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Report: Utah State and San Jose State will join Mountain West

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UNLV fans excited to get the “I Believe” chant out of the conference will now get it from the originators.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported Sunday night that Utah State and San Jose State will leave the Western Athletic Conference and join the Mountain West in 2013, according to multiple sources. The move is expected to be completed within the next seven to 10 days.

Utah State Athletic Director Scott Barnes, who is in Phoenix attending Mountain West meetings, told the Tribune that it’s not a done deal, but “things have progressed even since yesterday.”

The move saves both schools from the sinking ship that is the WAC, which may cease to exist as a football conference because of all the defections. And there will be a lot of familiar rivalries, as former WAC schools Nevada, Fresno State and Hawaii (football only) are set to join the conference this summer.

With the expected departures of Boise State and San Diego State next year, the moves would keep the Mountain West at 10 teams for football in 2013 and nine for all other sports. However, the impending decisions about the end of the traditional BCS system could affect some of those moves, as could any further realignment moves.

The move is especially good for basketball, as Utah State has been a consistent mid-major presence for several years. The Aggies have made eight NCAA tournaments since 2000.

For now, it looks like UNLV fans will be trading the Aztecs’ version of the chant for Utah State’s original.

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  1. The MWC is sinking further into irrelevance with the addition of all these scrub teams. Might as well rename it the New WAC.

  2. What is the saying? The more things change the more they stay the same? All the doomsayers who thought we were ready to challenge for a BCS bowl get a grip! All the schools that will remain in the Mtn West were pretty good competition before when we were all in the same league and should be again. I would much rather see us do this than play in the Big East where there would be NO rivalaries like Boise and SDSU are about to experience. Before we start trying to run the under 4 min mile we should learn to jog.

  3. @bobthebuilder, whom would you have the MWC add? USC, Oregon, Oregon State, Ohio State, Michigan, Oklahoma etc...? Does one expect UNLV to be accepted in the PAC 12 or Big East or Big 10 etc...? Should UNLV go independent? and play Southern Utah (and lose) or Weber State or Idaho State or NAU or or or ...? The BCS has ruined regional college football, and perhaps with its possible demise, maybe some sort of sanity (some sort of play-off system where teams with good seasons can get into the mix) can be restored to college football. UNR, Fresno St., Hawaii are good solid football programs. Utah St. is a solid football program with good home support. San Jose St. is a program much closer to UNLV. Alas, I'm am saddened by the losses of Utah, TCU, Boise St. and SDSU. With those teams in the same conference as the Air Force Acadamy, and the addition of UNR and Fresno St., The MWC would be a top 5 football conference, albeit without a BCS automatic bid. Thanks, peace out.

  4. I'm with you JDS I like the idea of the association with conference USA and the growth of the MWC to 12 teams. Hey tip your hat to BYU, Utah, TCU that excelled and earned an invite to a BCS. Boise State and SDSU to the Big East they might stay but if they go they go. Lets compete get on top be competitive and consistent and maybe we might one day be asked to join in somewhere in the BCS.

  5. Utah State is a great basketball school. Their football program should be the envy of UNLV football it slowly but surely takes steps in the right direction. They have an electric college basketball atmosphere - SDSU's rip-off of the "I believe" will not be missed.