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MWC official: "Meaningful discussions continue" with SDSU

It's safe to say that most Mountain West Conference fans have hit the wall with regard to realignment and the MWC. But MW Connection continues to follow the the on-going saga of SDSU, the MWC and conference realignment in college sports.

Yes, this SDSU fan is as ridiculous as this on-going SDSU-MWC story.
Yes, this SDSU fan is as ridiculous as this on-going SDSU-MWC story.

After the non-event that was the Big East Conference meetings in Dallas, Texas, conference realignment took a back seat to NFL football and actual college athletic events this past Saturday and Sunday (How about those overtime games?).

But a few things regarding MWC realignment came to light over the weekend.

The Denver Post has largely been quiet during this whole realignment drama (that'll happen when your city hosts the No. 1 seed in the AFC).

But Irv Moss of the DP filed a report Friday that cited an actual, honest to gawd Mountain West official speaking on the record (not the usual "anonymous source" or even a "person with knowledge of the situation") regarding the MWC or the San Diego St. Aztecs.

Moss' story featured an interview with MWC deputy commissioner Bret Gilliland:

(Bret Gilliland) said Friday it's 99 percent certain that there will be 11 or 12 teams for the 2013 season and meaningful discussions continue with San Diego State officials...

"We're preparing as much as we can for an 11-team schedule, but if it goes to 12, we've looked at some plans and we're ready to go," Gilliland said. "Our outside timetable is Jan. 31, but obviously we would like to move on this as quickly as possible."

Gilliland laid out a 12-team, two-division plan that includes:
• five division games, three cross-division games and four non-conference games.
• a championship game between the division winners at the end of the season.
• And as before, playing a game at conference member Hawaii allows the traveling team to add a non-conference game to its schedule.

Meanwhile, an interesting item from the Jerry Briggs of the San Antonio Express-News published Saturday includes quotes from Lynn Hickey, athletic director of the Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners.

Briggs references the proliferation of Internet "trolls" who suggested that UTSA should be exploring ties with the MWC and vice versa. Paraphrasing the conversation, Briggs said Hickey "laughed" at the suggestion:

"We have not had any conversations, and I have not had a call, nothing," UTSA's athletic director said last week...

In quashing the UTSA-to-the-Mountain West chatter, Hickey issued a firm denial, saying, "No, we're in the WAC this year. We've already made our first down payment to be in Conference USA next year, and so that's the direction we're going."

But Briggs says Conference USA officials, such as commissioner Britton Banowksy "cannot laugh off all the speculation" because of the ongoing realignment in all of college sports.

But Banowksy's milquetoast comments in the article don't belie any concern. So... take it for what it's worth.

Lastly... as was mentioned in last night's audio chat on MW Connection, the UNLV Rebels have joined the Western Athletic Conference for men's soccer.

But it's not just UNLV it's the entire 2012 line up of the catch-all Olympic sports conference the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, which has dropped the sport starting in 2013 (except for the New Mexico Lobos, who announced their departure from MPSF this fall for Conference USA in 2013).

The WAC men's soccer league now includes MWC members UNLV, the San Jose St. Spartans and Air Force Falcons along with Houston Baptist, Seattle University, Cal State Bakersfield (which had been slated to join San Diego St. in the six-team Pac-12 men's soccer league) and provisional Division I school Grand Canyon University.

So realignment isn't just for football out West, it seems.