Boise State will reportedly cancel its planned move to the Big East and will remain a member of the Mountain West Conference.
ESPN’s Brett McMurphy reported the news via Twitter:
Boise State remaining in MWC & will not join Big East in 2013, sources told @espn— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) December 31, 2012
The Broncos were part of a group of five teams that agreed to join the Big East last year after Pittsburgh, Syracuse, TCU and West Virginia all announced intentions to leave the conference, as ESPN’s Andrea Adelson reported.
As McMurphy noted in a report on the story, the past two years have featured 14 schools state their intentions to cut ties with the Big East. The article also notes that Boise State will have to pay a $5 million exit fee to the Big East, despite never actually playing a game as a member of the conference.
The school’s decision comes amid a storm of movement between conferences, and it was not entirely surprising due to the struggles of the Big East.
With a mass exodus of teams in both basketball and football, the conference’s future and its ability to negotiate lucrative television deals for its members is seriously in doubt.
The Mountain West, however, may say its TV deal could increase in value by $25 million or more if Boise State stays in the conference, according to McMurphy’s report.
From a competitive standpoint, the Mountain West and the Big East will have equal access to BCS bowls going forward. As Sports Illustrated’s Stewart Mandel notes, the recent “Group of Five” decision guarantees a spot in a marquee bowl for the conference champion with the highest ranking among teams in the Big East, the Conference USA, the MAC, the Mountain West and the Sun Belt.
The move makes sense for Boise State for multiple reasons, and it ensures that the vultures will continue to circle above the Big East.