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On the surface it made little sense. Why would the American Athletic Conference, looking to regroup from losing Cincinnati, UCF and Houston to the Big 12, focus on bringing in Colorado State and Air Force from the Mountain West.

Numerous sources have said that there would be little enthusiasm from ESPN, which has contract with the AAC, with the addition of those teams.

In fact, with the loss of UCF, Houston and Cincinnati, there might even be a drop in value.

But AAC commissioner Mike Aresco, a former TV executive, apparently has a  different way of achieving his goal. 

Weaken the opposition so much they are not a factor. 

And in the case of the AAC. the MWC is the AAC's only major threat, no matter how much the other leagues such as the Sun Belt. Conference USA and MAC might be making plans to stay competitive.

Here's how it would work.

The Big 12 settles its issues with Oklahoma and Texas and then adds Cincinnati, BYU,  Houston and UCF to expand to 12 teams.

The AAC then reacts by also expanding back to 12 by enticing Colorado State and Air Force--reportedly in the mix to be announced within the next few weeks--as well as two additional teams, most likely UAB and UT-SA.

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There has been some pushback from both of those schools about moving athletic competition out of geographical areas to please football, with little consideration given to academics and other travel costs.

Does a Colorado State-Temple women's basketball game on Tuesday night generate  much excitement?

The Mountain West clearly in a crisis mode. If can afford to lose Air Force and Colorado State, but if the Big 12 makes expansion move No. 2 and takes San Diego State and Boise State, the MWC becomes  non-factor

Which is what Aresco could be projecting. 

It is like the old story about the two men being chased by a grizzly bear.

The men don't have to beat the bear, they just have to beat each other to survive.

Aresco could also hedge his bets on expansion by passing on UAB and UTSA for now and focusing on the most dangerous current threat to getting a playoff spot from a Group of 5 team and take Coastal Carolina as a possible partner.

Right now, that looks like a long shot, but there are other possibilities for future consideration.

Right now, the first step will be to devalue the MWC by taking Colorado State and Air Force, whose prime motivation to move would be to avoid being caught in a fire sale if the MWC is raided for a second time by the Big 12.

Game or Games On.