With this installment, we head west, and get our second-to-last conference for this project. Home of the Air Force flexbone, Pitt's last coach, and June Jones.
With BYU, TCU, Utah, and even Boise State finding greener pastures, the re-imagined MWC is less ambitious than its predecessor, which was nearly an AQ conference before the run-up to the super-conference era cost it most of its top-tier football programs. But some of the better mid-major football programs still make this conference their home.
League Name: In an attempt to preserver the brand built in the 2000s -- and because even with SMU and Tulsa, the name still arguably fits better than it ever did in the old version of the conference -- this conference retains the name of the Mountain West Conference.
Members: Air Force, New Mexico, New Mexico State, UTEP, Tulsa, Colorado State, Wyoming, Southern Methodist
Advantages: SMU, Air Force, Tulsa, and to a lesser extent almost everyone except New Mexico State has had some success in football. Major market access in Dallas and Denver. UTEP/New Mexico State has always been something of a rivalry. Service academies have always had national followings.
Disadvantages: New Mexico schools are currently terrible at football, as is Colorado State. SMU's success in football is tied to major recruiting violations. Wyoming, New Mexico, and Oklahoma (for schools not named Oklahoma) are tiny markets.
Summary: A pretty nice conference in the eastern Rockies, plus Tulsa and SMU. And one that features a lot of variations in offense, between SMU, Tulsa, and Air Force.