Just as news broke overnight that the Mountain West Conference is in talks with the Tulsa Golden Hurricane, word comes that that talks between the San Diego St. Aztecs and Mountain West Conference are beginning to heat up.
USA Today's National college football writer George Schroeder took to Twitter for a pair of provocative tweets about he ongoing talks between the MWC and SDSU:
MWC commish Craig Thompson: San Diego St officials were in MWC office Monday reviewing TV contracts. He'd like a resolution "soon."
Then half and hour later:
MWC comm Craig Thompson tore up 10-team '13 FB schedule last week. Doesn't have 1. "Before we do an 11-team, I'd like to see if we have 12."
Additionally, Jeremy Fowler from CBSSports.com reports from post-BCS Championship Game Ft. Lauderdale that "a source with direct knowledge of the discussio" has informed MWC conference officials that a decision from SDSU administrators is expected this week as the Aztecs have been in close discussions with MWC officials over television revenue.
One Mountain West source said a decision should come before the Big East Conference's meeting of presidents and athletic directors on Friday in Dallas. Another classified a deal being "on a pretty fast track."
"They want back if terms are acceptable," a league source said. "They will need to accept our terms and presidents will need to improve."
Does Jeremy mean "presidents will need to Approve? Hmm...
Anywho...Fowler gives a good recap of last week's realignment drama as well as explaining the deal that kept the Boise St. Broncos in the MWC, pointing out that the Boise deal applies to all schools in the conference and that SDSU will not have a buyout due to the Big East because they have no West Coast partner.
There are apparently some snags holding things up but:
An official with knowledge of those discussions declined to name specifics of the deal or any potential hang-ups.
Fowler also speculates on the next moves from the new Big East football schools.
If San Diego State bolts, one option for the Big East is to completely drop the West Coast footprint it started with Boise and SDSU in mind, according to a league source, who said up to eight teams are potential San Diego State/Boise replacements.
Meanwhile over at Bleacher Report, their post-BCS title game output includes a musing on the great opportunity the Mountain West has now that the league has stabalized and looks to be positioned as the best league outside the so-called "Big 5."
Featured columnist Martin Sonderman writes the MWC can get the jump on the whole superconference idea and make it work:
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see what is happening in the FBS. However, with so many moving parts and no central leadership, the idea of four or five 16 member super conferences is hard to establish.
However, a smaller, more agile conference might be able to get something done, while they are still small and agile.
Sonderman acknowledges that the idea has been tried and failed once before with the ill-fated WAC-16. But he persists and has some decent points - he lays out the divisional plan (which is a variation on the WAc-16's pod concept) as well as championship and other considerations.
The bottom line is a television partner, and that's where the idea frays:
The Mountain West has a bad television deal. They did renegotiate it, but that was to save the conference. However, the current deal expires in 2016. That bodes well for the MWC, especially if they get this 16 team conference built now.
ESPN would no doubt be the way to go, and they could help the MWC build this into something great. If they agreed to promote and broadcast the playoff games, the MWC would instantly become relevant.
CBS Sports Network just affirmed its commitment to the MWC by renegotiating their TV deal with the MWC, a deal that goes through 2016 and could go as long as 2020 if CBS Sports Net picks up their option. So ESPN may not be an option.
Still it's an interesting idea. And it's nice to see the MWC be given serious consideration as something other than a college football after thought.