The Mountain West Conference will split its 12 football teams into two divisions and play an inaugural championship game in 2013, the conference announced at its athletic directors' meeting Tuesday.
The divisions will be called the Mountain and West divisions, with San Jose State a member of the West Division. The Spartans are joined in that division by Fresno State, Hawaii, Nevada, San Diego State and UNLV.
San Jose State is moving to the Mountain West next season after spending the past 17 years in the Western Athletic Conference.
"Moving into the Mountain West Conference in 2013, it is a terrific conference," San Jose State coach Ron Caragher said in a release. "There will be renewed rivalries with Fresno State and San Diego State. Being in our division secures playing every year against those two teams."
It will be the first time SJSU has shared conference affiliation with both Fresno State and San Diego State concurrently since the 16-team Western Athletic Conference in 1999.
The Mountain Division will include Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, New Mexico, Utah State and Wyoming. Each team in the conference will play five divisional games and three cross-divisional games each year. The schedule will be made by computer generation.
"I think it is a great set up," Caragher said. "You are keeping the rivalries, but you're also going to rotate the schools in the other division. It makes sense form a geographic
The move to 12 teams allowed the MWC to add a conference championship game, with the inaugural contest to be held Dec. 7, 2013 at the home stadium of the team that has the highest ranking in the BCS standings.
The Mountain West jumped to 12 teams with the additions next season of SJSU and Utah State, both former WAC members. They originally would have taken the place of Boise State and San Diego State, who were scheduled to join the Big East Conference.
But with the Big East undergoing many changes, Boise State and San Diego State both elected to remain in the MWC, which is now arguably the best of the non-major conferences.
"It puts San Jose State in a great situation being in one of the top five or six conferences in college football," Caragher said.
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