Utah State has signed the paperwork needed to join the Mountain West Conference, and a news conference announcing the switch is expected to take place on Friday, The Salt Lake Tribune has learned.
As was previously reported by the Tribune on Sunday, USU's matriculation to the MWC has been a foregone conclusion for almost a week. The Aggies will play this upcoming season in the Western Athletic Conference and will join the Mountain West, along with San Jose State, in time for the 2013 season.
In doing so, USU will renew old rivalries with schools such as Colorado State and Wyoming. Utah State and San Jose State's move is likely to serve as a crippling blow to the WAC as a viable football conference as it will be left with just two football-playing schools New Mexico State and Idaho.
Once in the Mountain West, Utah State also will be reunited with old WAC foes Nevada, Fresno State and Hawaii, all of which will compete in the MWC this upcoming season.
A source told The Tribune on Sunday that the WAC will reconvene its board soon to determine what to do next. The same source said that Utah Valley University is expected to become a strong candidate for a WAC invitation.
Jeff Hurd, the WAC's interim commissioner, declined to comment, but released a statement on Monday morning.
"The Western Athletic Conference Board of Directors is well aware of the changing landscape in Division I athletics and has been in discussion about it for the last several weeks.
"Further, it continues to evaluate the impact upon the WAC and is closely engaged in evaluating its membership options. It will not speculate relative to those options, but it has confidence that the WAC will maintain its more than 50-year history as a pre-eminent Division I conference."