Conference realignment is nothing new if you follow the NCAA. It’s been ever-present across the landscape of collegiate sports for over 100 years. While some changes had a bigger impact than others, it wasn’t until the early 2000s that the gap between what would be called the Power 5 and the rest would become more apparent.
There isn’t a conference that hasn’t been touched by the effects of realignment and the Mountain West is no different.
San Diego State has even had other invites in the past. Way back in 2011 the Aztecs, as well as Boise State, were invited to join the Big East. A move which in hindsight may have been better, but highly unorthodox.
But now, the Aztecs find themselves in a bit of a pickle. The school believe they were in line to leave the Mountain West and join either the BIG-12 or PAC-12 as recently as April. In the time since both of those moves are potentially dead in the water.
The BIG-12 is all but a no-go for the Aztecs as has been reported elsewhere. Leaving the Aztecs with, what they thought was, a definite invite to the PAC-12. The school was so certain that a move was in the cards that they sent a letter to the Mountain West, which was interpreted as them being out of the conference.
But, the story doesn’t end there.
The PAC-12’s future is still uncertain. Not only are they still searching for a major television rights deal, similar to other conferences, but they’re unsure who will remain a member if and when a rights deal is reached.
And the BIG-12 is waiting to see what happens.
In the meantime, San Diego State is left out in the cold. The Mountain West says they’re out. The Aztecs say, they’re still in. At least until the PAC-12 comes calling. The PAC-12 says we haven’t invited them, and we may not.
The Aztecs may learn their fate on July 17th, at least their Mountain West Conference fate. The schools, minus SDSU, will be meeting to determine what happens going forward. Will the Aztecs remain in the conference? Or will they be shut out and expected to pay the exit fee?
Should the Aztecs remain on the outs, the Mountain West will need to find a replacement. Perhaps they go to the state of Texas to find another member or perhaps they look to the west coast to fill the spot.
Only time well tell how much egg the Aztecs have on their face for how they handled this mess. The conferences however, could both come out on top.