The Mountain West is losing both Utah and Brigham Young next season. In an attempt to maintain a presence in the state, it looks like Utah State will become the newest member of the conference when the league votes on expansion this week.
In addition to filling the Salt Lake City market, the Aggies are deemed an improving sports program. They beat BYU this past season in football, and the men's basketball team, currently ranked No. 25 in the USA TODAY/ESPN Coaches' poll, has made 11 consecutive postseason appearances, including four NCAA berths in the last six years.
Bringing in Utah State along with San Jose State, which has been speculated previously, would increase football membership to 12 schools. That would allow the Mountain West to play a championship game.
Also, rumors of the demise of the Big XII may not be too far-fetched:
It wasn’t so long ago that everyone in the Southwest was trumpeting the Big 12’s 11th-hour save of its very existence.
They may want to hold off on that.
The more conferences expand, even with small expansions/reloading like the MWC is doing, it makes it more and more likely that someone will come along and place an offer in front of one or more of the disgruntled remaining Big XII schools, and they'll jump ship. If the Big XII loses even one more school, the bloodbath begins.