First, I want an automatic bowl tie in for the champion of the Mountain West Conference with the Fiesta Bowl, starting with the 2014 season. This just makes sense. The game is being left out of the tie-ins with the soon-to-be-former BCS conferences. The Fiesta will get two "at-large" teams. So I ask: Will a Northern Illinois be a better draw than the MW champ? Of course not. Let the MW champ face an at-large team and watch the conference profile grow.
Before that could happen, I want more "BCS" level schools to come play MW teams on OUR turf. More games like Nebraska at Wyoming (the 2011 game was a great event), Texas at New Mexico (Lobos played both UT and Texas Tech on the road this season), Kansas State at Colorado State, Notre Dame at Air Force (coming fall of 2013!), USC at UNLV (LA vs. Vegas...awesome) and maybe Oregon AT Fresno State. We get games like this way too seldom. The MW teams have to travel 80% of the time, often times for long distances. Make it a 50-50 sort of arrangement and the MW schools would come out on top a lot more often. And the profile will grow.
I want a shiny new on-campus football stadium for Colorado State and a bowl game for Denver's Sports Authority Field. They play lots of bowl games in places with weather worse than Denver, and there's plenty to do in the football crazed Mile High City.
Staying with that theme, I want a holiday college basketball tournament to return to Pepsi Center in Denver. The return of "The Mile High Classic" circa 1989, could feature Colorado, Colorado State (for a possible second meeting each season, the first being their annual on-campus game in early December), Nebraska (now coached by former CSU head man Tim Miles) and say, Oklahoma State. If the atmosphere at the CSU - CU game in Boulder is an indicator, there is an appetite for more quality college hoops along the front range. Add in the fan fervor from Nebraska and the basketball history of Okie State, you'd have a smash hit.
I want pre-season college baseball tournaments in places like Fresno, Las Vegas and Albuquerque that bring some of the nation's best programs west. Entice some of the powerful teams from Florida and the east coast to come to MW territory for some early season tests. If the SEC and ACC schools won't venture out to play MW teams, the conference RPI will never get to where it should be.
I want a trip to Omaha for the College World Series - via bus ride of course - for Ray Birmingham and the New Mexico Lobos baseball team. Come to think of it, I want to see Tony Gwynn take the San Diego State Aztecs to Omaha, too. (My guess is they would fly...) I also want to see Mike Kazlausky and the Air Force Falcons play in the MW tournament. They deserve it.
I want baseball programs brought back at Colorado State and Wyoming. I know, it's about money and weather....but hey, we made it work when I was in school. It could work now, too. It's working at Air Force, by the way.
Finally, I want a period of quiet calm on the realignment front for Commissioner Thompson and everyone in the MW offices. They deserve it, too.
Is this asking for too much????