looking for a conference to align their other sports with. Here we have another school possibly on the move that was involved in the Big 12 rumors. Should the Cougars stay MWC, it could possibly open the door for TCU or Air Force (two other teams involved in Big 12 rumors) to make a jump.
Yes, this is all speculation but here's the punch line. Obviously conference realignment is far from being a dead issue and I don't think that anyone in the Big 12, including commissioner Dan Beebe, is satisfied at just 10 teams.