The Beehive State is no stranger to the Mountain West Conference. Since its inception in 1999, the conference has undergone major changes both to the delight and chagrin of college sports fans in Utah.
The conference spun away from the Western Athletic Conference began with eight charter members: Utah, BYU, Wyoming, Air Force, San Diego State, Colorado State, New Mexico and UNLV. It expanded to nine when TCU joined in 2005
The University of Utah received an invite to the Pac-12 conference in 2010 and departed in 2011. At the same time that Utah entered the BCS fold, fellow charter member BYU embarked upon their own independent journey. TCU also departed for the Big East, then the Big 12.
Over the last three years, five members of the Western Athletic Conference have joined the MWC in all sports, with Hawaii joining as a football-only member, bolstering football membership to 12. Every school currently in the MWC at one time or another was a part of the old WAC.
A regional conference, the MWC is one of the most respected basketball conferences in America. The conference also enjoys six different college football bowl tie-ins.
Though it has been affected, the Mountain West has been a relative island of stability in an ocean of conference realignment and change.
Kraig Williams is a 2010 Utah State University graduate and regular Deseret News sports blogger. He can be followed on Twitter @DesNewsKraig.
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