Boise State gifted SDSU a big one when they returned to the MWC as part of BSU's return one of the conditions was that SDSU had to be offered a spot as well. The general feeling is that SDSU would not be invited back otherwise. The MWC would rather look to BYU or Houston to get back to 12 teams. BSU was helped by SDSU in getting out of the MWC by leveraging the Big West for the olympic sports teams. (BSU and SDSU to the BE was football only) BSU is now returning the favor so SDSU has somewhere to go. The wording of the condition is that SDSU has until Jan 31 to decide. In the mean time, the MWC is considering options of going to a 14 team conference if SDSU returns.
There have also been rumblings of adding Gonzaga as an olympic sports school to offset Hawaii and their football only membership. Keep in mind that the MWC is currently rated as the #2 Basketball conference in the country and latest projections have them sending 6 teams to the Dance.
We will find out soon because apparently if Houston or SMU opt out by January 11th the exit fee is only $1 million. After that it becomes $5 million and then after June 30th it becomes $10 million. BUT there are stipulations for them to get out with little if any exit fee which are likely to happen (a) if the Big East loses its AQ status (b) if the 2013 conference revenue is 25% less than in 2012 and that one could be possible (c) the conference is unable to maintain members and form a 12-team conference with divisions and a championship game which is also possible.
They are saying that UTSA and UTEP are rumored to be interested in the Mountain West.
BYU is pretty much staying independent until 2017 because of their television network and deal with ESPN. They can make more money as an independent than by joining the Mountain West.
San Diego State is staying in the Mountain West.
big east is dying. boise will be getting out shortly if they havent already
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This is a big deal as they now get to (again) renegotiate part of the TV contract and add a championship game, supposedly to be hosted by the highest ranked division winner. Another rumor to add in is that the conference championship game will be worth about $5 million. Not bad for a "have-not" conference.
Absolutely a better deal for the Mountain West. The Big East is kidding themselves if they still think they are seen as a BCS conference.