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Mountain West Conference: SDSU likely will stay, creating an even more competitive conference for Aggies

Published: Monday, July 6 2015 9:25 p.m. MDT

Sam Meredith #98 of the San Diego State Aztecs goes through pregame drills prior to the game against the BYU Cougars in the Poinsettia Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium on December 20, 2012 in San Diego, California. (Kent Horner, Getty Images) Sam Meredith #98 of the San Diego State Aztecs goes through pregame drills prior to the game against the BYU Cougars in the Poinsettia Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium on December 20, 2012 in San Diego, California. (Kent Horner, Getty Images)

Conference stability was among the reasons behind Boise State's decision to stay with the Mountain West Conference. It now appears that same stability is drawing San Diego State back into the Mountain West fold as well.

Talks of San Diego State, which planned to leave the conference for the Big East alongside Boise State, staying in the Mountain West are heating up. A CBS Sports report says a deal between the conference and the Aztecs is "on a pretty fast track."

By all accounts, the big loser in the latest edition of conference reshuffling is the Big East. If San Diego State doesn't join the Big East, it will be one more deadly blow to an already suffering league. Even Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco admitted that SDSU will likely be walking away from the depleted conference.

"Every indication is they want to stay (in the MWC)," Aresco said after attending a BCS commissioners meeting. "Whether they will or not we still don't know. We're still talking."

MWC commissioner Craig Thompson said the conference is done expanding and will stay at nine when Boise State is added and Utah leaves. (Associated Press) MWC commissioner Craig Thompson said the conference is done expanding and will stay at nine when Boise State is added and Utah leaves. (Associated Press)

SDSU has until the end of the month to decide if it will rejoin the Mountain West, but could possibly decide this week.

Although not to the same extent as Boise State, keeping SDSU would likely help with the conference's campaign for stability, many believe.

Locally, Utahns are wondering how these two teams staying in the conference would affect the Utah State Aggies.

In May 2012 Utah State and San Jose State announced they were joining the MWC to replace Boise State and San Diego State.

"We are proud to join with this group of high-quality institutions as we continue our very positive upward trajectory," USU president Stan Albrecht said following the Aggies' decision. "This is a great day for Utah State athletics and for the university as a whole."

Utah State Aggies quarterback Chuckie Keeton (16) runs for a touchdown as Utah State University and Toledo play football in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl  Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012,in Boise, Idaho.
 (Tom Smart, Deseret News) Utah State Aggies quarterback Chuckie Keeton (16) runs for a touchdown as Utah State University and Toledo play football in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012,in Boise, Idaho. (Tom Smart, Deseret News)

The Aggies will begin their first year in the Mountain West next fall. This season, the Utah State football team was recognized nationally in several defensive categories and came away with the WAC title in what was the school's best season in a long time.

With this recent success, the timing to join a better conference could not have been better. With Boise State staying in the MWC, and SDSU now likely to also stay, the Aggies will likely benefit.

"Boise State adds value," USU Director of Athletics Scott Barnes said, according to the Herald Journal. "We’re in a position of strength and we’ve just added another school that brings more value to what we’re doing and it’s a great fit for Utah State in terms of geography."

The MWC paid the price to keep a national non-BCS powerhouse in the conference, and that price was steep.

In the deal, Boise State benefits and will, at least in the first few years, make more revenue than the rest of the teams in the conference. The largest contributing factor to its increase in money is retaining the right to negotiate television coverage for all games played at Bronco Stadium.

Despite the large negotiations the MWC had with Boise State, its commitment to consistency and competitive play should pay off, says Commissioner Craig Thompson.

"Maintaining the Broncos program as part of the already solid foundation we have established creates a posture of great stability for the Mountain West going forward," said Thompson, according to Star Advertiser. "It also enhances the conference’s competitive and marketplace platforms, positioning us favorably in the evolving FBS landscape.”

The commissioner isn't the only one who knows the return of Boise State will also bring national attention to the conference.

“We’re thrilled," Barnes said. "It obviously adds value to an already strong conference and takes us a step closer, I believe, to being the best non-BCS conference in America.”

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