4 or 5 years ago the MWC was rated the 5th best in the country and was a 3 bid conference. There were 3 teams that were nationally recognized programs and competed almost every year for tournament bids along with several more improving rapidly. Then the coaching carousel started to turn. UNLV was the first to take a spin when they wouldn't pay Kruger what was necessary to keep him in Vegas. Next up was Alford who jumped at an offer to go to the bigs for money and stature. The last shoe to drop will be Fisher in the near future.
The 1st sign of decline is for a program to settle and the fan base to buy into "Oh we'll be OK, the new guy has been in waiting and preparing for taking the reins for years". Well how well has that worked out for UNLV and UNM so far? SDSU is on the same track but......read the line above.
At the same time the 2nd tier of the conference got sick and tired of being, well the 2nd tier. Those programs made changes, primarily to find program building coaches. Their rise hasn't been near as dramatic as the fall of the top tier as is evidenced by the fact that if it weren't for the automatic conference tournament winner bid the MWC would get no bid at all. Now as the overall decline continues the question is still what will the new first tier do to solidify their position. Is UNR preparing to find the million$ that they will need to keep their program building coach? Will BSU make their basketball program a priority like they have their football program? Will Eustachy keep his act together and is he capable of building a program full of eligible players? Will SDSU follow the same path already tried and be the nut found by the blind squirrel.?
By all means though take pride in only being as good or bad as those other programs that you've always had contempt for. Maybe the big east will throw you another life preserver made of lead. Ask BSU to toss you a shirt tail again.