Ah the TB legacy, well below average and routinely among the worst


Why does the Mountain West want San Jose State?
Chris Murray

The Mountain West Conference wraps up its meeting in Phoenix today, and it seems like a matter of time before San Jose State and Utah State officially become members of the league.

The Salt Lake Tribune has reported Utah State joining the MWC is a done deal. Today, Raj Mathai, a television anchor in the Bay Area, tweeted that San Jose State has signed paperwork to join the MWC and will hold a press conference Friday.

The Utah State move makes sense. Aggie basketball is one of the best mid-major programs in the nation and football coach Gary Andersen has Utah State football headed in the right direction. The team reached a bowl game last season for the first time since 1997.

On the other hand, SJSU offers the conference very little.

Yes, it sits in a large television market, but SJSU ranks well behind Cal and Stanford in the Bay Area market. SJSU drew an average of 1,655 fans per home basketball game and 18,214 fans per home football game. And both numbers are tickets sold and not actual attendance, which is way below those listed numbers.

SJSU basketball has been well below average for years and there were discussions to drop the football program just two years ago. SJSU football is routinely among the worst FBS teams in the nation.

From a facility standpoint, SJSU is also well behind everybody else in the Mountain West. San Jose Mercury reporter Jon Wilner wrote that SJSU likely needed to prove to the MWC that it will update its facilities as part of acceptance into the league.

Adding a 10th football team makes sense. But as Jeremy Mauss of writes, why didn’t the MWC go after Texas-San Antonio or Texas State instead?

Texas-San Antonio was the most intriguing target. The team started a football program last season, will be in the WAC in 2012 and then move to Conference USA in 2013. It drew 56,743 fans for its football opener last season and is in a huge television market. It is a potential sleeping giant, whereas you know what you’re getting with SJSU, and it’s not good.

Meanwhile, the WAC also officially lost Texas State today. That leaves three football schools in the WAC, including Idaho, New Mexico State and Louisiana Tech, which is likely off to Conference USA.

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