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Mountain West Conference

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Colorado State University playing football against the United States Air Force Academy

The Mountain West Conference (abbreviated as either "MW" or "MWC") is a group of colleges and universities in the Western United States, who play NCAA Division I sports against one another. In football, the MW plays in the top-level Division I FBS.

The league was formed in 1999 when eight schools split from the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). Most of the original members had been members of the WAC before it grew from 10 schools to 16 in 1996.

Due to a major realignment of Division I conferences, the MW and Conference USA announced plans to merge into one conference, possibly for the 2013–14 school year.[1] However, because of money issues, the conferences backed away from a full merger. They planned to form an alliance for scheduling and television purposes.[2] After both conferences added more schools, they backed out of the planned alliance.

Current members

Eleven schools are "full members", meaning that they play almost all of their sports in the MW.

School Location Type Joined MW Nickname
United States Air Force Academy
(Air Force)
Colorado Springs, Colorado Federal 1999 Falcons
Boise State University Boise, Idaho Public 2011 Broncos
California State University, Fresno
(Fresno State)
Fresno, California Public 2012 Bulldogs
Colorado State University Fort Collins, Colorado Public 1999 Rams
University of Nevada, Reno (Nevada) Reno, Nevada Public 2012 Wolf Pack
University of New Mexico Albuquerque, New Mexico Public 1999 Lobos
San Diego State University San Diego, California Public 1999 Aztecs
San Jose State University San Jose, California Public 2013 Spartans
University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) Las Vegas, Nevada Public 1999 Rebels
Utah State University Logan, Utah Public 2013 Aggies
University of Wyoming Laramie, Wyoming Public 1999 Cowboys &

Associate members

Two schools are "associate members", meaning that they play in the MW in some sports while playing most other sports in another league. Both schools play only one sport in the MW.

School Location Type Joined MW MW Sport Nickname Main Conference
University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Honolulu, Hawaii Public 2012 Football Rainbow Warriors Big West Conference
Colorado College Colorado Springs, Colorado Private 2014 Women's soccer Tigers Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference
(NCAA Division III)

Former members

Two of the MW's first members, plus one school that joined later, are no longer in the conference.

School Location Type Joined MW Left MW Nickname Current Conference
Brigham Young University
Provo, Utah Private 1999 2011 Cougars West Coast Conference[a 1]
Texas Christian University
Fort Worth, Texas Private 2005 2012 Horned Frogs Big 12 Conference
University of Utah Salt Lake City, Utah Public 1999 2011 Utes Pacific-12 Conference
  1. BYU's football team is a Division I FBS independent (not in any conference).


  1. Katz, Andy (February 13, 2012). "MWC, C-USA to form new conference". Retrieved February 19, 2012. 
  2. McMurphy, Brett (April 17, 2012). "Conference USA-Mountain West merger "unlikely"". College Football Insider ( Retrieved April 27, 2012.