On Tuesday, CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd reported that a initiative led by San Diego State to create a new Power Five conference out of the remains of the Pac-12 (Stanford, Cal, Oregon State and Washington State), as well as select schools from both the Mountain West Conference and the American Athletic Conference has failed.

Per Dodd, the attempt to create a new power conference was upended when MW presidents decided Monday night to show unity in the face of a drastically altered college football landscape, a move that now opens the door for the conference to potentially added Oregon State and Washington State, while Stanford and Cal flirt with the ACC.

It didn’t take long for SDSU to respond to the report, through a statement made by athletic director JD Wicker on social media.

Wicker denied the reported SDSU-spearheaded initiative on social media, writing: “FAKE NEWS! Disappointed in the number of absolute fake articles that get written these days! The first two paragraphs of this article contain numerous false or misleading statements. SDSU has been actively involved in conference realignment discussions before and after the latest round of Pac-12 defections.

“However, SDSU has not sought to create a new conference or seek A5 (Autonomy Five) status for a new conference. SDSU has had no communication with the American Athletic Conference, nor any of its member institutions. SDSU continues to be an active participant with the Mountain (West) Conference as the conference assesses the best path forward during this turbulent time in our industry.”

Whether or not SDSU did indeed attempt to create a new Power Five conference in the wake of the Pac-12’s demise, a source told Dodd that the idea holds some merit, as the current four-team Pac-12 is in danger of losing autonomy status following the moves of Oregon and Washington to the Big Ten and Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah to the Big 12.

“Does it make sense to take the best of the American, remaining Pac and best of the Mountain West and create a new conference that (would) potentially fight for A5 designation? In general, I think it does,” the source said. “I just am not sure what value that would bring from a network standpoint. ESPN and Fox … have already spent their money.”

Dodd noted, however, that there was and remains a significant issue with creating a new conference that includes only some Mountain West schools.

Namely exit fees.

Currently, any school that were to leave the MW in time for the 2024 season, when eight Pac-12 programs depart, would have to pay $34 million to the conference. Those fees would only be waived in the event the MW ceased to exit as a conference, which would require nine of the 12 schools to leave.