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Boise State, San Diego State, BYU Talking Mountain West Return?

BOISE, ID - OCTOBER 20:  The Boise State Broncos run onto the field for the game against the UNLV Rebels at Bronco Stadium on October 20, 2012 in Boise, Idaho.  (Photo by Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images)
Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images
Martin SondermannAnalyst IINovember 20, 2012

With the news of Rutgers leaving the Big East and rumors of a possible Connecticut departure, Boise State and San Diego State appear to be weighing their options.

Brett McMurphy of ESPN.com reports sources have indicated that the Broncos, Aztecs and the BYU Cougars are talking to the Mountain West about a possible return to the conference.

According to the report, the talks started after the BCS announcement last week that the highest-ranked champion of the "Group of Five" conferences (MWC, Big East, C-USA, MAC and Sun Belt) would get an automatic bid to a new premier bowl game—thereby putting the Mountain West on "equal footing" with the Big East when it came to premier bowl possibilities.

The biggest incentive Boise State had to join the Big East was the lure of more television revenue, but the recent shakeups have clouded the entire media-rights landscape. It remains to be seen if the Mountain West can offer the Broncos enough financially to make it worth their while to return to the MWC.

If other teams begin to jump the Big East's sinking ship, the Mountain West might be a reality for Boise State. As it stands now, it is anyone's guess.

There are a lot of issues that would have to be worked out for Boise State, San Diego State and BYU if they were to return to the Mountain West, as noted by McMurphy:

Even though Boise State and San Diego State don't join the Big East until July 1, 2013, the schools would have to pay an exit fee to get out of their contract. Both schools signed contracts with the Big East on Dec. 6, 2011, with a $5 million buyout, but that amount was increased to $10 million in January when Navy announced it was joining the league in 2015.

BYU [...] would have to get out of an eight-year contract with ESPN to rejoin the Mountain West or Big East.

It is truly a crazy, crazy time in college football.

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