Air Force and Colorado State join Boise State and San Diego State to stay with Mountain West on AAC

A day after Boise State and San Diego State informed Mountain West of their intention to remain in the conference, the Air Force and the State of Colorado did the same, sources confirmed to Matt Norlander of CBS Sports. The four schools had been targeted by the AAC as possible candidates for the expansion after three AAC teams – Cincinnati, Houston and UCF – announced their move to the Big 12 in September.

On Friday afternoon, the Mountain West Board of Directors confirmed the commitment of its conference members.

“The pioneering Western higher education institutions of the Mountain West Conference are proud of our academic excellence, the strength of our athletic programs and the splendor of our campuses, and today we announce our collective commitment to membership. of Mountain West, ”the statement read. “The success and positive trajectories of our respective members have created opportunities for many of our universities, but we collectively believe in the strength and shared spirit of Mountain West and the future possibilities of our conference. A close collaboration will continue as we identify the best way forward for Mountain West in the changing landscape of intercollegiate athletics. “

Boise State intends to stay west of the mountain in hopes of a bigger invitation – especially the Big 12 or the Pac-12 – in the not-so-distant future, sources told Dennis Dodd from CBS Sports. The state of San Diego remains in tune with its desire to wait for a better deal rather than potentially moving conferences twice in a short period of time.

A bit more surprising is the Air Force and the state of Colorado remaining in the league, as the Air Force was motivated to partner with the Navy.

However, amid a drastic internal setback, the Air Force and the State of Colorado eventually became uncomfortable leaving Mountain West for AAC alone rather than alongside Boise State and from San Diego state, sources told Norlander.

“The American Athletic Conference has not offered membership to any institution,” AAC Commissioner Mike Aresco said in a statement. “Our process for reviewing potential members remains deliberate, strategic, and focused on the continued and proven success of our conference.”

Part of the AAC’s goal in targeting the Mountain West teams was to destabilize the Group of Five landscape and solidify itself as more powerful than its peers. The AAC has long been regarded as the premier conference of the Group of Five, but the loss of three leading programs in major media markets is a game-changer.

With Boise State, San Diego State, Air Force, and Colorado State remaining in place, the Mountain West has a core strength that will at least rival if not exceed anything the AAC has set. in place after the expansion, making him a candidate for a regular spot in the 12-team playoff draft. The proposed new playoff format sees the top six champions in the conference receive automatic offers regardless of their Power Five or Group of Five league status.

With these four teams deciding to stay in Mountain West, the main expansion options for AAC appear to be UAB, FAU and UTSA, Dodd reported on September 16. North Texas and Tulsa were under consideration by Mountain West if they lose two or four teams, although with the league staying together, they cannot choose to add any teams.

Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel first announced that all four Mountain West programs would stay with the conference.

Leave a Comment