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Stormy Weather for MWC

When you're a conference commissioner, the weather can change quickly.

I'm not talking about flying from Colorado Springs to San Diego, the way Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson does.

I'm talking about the upheaval that could be ahead.

A week ago, Thompson had to be feeling good. His conference was halfway through a four-year cycle, whereby conferences are evaluated on their worthiness for automatic BSC bowl bids. With Utah, BYU and TCU finishing the football season in the Top 25, things were looking up.

Then came the news that the Pac-10 is considering expanding. Then came more stories that the Big 12 might lose Colorado to the Pac-10, which would leave an opening for BYU. Also, there was talk of TCU going to the Pac-10 or Big 12.

A week or two ago, people were wondering if the Mountain West would add Boise State.

Now it could turn out that Boise State is a measure to stop the bleeding.

In the new age of college sports, dollars rule. Old loyalties and rivalries don't matter as much as TV contracts and bowl money. The ground keeps shifting.

For the first time, I'm thinking Utah to the Pac-10 could really happen. In that case, the conference would likely need to add another. It could be BYU, but more likely Colorado. If I were Colorado, I'd jump.

Better dealing with one or two monsters (USC and/or Oregon) than two or three (Oklahoma, Texas and maybe Texas Tech, Nebraska or Texas A&M).

For Thompson, he has monsters of his own to face — the main one being the decline of his conference, if Utah and BYU move out.