Boise State remaining in MWC & will not join Big East in 2013, sources told @espn— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) December 31, 2012
Well, we almost made it to the end of 2012 without any more conference realignment blockbusters. Even though this one was anticipated, it's still a very big deal. The Big East is now the seventh-best football conference moving forward.
With the disintegrating Big East roster and its dwindling chances of a good television deal making a conference switch look less appealing, Boise State will reportedly stick with the Mountain West. That the coming college football playoff system also affords the MWC exactly as much access as it does the Big East likely helped the decision as well -- as likely did, you know, geography.
Brett McMurphy also reports the MWC could target Houston, SMU, UTEP and Tulsa -- the former two were scheduled to join the Big East along with Boise State.
As for where the Big East goes from here ... well, even that Fresno State and UNLV thing isn't looking good now. Boise State football was the Big East's one big hope for legitimacy and postseason money moving forward.
Just about the only reason to switch at this point would be to try and take advantage of the Big East's 2013 BCS automatic bid, but one season's worth of access really isn't anything worth making a decision over.
The Broncos will now get to keep all their sports in one league, retain their young rivalries, save a whole lot on travel and get just about everything they could've if they'd left for the Big East anyway. More ramifications, from Samuel Chi:
Assuming they return with either San Diego State and/or BYU, the MWC would have at least 12 teams and be able to stage a conference title game, thus possibly being in position to renegotiate its current TV deal that still has two years left.
But Boise State would take a financial hit for doing this. First, it could be on the hook for a $10 million exit fee even though it never officially played in the Big East. Second, just by being in the Big East the Broncos would collect nearly $2 million in BCS payout in 2013, whereas it would get just a fraction of that if none of the Mountain West teams crashed the BCS party.
And here's the full release from the Mountain West:
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Mountain West Conference and Boise State University today jointly announced, effective immediately, Boise State will remain a member of the Mountain West in all sports.
"Without question, conference affiliation has been an odyssey for Boise State, with all the unexpected turns and changes that term suggests," stated Boise State University president Robert Kustra. "The benefits of geographic footprint, revenue, and national exposure have to be balanced against the changing circumstances of conference realignment. I am confident that our Mountain West membership is the very best decision for Boise State University, our student-athletes and our incredible fan base."
"We are very pleased today to announce Boise State University's continuing membership in the Mountain West Conference," said Commissioner Craig Thompson. "Maintaining the Broncos program as part of the already solid foundation we have established creates a posture of great stability for the Mountain West going forward. It also enhances the Conference's competitive and marketplace platforms, positioning us favorably in the evolving FBS landscape."
With the addition of San Jose State University and Utah State University on July 1, 2013, the Mountain West will be comprised of 10 all-sport members and 11 football-playing institutions. Currently, the Mountain West membership includes: the United States Air Force Academy, Boise State University, Colorado State University, Fresno State, University of Hawai`i (football only), University of Nevada, University of New Mexico, UNLV and University of Wyoming.
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