Frank Schwab of the Colorado Springs did a phone interview with Mountain West Conference Commisioner Craig Thompson the day after BYU announced it's intentions of becoming independent in football and joining the West Coast Conference in all other sports.
Schwab hit on some great topics and Thompson was pretty open with his answers. The Mountain West had a game plan for BYU leaving earlier with Fresno State and Nevada. The main question is now - Where do we go from here? The newcomers may be forced to wait till 2012 to officially join the conference which would leave us at 8 teams in 2011 with Boise joining the party.
Can the Mountain West still achieve BCS AQ status?
BCS? Good. Throwing out lot in with Conference USA? Bad. I see this as the BCS throwing the Conferences their leftovers and locking the MAC, Sun Belt and WAC outside in the yard. Even without Utah and BYU the Mountain West is still a better conference than CUSA. Boise and TCU are both national title contenders and Air Force could crack the top 25. Also Air Force demolished Houston in the Armed Forces Bowl which was the top team in the conference this year.
Losing BYU was the second longest rivalry that Wyoming had. It would be pretty hard to imagine Wyoming and CSU in seperate leagues and no longer playing the Border War. BYU might not have considered Wyoming a big rival but playing 77 times in football is a big deal. Everyone in the Mountain West considers BYU a rival because they are just so fun to hate.
Thank goodness! Did they notice that other conferences doe have an exit fee and it can help keep a school within the conference longer or least get you some compensation when a team bolts. I don't want Thompson to become like Karl Benson chasing after teams for a $5M exit fee but there should a penalty of some type. Otherwise other schools will just be cherry picked by BCS conferences until the Mountain West is in shambles.