Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson says all options are being explored with regard to the conference’s future.

For consecutive years, seismic changes were made to the landscape of college football. Texas and Oklahoma bolted the Big 12 Conference for the SEC last summer, while USC and UCLA sent even more shockwaves by leaving the Pac-12 Conference for the Big 10.

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No conference appears safe from being poached, especially the Mountain West, of which the University of Hawaii is a football-only member. Though the Rainbow Warriors are unlikely to gain an invitation from a conference such as the Pac-12, its current conference could become weaker if it loses some of its more successful members such as Boise State or San Diego State.

Thompson hopes the MWC will be in a position of strength this time around and says the conference has considered its current standing for over a decade. Considerations such as adding teams or even merging with another conference remain on the table.

“About a decade ago, we talked about merging with Conference USA. We had several talks at the board level. We had a consultant and our media partners, and we had a good look way back when and it did not go to fruition,” Thompson said. “Instead, we opted to expand the Mountain West, Conference USA expanded their membership. It’s something we talk about constantly. Many of the things will have to be reactionary. They’re out of our control. There’s always been an inequity financially. There are budgets in Division I athletics that are exceeding $200 million, $225 million. There are budgets in Division I that are less than $15 million. That’s probably a bigger concern on a national scale.

“We want to play at the highest level that football allows and certainly since we have six institutions that started playing football in the 1980’s, it’s a very important sport to us. We’re going to maintain that status and hopefully continue along and play in whatever depending on CFP and bowl structures, et cetera. That’s a hot topic and a front issue burner, probably right there at 1B behind 1A in determining what do we want to be what do we want to be known as? Who do we want to be, and what is important for our institutions to educate our athletes?”