MWC source says conference wants BYU back instead of SDSU

Published: Thursday, Jan. 3 2013 12:25 p.m. MST

Brigham Young Cougars defensive back Jordan Johnson (6) comes up with a San Diego State Aztecs fumble which lead to a touchdown during the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012. BYU won 23-6.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

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Now that Boise State has made the decision to stay in the Mountain West Conference, San Diego State must figure out if it wants to do the same. But the Mountain West would prefer to have BYU back instead of the Aztecs, according to an ESPN report.

The report states that the Mountain West must offer San Diego State the opportunity to stay rather than head to the Big East Conference in 2013. The Mountain West can't approach any other schools until after Jan. 31.

"It's not clear if the MWC even wants San Diego State back after its intended defection, with Boise State, to the Big East," ESPN's Brett McMurphy wrote Wednesday. "A league source told ESPN Wednesday afternoon 'right now the votes are not there for San Diego State.' The source said the Mountain West would prefer Brigham Young."

BYU hasn't made any comments yet about Boise State's decision to stay. But Deseret News columnist Dick Harmon observed Wednesday that a clause in Boise State's return agreement gives the Broncos the ability to sell TV rights to their home games separately from the conference TV package.

That's something BYU had requested from both the Mountain West and the Big East before becoming a football independent in 2011.

If San Diego State chooses to stay, the Mountain West would have 12 football members in 2013, including Boise State, Air Force, Colorado State, Fresno State, Nevada, UNLV, New Mexico, Wyoming, Hawaii, San Jose State and Utah State. The conference would then be split into two divisions, with the winners playing in a championship game.

If San Diego State heads to the Big East, sources told ESPN that the Mountain West would consider Houston, SMU and UTEP after BYU.

Email: lshumway@desnews.com; Twitter: TheShums

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