When Air Force superintendent Lt. Gen. Mike Gould said Air Force was staying in the Mountain West, the reaction from Falcons fans was mostly positive. The Falcons’ head coach approved, as well.
Troy Calhoun, who was involved in a meeting with Big East officials when they came to Colorado Springs in October to try to sell the academy on switching conferences, said he was happy to be staying put. Although Calhoun has refused to talk about how much of a say he would have in the decision, it should be safely assumed that Calhoun’s opinion was solicited in the process.
For Calhoun, he thought the decision was correct.
“I think under the circumstances yes, certainly with the timing of it too,” Calhoun said. “You look at the landscape of college athletics, and maybe it’s different in 20 months or three or four years, but right now, yes sir.”
Gould has left the door open to reevaluating the Falcons’ conference affiliation down the road, depending if there are more major shifts in the college athletics landscape.
To Calhoun, the biggest part of staying in the Mountain West was keeping traditional, regional rivalries.
“I think the part that’s vital, I think of our followers and our student-athletes,” Calhoun said. “If you’re part of a league, and there are so many pluses to being part of a league, then I think you want a good number of your sports in the same league, and I think it’s huge anytime you can play Colorado State or UNLV in any sport – whether it’s basketball, women’s volleyball, and our sport in football. I think you develop some healthy, competitive, friendly but darn good rivalries that over time, makes it better. I think rivalries are huge, and I think you develop something that can carry somewhat from one sport to another.”