Boise State, San Diego State stick with Mountain West over AAC; hope for Big 12, Pac-12 interest

NCAA Football: Georgia State at Air Force

Boise State and San Diego State informed the Mountain West on Thursday that they intend to stay in the conference, sources confirmed to CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd and Matt Norlander. The two schools had been targeted by the AAC as possible expansion options after three AAC teams — Cincinnati, Houston and UCF — announced their move to the Big 12 earlier in September

Boise State intends to stay in the Mountain West with the hopes of a bigger invitation — specifically from the Big 12 or Pac-12 — coming in the not-too-distant future, sources tell CBS Sports. San Diego State remains in lockstep with its desire to wait for a better offer rather than potentially moving conferences twice in a short period of time. 

The AAC still has interest in Colorado State and Air Force, and that interest is mutual with Air Force leading the charge in exploring a move, sources tell Dodd. Air Force would like to link up with Navy in the AAC, and Colorado State has local interests that align with the Falcons. The universities are less than 150 miles from one another in Colorado.

Part of the AAC’s goal in targeting Mountain West teams is to destabilize the Group of Five landscape and solidify itself as an even bigger power. The AAC has often been considered the top Group of Five conference, but the loss of three top-tier programs in major media markets could change that in a big way. 

With Boise State and San Diego State staying put, the Mountain West has a core membership that could rival whatever the AAC puts together following expansion, making it a contender for the proposed 12-team playoff. The proposed new postseason format calls for the top six conference champions to receive automatic bids, regardless of their status as a Power Five or Group of Five league.

Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel first reported Boise State and San Diego State’s stated intentions on Thursday.

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