Monday, June 6, 2011

MWC Logo Redesign and BSU's Real Goal

Today the Mountain West Conference revealed a redesign to it's logo. Apparently the new logo has earned plenty of criticism. I for one think it is okay. Not really an upgrade from the old one, but not a downgrade either. It is probably appropriate to have a new one considering the amount of change in membership the conference is going to experience in the next few years.

BSU President Bob Kustra seemed to be tickled to be finally realizing his goal of getting BSU into the MWC when asked for comments today. He kept saying it was his goal all along and he couldn't be happier. I don't think that is true. I think President Kustra could be much happier. While the MWC is an upgrade for BSU athletically and academically, it isn't where BSU hopes to live out the rest of its days. While BSU would likely be more enthusiastic about the future of the MWC if Utah, BYU, and TCU (in 2012) hadn't decided to bail the fact is that BSU never planned to stay forever.

With the MWC, BSU gets the benefit of better regional competition and a better perceived visibility. I actually think that as long as the MWC has the awful TV deal it has, BSU is going to have lost on that part. That said, the WAC will likely have to renegotiate its TV contract soon with the departure of BSU and then Nevada, Hawaii, and Fresno State (more on the future of the WAC in a future post). If Craig Thompson, MWC Commish, is smart, which he is, he'll try to his best get the MWC in the same sort of spot in the ESPN lineup as the very capable Commish Karl Benson did for the WAC. Some people are calling the MWC, WAC 2.0. They may be right, but WAC 1.0 was good for BSU and there is little doubt the new version will be any worse.

Now, as I've been saying the MWC or WAC 2.0, whatever you wanna call it is an upgrade, but its not the destination. It is like stopping in Prosser on your drive to Seattle from Boise. Yeah, it has lots of nice things to offer, but you wouldn't want to be stuck there. BSU wants to make it to Seattle as a conference member of the PAC 12 (16). Becoming a member of the PAC 12 is the real goal. Doing so achieves many things that BSU desires. It gives them more credibility than any success in the MWC could ever earn. Most importantly, it finally puts BSU as the indisputable leader of the State of Idaho's public post-secondary institutions. The Vandals will never be PAC 12 caliber. This would be the final step and it can't come soon enough to those of us BSU alums that had to grow up listening to our U of I neighbors and friends put down little BJC. If BSU gets invited to PAC 12, and at some point it will, BSU will not just be the little engine that could, but it'll become the little engine that did.

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