San Diego State returns to Mountain West; What might divisions look like?

By Brian Murphy
bmurphy@idahostatesman.com

Highlights from Thompson's press conference

• Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson said the league's athletic directors will meet, possibly as soon as Monday, to discuss divisional alignment.

• San Diego State's television rights in all sports will be part of the Mountain West package unlike Boise State's home football rights which will be sold separately by the league and Boise State.

The Mountain West will be able to renegotiate its contract with CBS now that San Diego State has been added. "We gave CBS 10 San Diego State football games and 16-18 Top 25 basketball games. There's good solid value in that," he said.

• San Diego State will receive its full share of conference revenue distribution this year. The Aztecs will not receive any additional money from the conference to help pay its exit fee to the Big West. San Diego State will not owe an exit fee to the Big East.

• Thompson said the conference will have 12 football-playing members for the 2013 season. He said the league is not interested in adding an additional basketball school. The Mountain West has 11 basketball-playing schools. Thompson said the "general consensus" is that 20 conference games in basketball are too many.

• Thompson said the intention is to play a football championship game at the site of the higher-ranked team, but it has not been decided as of yet. CBS would own the TV rights to that game, but the league would be able to negotiate a rights fee.

• Thompson said football teams will play four home conference games and four road conference games in 2013.

• Thompson said he was "elated" at the state of his league. "There was a time period of a little bit more vulnerability than we would have liked," Thompson admitted. "I'm elated on Jan. 16 with where we are today, with a 12-team league. We got the band back together."

• Thompson said San Diego State received "well beyond" the three-quarters vote necessary to be reinstated into the Mountain West. All 11 members got to vote on the Aztecs.

• CBS paid the Mountain West $8 million this year for all of its television rights. Thompson said there is "renewed interest" in the Mountain West's secondary television packages. He said the Mountain West was concentrating on four main entities — ABC/ESPN, CBS, NBC and Fox — for its national package.

• Thompson said it may be late April before the complete football schedule is released.

San Diego State to remain in Mountain Wsst

San Diego State and the Mountain West made it official Wednesday: The Aztecs are returning to the league.

San Diego State joins Boise State in returning to the league after announcing their intention to join the Big East (in football) and the Big West (in most other sports) in July.

"San Diego State University is pleased to be continuing as a full member of the Mountain West Conference," SDSU President Dr. Elliot Hirshman said in a statement released by the league. "We are excited about the opportunities our partnership provides for the development of the Conference and San Diego State University's athletic programs."

"As a charter member of the Mountain West, San Diego State has decades of history and tremendous competitive rivalries with our member institutions," Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson said. "With today's announcement, SDSU's membership continues uninterrupted and helps the Mountain West maintain a solid foundation going forward. The Aztecs remain a perfect fit geographically and provide the Conference with a highly-competitive athletics program that includes a Top 25 men's basketball team, a 2012 MW tri-champion in football and several other league championship programs."

Said Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco: "On behalf of the Big East Conference Presidents and Directors of Athletics, I want to wish San Diego State the best," We have enjoyed working with President Elliot Hirshman and Director of Athletics Jim Sterk and our membership has the highest regard for them and for their institution."

With the Aztecs returning, the Mountain West will have 12 teams for the 2013 football season. Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson told the Idaho Statesman that the league would divide into two divisions and hold a championship game if that is the case.

The league will play eight conference games (five in division, three vs. teams in the other division) and four non-conference games. Teams that play at Hawaii would be allowed to schedule a 13th regular-season game.

The league could opt for an East-West (Mountain/Pacific) alignment.

East (Mountain): Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, New Mexico, Utah State, Wyoming

West (Pacific): Fresno State, Hawaii, Nevada, San Jose State, San Diego State, UNLV.

That divisional alignment is not that attractive for Boise State, which would much prefer to play the teams in the West (Pacific).

A North-South split would be much more difficult and would likely mean dividing natural rivals like Nevada-UNLV or Fresno State-San Jose State.

Among the other questions the Mountain West would need to address is how many basketball games teams would play in conference. With 11 teams (remember Hawaii is a football-only member), a 20-game round-robin basketball schedule may be too many games.

Chip Kelly to the Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles have hired Chip Kelly after he originally chose to stay at Oregon.

The 49-year-old Kelly becomes the 21st coach in team history and replaces Andy Reid, who was fired on Dec. 31 after a 4-12 season.

Kelly, who was 46-7 in four years at Oregon, interviewed with the Eagles, Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills after leading the fast-flying Ducks to a victory over Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl. But he opted to remain at Oregon before changing his mind.

The Eagles are known to have interviewed 11 candidates, including two meetings with Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. Philadelphia has won just 12 games the last two seasons, after winning the NFC East in 2010.

"Chip Kelly will be an outstanding head coach for the Eagles," owner Jeffrey Lurie said in a statement. "He has a brilliant football mind. He motivates his team with his actions as well as his words. He will be a great leader for us and will bring a fresh energetic approach to our team."

— The Associated Press

Has Oregon named a head coach yet?

Oregon was previously reported to hire from within (OC) were Chip Kelly to leave. Hoping that is still the case.

East West

The good part of the east/west alignment is that BSU will have a little easier schedule which will help them get to the MWC title game, but the bad part is that they won't be ranked as high with a poor schedule and secondly they won't be able to recruit in the better locations as they won't be playing s many games there.

Mitigate?

Can't that be mitigated by playing the best 3 in the West as the cross over games? E.g., play Fresno, Nevada and San Diego State

Old WAC --- New WAC

I would like these Divisions:

Old WAC
Air Force
Colorado State
New Mexico
UNLV
SDSU
Wyoming

New WAC
Boise
Reno
Fresno
San Jose
Hawaii
Utah State

As long as they play San Diego I don't care how they do it.

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Apple users, run the Gig of RAM your PC needs to have and read the dumb tech white papers, wrinkle your forehead and buy more food and toilet paper with the difference. The internet is a piece of junk anyway and your cats know this.

Go sell crazy someplace else

We're all stocked up here

Of course you are, 754

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Ineffective paywall a Service of RR Donnelley

Well Coach Pete

If you ever wanted a ginormous paycheck and more trees, Oregon is looking for a head coach. You'd likely have a better chance at a national championship over there.

Selfishly, I hope you stay.

Keep the old band together

Considering how the MWC has already bent over backwards for Boise State, why not tailor the divisions to Boise State's desires as well? Take the three amigos: Boise State, Fresno State, Nevada, then add a regional partner for each: Utah State, San Jose State, and UNLV. Bam. Six.

It makes no regional sense but Boise State fans would love it. Plus Boise State wouldn't have to play San Diego State or Air Force, whose teams are well-built to exploit BSU's weaknesses.

Now that Chip Kelly has changed his mind,

I'm wondering if the upcoming NCAA sanctions may have played a part in his decision. But he should do just fine in the pro's because after all, he's had four years experience coaching lawbreakers, 'problem' children, and egomaniacs.....Sunny...

They shuld have recruited HERE when we were still young.

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Apple users, run the Gig of RAM your PC needs to have and read the dumb tech white papers, wrinkle your forehead and buy more food and toilet paper with the difference. The internet is a piece of junk anyway and your cats know this.

I'm too lazy to look it up...

but is BSU still in the Pac-12 for rasslin'? Everything has always said Mountain West "for all sports."

In the Pac12 for "rasslin'"

In the Pac12 for "rasslin'" - yes. But who cares - its.......rasslin'

Yes ...

Boise State is in the Pac-12 for wrestling. Mountain West does not sponsor the sport

You said it yourself, "for

You said it yourself, "for all sports". Apparently no one really considers wrestling a "sport". ;)

Looks Great

LOVING the fact that we are staying in the MWC and with traditional and REGIONAL rivalries - makes so much sense. And splitting into divisions and including a championship game is fantastic and good for the league overall.

Think of it this way - we committed to the Big East simply as a bargaining chip to get exactly what we wanted out of the Mountain West...

Conference championship game.

Hopefully big Bob made it understood that the highest ranked team will host the championship game.

Luv it.

Now get the Broncos in the same division as Fresno, Reno, SDSU and AF for strength of schedule. Or at least play them all as non-cons.

BroncoBob is right...

East/West divisions look best for travel purposes, but I like "BroncoBob's" Old WAC/New WAC for competitiveness relative to Boise State. It would account for a much tougher schedule which is paramount in the rankings.

'This is all lies

and alchemy.'

- Manti Te'o

********
You'd be bananas to feast in my mangroves.

Then this should be in idahopolitics...

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Ineffective paywall a Service of RR Donnelley
ui.ppjol...causing an exploit is not groovy

Look for the MWC to be out for revenge

Anyone who thinks the MWC is going to do what Boise State (or San Diego State) wants is insane or just completely clueless. Look for the MWC to be sticking it to both Boise State and San Diego State when it comes to setting up these two divisions and when it comes to deciding which teams will have to travel to Hawaii, etc., etc., etc.

PAYBACK can be a real.............BIATCH and the MWC will be looking to exact some of that from both BSU and SDS for their attempts to leave the conference. Much like what they did to T.C.U. when the frogheads actually did leave the MWC.

Most all the teams in the MWC

are elated to have the two schools back. The MWC was as stable as the WAC without them and now are strong. Everybody benefits with their return, so really the only ones wanting to "exact some revenge" will be the fans of schools that hate BSU and or SDSU. All in all this ended up being the perfect way to "get rid of the trash" that was left in the WAC.

What happened to the MWC V CUSA championship

I guess I missed it but wasn't that in the works. It was a big reason I for one wanted out. An also ran championship is lame.

This is great for all schools involved. This should solidify the MWC for a long time.

Northeast - Southwest Divisions

To keep it regional and split up the stronger teams, how about this:

Northeast Southwest

Boise St. San Diego St.
Nevada Fresno St.
Utah St. San Jose St.
Air Force New Mexico
Wyoming UNLV
Colorado St. Hawaii

Boise State gets to play Nevada every year and maybe the start of a great rivalry with Utah State. I like BroncoBob's idea, but the Old WAC division looks pretty weak.

MWC will want strong BSU schedule

Rememeber that media rights to BSU home games are sold separatley and the proceeds go into the MWC for allocation to all members. So it behoves the MWC (and ESPN etc, will lobby for) to schedule BSU home games with the best competition. The discussions on the divisions will undoubtedly keep this in mind.

They also will want conference games that a major network will want as the two teams get the 300/500k bonus.

I've got it!

We break up the divisions into those teams that have won at least one game against BSU in the last 16 years and those teams that have zero wins against BSU in 16 years.

The "Won a game" division

Boise State
Fresno State
Hawaii
Nevada
Utah State
San Diego State

The "winless" division

New Mexico
UNLV
Air Force
San Jose State
Wyoming
Colorado State

Just a thought....

Better OOC in order

I'm not too worried about how the divisions get set-up. Programs ebb and flow, and the strong teams today will not be the strong teams tomorrow (except BSU, yes, I am a homer).

I would think that this should put more emphasis on BSU scheduling stronger OOC opponents. Games with the Big Boys ala Georgia, VT, Oregon, etc. will bring bucks to both BSU and the conference (especially if we get a few home and homes).
A win in that game would go a long way to seeing that the conference championship game is on the Blue. The AD needs to strengthen the OOC schedule. Go Broncos.

This just in (not here yet)...

Chip Kelly coaching Philadelphia Eagles

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This brouhaha could have been prevented...communication?

That's old news... But

what is this Manti I keep hearing about?

Why extra game?

Pardon my ignorance, but can someone please explain why a team can schedule an extra game if they play at Hawaii?

Aussie

The extra game is insentive for teams to go to Hawaii. Given the additional travel time and cost to play in Hawaii, the NCAA decided that an extra (preferably home) game revenue would induce schools to play out there.

It is actually a decent rule and has worked quite well.

Gee as if it weren't nice enough? :)

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This brouhaha could have been prevented...communication?