The Mountain West has pulled off a rare feat: an athletic conference realignment that makes geographic sense.
After a thorough national churning of old rivalries, which put Colorado in the Pacific 12, Maryland in a 14-member Big Ten and Texas A&M in the Southeastern, the Mountain West is still contained to the mountains and the West.
San Diego State joined Boise State in returning to the Mountain West after what amounted to a fling with the disintegrating Big East, giving the conference the 12 football members needed stage a potentially lucrative title game. To determine who plays in that game, the Mountain West announced Tuesday it has adopted two six-team divisions: the Mountain and the West. (The Big Ten had already taken Legends and Leaders for division names – drat!)
Come fall, UNLV and the University of Nevada, Reno, will reside in the West Division, with Hawaii, Fresno State, San Diego State and newcomer San Jose State. The Mountain Division comprises the Air Force Academy, Boise State, Colorado State, New Mexico, Utah State and Wyoming.
Stability and simplicity in college sports? What a concept.