One big piece in the survival of the Big East during this period of dramatic conference realignment is the arrival of Boise State, Houston, SMU, UCF, and San Diego State in 2013. Which is why there was some concern when the San Jose Mercury News' Jon Wilner reported Monday that the Aztecs are still in discussions with the Mountain West Conference.
Citing a source, Wilner tweeted that San Diego State is talking to the MWC about reserving a spot in the "revamped league" just in the case the Big East "doesn't work out."
On Monday, athletic director Jim Sterk told the San Diego Union-Tribune those reports are simply "not true."
"We're full steam ahead," Sterk said. "We're excited about the upcoming 2013 season when we move into the Big East [in football] and Big West [in all other sports]."
[READ MORE: Brett McMurphy reports MWC - C-USA merger "unlikely"]
If San Diego State decides not to join the Big East in 2013 they must pay a $5 million fee, per their contract. The Mountain West Conference is currently facing questions about their own future as a conference, and some have speculated they are hoping that the Aztecs will change their mind.
That $5 million exit fee does go down to $1 million if the Big East loses its status as an automatic qualifier for the Bowl Championship Series prior to July 2013. However, if all automatic qualifiers are eliminated - a possibility that has been discussed - the fee does not change.
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