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Conference expansion: BYU, Boise State, San Diego State in talks with Mountain West

According to a report by ESPN's Brett McMurphy, BYU, San Diego State and Boise State are in talks to rejoin the Mountain West.

Douglas C. Pizac-US PRESSWIRE

Things just got real. According to a report by ESPN's Brett McMurphy, the Mountain West is in talks with Boise State, BYU and San Diego State to rejoin the league. McMurphy is a well connected college football reporter, so when he reports something, there has to be some validity to it. Just look at his report about Maryland and Rutgers over the weekend.

The shock is not that Boise State and San Diego State would consider staying in the Mountain West, but it is that BYU is in the mix as well. This talk of returning to the Mountain West is due to Rutgers is leaving the Big East, and possibly UConn.

These talks between the mentioned parties occurred last week in Denver after the BCS meetings happened which announced that the highest rated team from the "group of five" would earn an automatic bid to a big money bowl game.

As for BYU, they are currently earning approximately $4 million per year, and their contract runs through te 2018 season, ESPN has an option for 2019. The first order of business would be to see if BYU can get out of their ESPN contract, and second could they earn near that same amount within the Mountain West. The answer to the second question is no, so maybe there can be some sort of shared rights to allow BYU to get most of, if not all, of that money.

Another reason that BYU would consider a move back to the Mountain West is because they would have an easier time making a big money bowl. Currently as an independent, BYU would have to be considered as an at-large team, and there would be no way for them to earn an auto bid. Being in the Mountain West, it would allow BYU to get into a big money game without having to be undefeated.

Also, something for Boise State and San Diego State to consider, is that if BYU returns to the Mountain West it would increase the money that the league would receive.

Now if this goes any further, this would put the Mountain West at 13 teams, and the next question would be: Who is going to be the 14th team?