AAC Reportedly Speaking With San Diego State, Boise State
Could the Mountain West lose a few teams?
It wouldn’t be the offseason without realignment rumors
College football offseason is here and it would not be considered the offseason without some realignment talk. It has been years since there has been major realignment at the FBS level of college football.
Yahoo Sports mentions how media rights deals for the Big Ten, Pac-12, and Big 12 are expiring within the next five years and that could lead to some sort of shift in the sports. The Big Ten is up first and do not be surprised if that league starts looking around to beef up its empire.
However, tucked in this piece is Group of Five movement as Pete Thamel is reporting that Boise State and San Diego State have been engaged with the AAC.
This tracks since Boise State has reached out to the American which was mentioned in the emails from former Broncos head coach Bryan Harsin who wanted to get the football team in a better situation and there was conversations with the AAC and Boise State.
This makes sense from the AAC side of things as they want to actually become a power conference and not just pretend with its forceful use of saying they are the sixth power league.
However, in those Boise State emails, it was said that the American only wanted the Broncos for football-only and none of the other sports. So, it is not clear if the AAC would take all sports if it is San Diego State and Boise State. The basketball league would take a step up with the Aztecs involved in the AAC and the Broncos would be just fine but probably the middle of the pack.
Sticking with just football, the AAC currently has 11 teams so adding Boise State and San Diego State would give them 13 teams which is a bit awkward. It would make sense for the American to be looking for at least one more Western team to create a 14-team league but also a more cohesive division out West, and those other teams could be BYU, Air Force and Colorado State.
The question that comes up is if these two teams should make this move if an offer is extended. Both San Diego State and Boise State were going to join the Big East but that did not happen when the Broncos backed out.
This time around the teams would not be joining a power conference but the money would better and the competition is a bit of a step up. The money is interesting because a big wrench could be ESPN not making a new deal with nw teams, however, that seems unlikely. Money is a big motivator to change conferences even more so than playing better teams.
If it is only football then it really gets interesting because where would those other sports go and specifically basketball. San Diego State could be in the Big West as every school is in California except for Hawaii and adding Boise State to that league would stretch it too much.
The landing spot for Boise State could be the WAC and maybe the WCC. The WAC could make more sense since the league is going through some changes of its own and has some decent basketball teams with New Mexico State, Grand Canyon, and new member Stephen F. Austin. However, the WAC would be a huge step-down for those sports.
The big question is if it is worth it for those teams to basically abandon the other sports and put college football above all else for the money. Boise State and San Diego State were going to do it before so there probably is little resistance in doing it again.
Should they leave is a bigger question. Dumping the non-revenue sports in a lesser league is a huge concern, but looking down the road the enevitable College Football Playoff expansion should make these teams think.
The next playoff will almost certainly include a Group of Five team and the Mountain West has good teams but it is a few steps behind the AAC and by staying would have an easier path to be the best G5 team.
The American with Boise State and San Diego State will have more depth but it could turn into the Pac-12 by beating each other up and not consistently having a really good top-15ish team and miss out on that playoff bid.
There are a lot of moving parts and any move would require more than the Mountain West and AAC to be involved to make this type of move to happen if San Diego State and Boise State were to leave.