Conference Realignment: Boise State ‘Might’ Have Cold Feet To Join Big East
The bad news keeps coming for the Big East as a football conference. According to Brett McMurphy of CBS Sports, Boise State is reconsidering its decision to join the Big East in 2013 as a football-only member. Via McMurphy:
An industry source told CBSSports.com that Mountain West representatives met with Boise State officials earlier this week to persuade the Broncos to remain in the MWC. Adding to that possibility is that the Broncos still haven’t formally notified the Mountain West they are withdrawing from the league.
CBSSports.com asked Boise State for a comment about the MWC meeting and why the school had not formally withdrawn from the Mountain West. “We are actively monitoring the changing landscape in college athletics and remain committed to making the best long-term decisions for Boise State,” a spokesman said.
Not exactly a rousing endorsement for the move to the Big East–especially considering San Diego State, Houston, Southern Methodist, UCF and Memphis have all withdrawn from their respective leagues. Boise State, however, has signed a contract with the conference and will have to pay a $5 million exit fee if it leaves before July 1 and a $10 million fee if it leaves after that date, along with 27 months notice.
What seems to be holding up the decision process is the instability of the Western Athletic Conference, where Boise State is scheduled to play its non-football sports. Six of its eight full members are scheduled to leave the conference by 2013, with new members Denver, Seattle, Texas State, Texas-Arlington, and UTSA joining as full members for the 2012–2013 academic year.
With the BCS developing a four-team playoff in the near future and the automatic qualifying bids set to expire in 2014, Boise State’s decision could affect the league status. After losing Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the ACC and TCU and West Virginia to the Big 12, the Big East football league looks rather pedestrian on paper. With Boise State on board, the Big East’s case for that coveted ‘AQ’ label gets a little stronger.