Deadline Approaching For Boise State Football: Big East Or Mountain West?

An important deadline looms at the end of this week for Big East fans: Boise State – formally – must notify the Mountain West Conference of its intention to leave. If the Broncos are serious about playing Big East football beginning in 2013, they’ll never do it less expensively than this week.

Brett McMurphy of CBSSports.com has detailed the added cost of the move if the Broncos elect to delay their decision.

Boise State is scheduled to play its final season in the Mountain West in 2012-13 and join the Big East as a football-only member in 2013. However, the Broncos haven't officially withdrawn from the Mountain West.

If they do so before July 1, their exit fee only consists of forfeiting their final year’s worth of league revenue (about $2.5 million). However, if the Broncos wait to withdraw after July 1, it would cost even more – potentially as much as $24 million.

Jeremy Mauss of SBNation’s Mountain West Connection thinks there still may be an option to delay the move.

Even if the exit fee does not reach $25 million it could easily be more than $10 million after accounting in loss of revenue from television, bowl games or even money from themselves or another Mountain West team earning a spot in a BCS bowl game.

So, what are Boise State's options? Believe or not they actually may have some even after July 1.

This decision must be looked upon as a long-term and not just something that will benefit Boise State over the next five years. We can all agree that Boise State's top priority is landing their football team in the Big East, once there they should be earning more money than if they stay in the Mountain West. Plus they would have a better shot at earning a playoff berth with an uptick in competition.

Though university officials have declared their intention to move the football program from the Mountain West to the Big East, it’s the non-football sports that have proved a stumbling block.

The Mountain West has no desire for Boise State’s Olympic sports programs unless the football program remains in the conference. Boise has received approval to join the Western Athletic Conference, but the WAC has lost several members and is in danger of collapsing.

San Diego State is also coming into the Big East for football in 2013 and has negotiated a position for its Olympic sports in the Big West Conference. The Aztecs have assisted the Broncos to apply for Big West admission but a decision is not likely to come before June 30 Mountain West deadline.

Whatever the exit fee, the Broncos stand to receive more TV revenue in the Big East than in the Mountain West. But how much will a Broncos' decision to remain where they are impact the Big East TV negotiations?

This will be an interesting week for the Big East and especially Boise State, yet university officials remain coy about the looming deadline.

The fact that there spears to be no public panic suggests that a desirable arrangement may be closer than expected. Stay tuned....

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