Now that the Mountain West Conference is comprised of two divisions and will feature a title game between the champions of those two divisions, Boise State can rest easy, right?
At the very least, they are in a much better position than they would have been had the school decided to go ahead with the decision to join the Big East this summer.
There is also talk that the MWC could lobby for the same perks as the power conferences once the college football playoff system takes control.
In that case, there is no reason why Boise State would ever want to leave the Mountain West.
While not completely dominating the conference in its first two years, there is no denying the fact that the Broncos are the clear king of the hill. Sure, there are programs within the conference that are getting stronger every year, but none of them have truly knocked a chink into the armor quite yet.
If MWC commissioner Craig Thompson can somehow persuade the bowl directors that his conference is worth receiving an automatic bid to one of the six future major bowl games, only then could Boise State rest easy.
Getting a foot in the door isn’t as simple as adding an additional four teams to the conference, though.
Yes, the first conference to become a 16-team super-conference does have a considerable amount of leverage, since it appears that is where college football is ultimately headed. But adding any four teams in order to do it quickly isn’t necessarily the answer.
A school being geographically relevant or wanting to join the conference for quite some time isn’t good enough anymore. The Mountain West isn’t the Big East; it doesn’t need to take all comers.
Contrary to what some critics of the conference may think, the MWC has an image to uphold now.
In the past year, only the best up-and-coming programs from the WAC were admitted. Three of its teams finished the 2012-2013 season ranked in the final AP Poll, and there are five or six teams that could realistically win the conference in 2013.
In other words, the Mountain West is a powerful as you can get without being labeled as a “power” conference.
Granted, the conference does need to prove itself under its new guise. The team that wins the conference title game had better be an elite team, or darn close. There is no room at the table for a conference that presents an unranked, 8-5 squad as its prized pig.
So, what is Boise State to do?
Simple: keep its ears perked.
Should Boise State keep its options open regarding conference membership?
Until the Mountain West establishes itself as a major player, the Broncos’ membership in the conference should not be taken for granted.
Despite the revenue-sharing deal that the school was able to work out, money will be lost if Boise is again on the outside looking in with regards to playing in the big games. The Broncos must demand equality, because they have earned it.
When the MWC can offer Boise State the same opportunities as the Pac-12 or another potential super conference could, it can be seen as a permanent home.
Until then, it’s nothing more than an apartment with a yearly lease.