|Mountain West Conference
|Division||Division I FBS|
(9 full, 1 associate in 2012
11 full, 1 associate in 2013)
|Sports fielded||18 (men's: 8; women's: 10)|
|Region||Western United States|
|Headquarters||Colorado Springs, Colorado|
|Commissioner||Craig Thompson (since 1999)|
The Mountain West Conference (formally abbreviated MW since July 2011; informally MWC), popularly known as the Mountain West, is the youngest of the college athletic conferences affiliated with the NCAA’s Division I FBS (formerly I-A). The MW officially began operations in July 1999. Geographically, the MW covers a broad expanse of the western United States, with member institutions located in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, and Wyoming, and will expand back into Utah when Utah State University joins the conference in 2013. The conference introduced a new logo for the 2011 season to reflect the changes. Craig Thompson has served as Commissioner of the MW since its founding in 1999.
Charter members included Air Force, BYU, Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State, UNLV, Utah, and Wyoming. Before forming the Mountain West Conference, seven of the eight charter members had been longtime members of the Western Athletic Conference; half were WAC charter members at its formation in 1962 - UNLV had only joined the WAC in 1996.
The WAC expanded from 10 to 16 universities in 1996, absorbing three teams from the defunct Southwest Conference (SWC) (Rice, SMU, and TCU), adding two from the Big West (San Jose State and UNLV), and Tulsa from the Missouri Valley Conference. After three football seasons, most of the pre-expansion members decided that the new WAC was over-sized, and departed to form the Mountain West Conference. The MW added a ninth team in 2005: TCU, also a former WAC and SWC member, which joined after four seasons in Conference USA.
On June 11, 2010, Boise State University agreed to join the conference as its tenth member. On June 17, 2010, Utah announced it would be leaving the Mountain West to join what would become the Pacific-12 Conference. On August 18, 2010, amidst rumors that Brigham Young was considering leaving the Mountain West to go independent in football and rejoin the Western Athletic Conference in all other sports, the Mountain West Conference officially extended invitations to California State University, Fresno and the University of Nevada, Reno. Fresno State and Nevada accepted and would become the tenth and eleventh members of the league. BYU announced on August 31, 2010 that it would leave the Mountain West Conference and go Independent in football and become a member of the West Coast Conference (WCC) in other sports starting in 2011. On November 29, 2010, Texas Christian University announced all athletic teams would move to the Big East Conference effective in 2012. (Less than a year later, on October 10, 2011, TCU announced it would not join the Big East but would join the Big 12 in 2012 instead.) On December 10, 2010, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa accepted a bid to become the 10th member of the conference for football only. These changes would leave the Mountain West Conference with 10 teams for the 2012 football season.
The MW champion has qualified for a BCS bowl four times since the BCS formula was tweaked to allow non-BCS conferences to play in BCS bowls if ranked in the top 12; however, two of the three schools that qualified are no longer with the conference.
On February 13, 2012, the Mountain West & Conference USA (C-USA) announced that both conferences would be dissolving after the 2012-2013 season to reform into one conference with at least 15 members for all sports, and a 16th team, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa as a football-only member. However, when the two conferences discussed their plans with the NCAA, they were told that due to NCAA rules, they would forfeit substantial revenues. Specifically, the new conference would receive only one automatic bid to NCAA championships; at least one of the former conferences would lose future revenue distributions from the NCAA men's basketball tournament; and at least one former conference would not be able to collect exit fees from any members that departed to join the new conference. As a result, the Mountain West and C-USA apparently backed away from a full merger. In late March of that year, the commissioners of both conferences stated that all 16 schools had entered into binding agreements to form a new "association", although the Mountain West and C-USA will now apparently remain separate legal entities.
On May 2, 2012, San Jose State and Utah State agreed to join the conference for the 2013-14 academic year. On December 31 of that year, Boise State announced that it had backed out of its previously announced move to the Big East for football and the Big West for other sports, and would remain in the MW.
On January 2, 2013, it was reported that in the deal between Boise State and the Mountain West, SDSU would be the first team the MW could invite to expand the conference. On January 16, 2013 it was reported that SDSU had accepted the offer to remain/return to the Mountain West Conference in all sports. Keeping SDSU in the conference gives the Mountain West 12 football members, allowing for a Championship Game to be held. The MW expects to hold the first Championship Game in December 2013.
|United States Air Force Academy (Air Force)||Falcons||Colorado Springs, Colorado||Federal||4,417||1999||N/A||$62.1 million|
|Boise State University||Broncos||Boise, Idaho||Public||21,179||2011||$72.5 million||$18.7 million|
|Colorado State University||Rams||Fort Collins, Colorado||Public||24,875||1999||$225.4 million||$302.9 million|
|California State University, Fresno (Fresno State)||Bulldogs||Fresno, California||Public||25,613||2012 ||$129.4 million||$8.7 million|
|University of Nevada, Reno (Nevada)||Wolf Pack||Reno, Nevada||Public||18,004||2012 ||$238.2 million||$95.4 million|
|University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV)||Rebels||Las Vegas, Nevada||Public||29,069||1999||$177.7 million||$44.5 million|
|University of New Mexico||Lobos||Albuquerque, New Mexico||Public||34,674||1999||$343.3 million||$211.8 million|
|San Diego State University||Aztecs||San Diego, California||Public||33,790||1999||$136.4 million||$99.1 million|
|University of Wyoming||Cowboys (men's)
|Laramie, Wyoming||Public||12,496||1999||$358.5 million||$55.3 million|
|University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (Hawaiʻi)||Rainbow Warriors (men's)
Rainbow Wahine (women's)
|Honolulu, Hawaii||Public||20,135||2012||$212 million||$303.1 million|
|San Jose State University||Spartans||San Jose, California||Public||33,805||2013||$74.8 million||$38.2 million|
|Utah State University||Aggies||Logan, Utah||Public||28,994||2013||$209.2 million||$149.2 million|
|Brigham Young University||Cougars||Provo, Utah||Private||33,000||1999||2011||WCC (olympic sports)
NCAA D-I Independent (football only)
|Texas Christian University||Horned Frogs||Fort Worth, Texas||Private||8,696||2005||2012||Big 12||$1.2 billion||$5.3 million|
|University of Utah||Utes||Salt Lake City, Utah||Public||28,211||1999||2011||Pac-12||$670.4 million||$379.2 million|
Full members Other Conference Associate members (football only)
Beginning in 2013, the conference will split into two divisions of six teams for football. The Mountain West will also add a conference championship game pitting the winners of the Mountain and West divisions. This first championship game will take place December 7, 2013 at the home stadium of the divisional winner with the highest BCS ranking. Each team will play five divisional games and three cross-divisional contests annually.
|Mountain Division||West Division|
|Air Force||Fresno State|
|New Mexico||San Diego State|
|Utah State||San Jose State|
|Member||Baseball||Basketball||Cross Country||Football||Golf||Tennis||Indoor Track & Field||Outdoor Track & Field||Total|
|San Diego State||5|
|San Jose State||5|
Men's varsity sports not sponsored by the Mountain West Conference which are played by current and future full MW members:
|School||Fencing[a 1]||Gymnastics||Ice hockey||Lacrosse||Rifle[a 2]||Skiing[a 3]||Soccer||Swimming & diving||Water polo||Wrestling|
|Air Force||Independent||MPSF||Atlantic Hockey||ECAC||Independent||No||MPSF||MPSF||WWPA||WWC|
|New Mexico||No||No||No||No||No||RMISA||C-USA[a 4]||No||No||No|
|San Diego State||No||No||No||No||No||No||Pac-12||No||No||No|
|San Jose State||No||No||No||No||No||No||MPSF||No||No||No|
|Member||Basketball||Cross Country||Golf||Soccer||Softball||Swimming & Diving||Tennis||Indoor Track & Field||Outdoor Track & Field||Volleyball||Total|
|San Diego State||10|
|San Jose State||8|
Women's varsity sports not sponsored by the Mountain West Conference which are played by current and future full MW members:
|School||Equestrian||Fencing[b 1]||Gymnastics||Lacrosse||Rifle[b 2]||Rowing||Skiing[b 3]||Water polo|
|San Diego State||No||No||No||MPSF||No||WIRA[b 4]||No||Big West|
|San Jose State||No||No||WAC||No||No||No||No||MPSF|
Since the 2009-10 season, the Mountain West and Missouri Valley Conferences have held an annual challenge series between all members of the MW and an equal number of the 10 MVC teams in basketball. The first game was on November 13, featuring the Bradley Braves and the BYU Cougars in Provo and it concluded on December 23 with the Wyoming Cowboys visiting the Northern Iowa Panthers in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The challenge is similar to the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, which pits men's basketball teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Big Ten Conference.
|Air Force||Colorado State||1980||Ram-Falcon Trophy||Air Force||Air Force leads 27-19-1|
|Boise State||Fresno State||1977||Battle of the Milk Can||Milk Can||Boise State||Boise State leads 10–4|
|Boise State||Nevada||1971||Boise State – Nevada rivalry||Boise State||Boise State leads 25-13|
|Colorado State||Wyoming||1899||Border War||Bronze Boot||Wyoming||Colorado State leads 55-43-5|
|Fresno State||Hawaiʻi||1970||Battle for the Screwdriver||Golden Screwdriver||Fresno State||Hawaiʻi leads 16-9-1|
|Fresno State||San Diego State||1923||Battle for the Oil Can||Oil Can||Fresno State||San Diego State leads 27-21-4|
|Hawaiʻi||Wyoming||1979||Paniolo Trophy||Wyoming||Wyoming leads 12-8|
|Nevada||UNLV||1969||Battle for Nevada||The Fremont Cannon||Nevada||Nevada leads 23-15|
|Hawaiʻi||Air Force||1966||Kuter Trophy||Air Force||Air Force leads 12-6-1|
|Fresno State||San Jose State||1921||Valley Rivalry||San Jose State (2011)||Fresno State leads 39-34-3|
|San Diego State||San Jose State||1935||El Camino Real Rivalry||San Jose State (2012)||San Jose State leads 19-15-2|
|Utah State||Wyoming||1903||Utah State (2011)||Utah State leads 35-24-4|
||1972||Commander-in-Chief's Trophy||Navy (2012)||2013|
|Boise State||Idaho||1971||Battle of Idaho||Governor's Cup||Boise State (2010)|
|Colorado State||Colorado||1893||Rocky Mountain Showdown||Centennial Cup||Colorado State (2012)||2013|
|New Mexico||New Mexico State||1894||Battle of Interstate 25||Rio Grande Rivalry||New Mexico (2012)||2013|
|New Mexico||Arizona||1908||Kit Carson Rifle||New Mexico (2008)|
|New Mexico||UTEP||1919||Rio Grande Championship||UTEP (2010)||2013|
|Fresno State||Louisiana Tech||2001||Battle for the Bone||Louisiana Tech (2011)|
|San Diego State||BYU||1947||BYU (2012)|
|San Jose State||Stanford||1900||Bill Walsh Legacy Game||Stanford (2012)||2013|
|Utah State||BYU||1922||Battle for The Old Wagon Wheel||The Old Wagon Wheel||BYU (2012)||2013|
|Utah State||Utah||1892||Battle of the Brothers||Utah State (2012)||2013|
||1971||Beehive Boot||Utah State (2012)||2013|
Men's NCAA Basketball Tournament 
Women's NCAA Basketball Tournament 
Future members in gray. Departing members in pink.
The Mountain West Conference will have agreements with the following bowls for 2012–13:
|Pick||Name||Location||Opposing Conference||Opposing Pick|
|1||Maaco Bowl Las Vegas||Las Vegas, Nevada||Pac-12||5|
|2||Poinsettia Bowl||San Diego, California||BYU (2012), Army (2013)||–|
|3||Armed Forces Bowl||Fort Worth, Texas||C-USA (2012), Navy (2013)||3, –|
|4||New Mexico Bowl||Albuquerque, New Mexico||Pac-12||7|
|5||Hawai'i Bowl||Honolulu, Hawaii||C-USA||2|
|6||Famous Idaho Potato Bowl||Boise, Idaho||MAC||3|
ESPN created the Bowl Challenge Cup in 2002 for the conference that had the best college football bowl record among Division I Football Bowl Subdivision conferences. The conference has won it four times, more than any other. They finished 4-1 in bowl games in 2011, the best record out of all conferences.
(1) – Tied for 2005–06 championship
|School||Football Stadium||Capacity||Basketball Arena||Capacity||Baseball Stadium||Capacity|
|Air Force||Falcon Stadium||52,480||Clune Arena||5,858||Falcon Baseball Field||1,000|
|Boise State||Bronco Stadium||37,000||Taco Bell Arena||12,480||Non-baseball school|
|Colorado State||Hughes Stadium||34,400||Moby Arena||8,745||Non-baseball school|
|Fresno State||Bulldog Stadium||41,031||Save Mart Center||15,544||Pete Beiden Field||5,422|
|Hawaiʻi||Aloha Stadium||50,000||Football-only member|
|Nevada||Mackay Stadium||29,993||Lawlor Events Center||11,784||William Peccole Park||3,000|
|New Mexico||University Stadium||40,094||The Pit||15,411||Isotopes Park||12,215|
|San Diego State||Qualcomm Stadium||71,400||Viejas Arena||12,414||Tony Gwynn Stadium||3,000|
|San Jose State||Spartan Stadium||30,456||Event Center Arena||5,000||San Jose Municipal Stadium||4,200|
|UNLV||Sam Boyd Stadium||36,800||Thomas & Mack Center (men)
Cox Pavilion (women)
|Earl Wilson Stadium||3,000|
|Utah State||Romney Stadium||25,513||Dee Glen Smith Spectrum||10,270||Non-baseball school|
|Wyoming||War Memorial Stadium||30,514||Arena-Auditorium||15,028||Non-baseball school|
Note: Future members in grey.
The Mountain West's slogan is "Above the rest," and over half of the member institutions are at more than 4,000 feet (1,200 metres) above sea level. This impacts endurance in sports like football, soccer, and the distance races in track & field and swimming meets, and aerodynamics in baseball, softball, tennis, golf, and the discus and javelin throws. The Mountain West's institutions have the highest average elevations in NCAA Division I sports.
|Air Force Academy||7,258 ft.||Falcon Stadium is at 6,640 ft.|
|Wyoming||7,198 ft.||War Memorial Stadium is at 7,220 ft.|
|New Mexico||5,174 ft.|
|Colorado State||5,007 ft.|
|Utah State||4,777 ft.||Joins the MW in 2013|
|Boise State||2,697 ft.|
|UNLV||2,024 ft.||Sam Boyd Stadium is at 1,600 ft.|
|San Diego State||433 ft.|
|Fresno State||338 ft.|
|Hawai'i||105 ft.||football only|
|San Jose State||85 ft.||Joins the MW in 2013|
|Conference average||3,790 ft.
|(2012) 3,421 ft. including Hawai'i
(2013) 3,256 ft. including Hawai'i
|Mountain West||3,790 ft. – 3,421 ft. including Hawai'i (2012)
3,543 ft. – 3,256 ft. including Hawai'i (2013)
|Big Sky||2,968 ft.|
|Summit League||1,295 ft.|
|Pac 12||1,205 ft.|
Elevation data obtained from the USGS Geographic Names Information System
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