I do think it is a bit funny....that no matter what the expansion talk in the MWC....it always has to revolve around BYU. I would prefer that the MWC move on.....but, for some reason BYU always has to be on the fringe of any expansion talk. The MWC must really respect BYU??
Anyway....I don't really get why UTEP is the mix either when talking Gonzaga. UTEP, while a good school....isn't really anywhere near the other MWC schools....and if, travel is an issue.....why add UTEP and Gonzaga?
And if you don't like Gonzaga for the MWC...how about Wichita State. Wichita State would at least help the UTEP idea.
So, how about this then: UTEP, NMSU, Wichita State. That way....you get three great bb teams all in the same region...which lowers the overall travel in new directions. They could have double headers in the El Paso, Las Cruces area. And Kansas isn't all that far from either of these schools or the Colorado/Wyoming schools. BB gets a huge boost with this plan and could put the MWC on par with the A-10 or Big East as bb powers.
Let's be honest here, the MWC's footprint is any public fb school (omitting privates BYU/AFA) not considered the bottom of the barrel in the Mountain or Pacific Time Zone + Hawaii. While yes the MWC does not have schools in Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Montana, and Texas they are still considered in their footprint.
Out of those areas there are no additional fb candidates outside of BYU, UTEP, NMSU, Idaho, and upgrades like U of Montana/Mont St. And of those only BYU is the only slam dunk candidate that bring to the conference more than it takes. After BYU, UTEP (who has a histroy with many of these schools from the WAC) is the only attractive schools as they bring in a new market in El Paso and are easy to travel to plus the local rivalry with UNM helps.
Any additional members either have to come outside of FBS (either upgrades which the MWC thinks its above adding start ups or a non fb school or two) or outside of their current MST/PST time zone footprint.
Of those schools Gonzaga is the only non football school in the Mountain/West that could bring some quality to the MWC, and Texas has all the possible fb schools that the MWC could go after, like Houston, SMU, UTSA, Rice, UNT, TX St, and maybe Tulsa in OK. It also helps that Gonzaga was also looking around (Big East) and is cleary out preforming and possibly being held back by their conference in some ways. A rivalry with Boise St would be natural as both a fairly close together and the Zags also pretty much pull in the entire state of Washington including Seattle (none of which are currently represented in the MWC) when they are doing well.
Besides that there are no other candidates, as schools like Wichita St are both outside of the footprint and outside of the their must have fb rule in addition to being private.
Fan of the Big 12 Conference, the Mountain West Conference and...