San Diego, CA, United States (4E Sports) – Boise State, San Diego State and BYU are negotiating a possible return to Mountain West.
This is after the BCS commissioners decided to award an automatic access bowl berth to the highest-rated champion of the “Group of Five” conferences. That puts the Mountain West on equal footing with the Big East on playoff access starting in 2014.
Furthermore, it’s unknown how much more the Big East’s future media rights will be worth compared to the Mountain West’s after losing Rutgers to the Big Ten and potentially another member to the ACC.
The Mountain West’s media rights deal would also increase if Boise State, San Diego State or BYU returned.
BYU, which left the Mountain West after the 2010 season to become an independent, has a deal with ESPN worth nearly $4 million a year through 2018, with an option for 2019.
While it wouldn’t earn that much in the Mountain West, BYU could be interested in returning to a conference to get greater access to a major bowl berth.
As an independent, BYU would have to finish among the top 10 to 12 teams in the nation to earn an access bowl berth.
Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson said the league purposely didn’t expand past 10 in adding San Jose State and Utah State in case Boise State and San Diego State changed their minds.