Boise State might not have to pay entry fee to join Mountain West

By Brian Murphy
bmurphy@idahostatesman.com

6:56 p.m. — Fresno State athletic director Thomas Boeh said the school would not have to pay an entry fee to the Mountain West, the Fresno Bee reported.

Fresno State owes up to $5 million to leave the WAC. The entry fee was expected to be roughly $1 million. Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson said the league would not bankrupt its new members.

"Our intent is they come in as strong as they are," he said.

The move could save Boise State money. Thompson said the Broncos would be treated the same as Fresno State and Nevada.

3:49 p.m. — BCS executive director Bill Hancock said no one from the Mountain West or Conference USA has contacted the BCS to ask about automatic qualification status for a potential championship game between the two leagues. Or any other scenario, for that matter.

"We haven’t received any request from them, no," Hancock told the Statesman.

The BCS is set through the 2013 regular season (and Jan. 2014 bowl games). All of the leagues, including the MWC and Conference USA, have signed those agreements. So even if the leagues did request a change, it is unlikely for it to take place before the 2014 regular season (2015 bowl games).

The Mountain West has been outspoken about its desire to become an AQ conference for the BCS. It appears the league is looking at all options to reach that elevated status.

There has been much talk about the Mountain West Conference applying for a waiver for AQ status if it fails to meet the BCS eligibility requirements. There is precedent for awarding a waiver.

The Big East, which was extremely close to meeting the eligibility requirements, obtained a waiver after the 2004-07 evaluation period. Hancock said the vote was unanimous to give the waiver to the Big East at that time.
That waiver allowed the league to participate in the BCS from 2008 (2009 bowls games) through 2011 (2012 bowl games).

Hancock also said that he has spoken with BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe, but said those were private conversations that will remain that way. If BYU becomes an independent, the Cougars might want some Notre Dame-like status for qualifying for the BCS.

3:26 p.m. — CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd has updated his story with some interesting details.

Dodd quotes Thompson: "We did speak about, 'What if a group of 22-24 teams were to approach the BCS about an automatic bid vs. the nine, or eight or 10-member Mountain West?' That was on the table. I'd like to label it a 'think session.'"

The Mountain West has denied our request for an interview with Thompson.

1:52 p.m. — This is from the Associated Press:

PROVO, Utah — BYU and Texas have agreed to a home-and-home series starting in 2013. The Longhorns will visit Provo for the first game, then the Cougars will travel to Texas for a game in 2014. The two schools will play three times in four seasons. BYU was already scheduled to play at Texas on Sept. 10, 2011. BYU is 2-0 against Texas, winning a home-and-home series in 1987 and ‘88.

There have been rumblings that BYU — with its HD television studio and truck — would help Texas launch its own network.

1:45 p.m. — Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson has spoken with several media outlets, including ESPN.com and CBSSports.com. We have calls into the Mountain West offices.

According to tweets from ESPN's Joe Schad: Thompson said the MWC has "shown a willingness to work through some TV issues" w BYU

Here is Schad's complete story.

According to tweets from CBS's Dennis Dodd: Thompson has not been in contact with Houston.

Dodd writes: Houston not in MWC plans as of now

My take: It would be tough to be in discussions with Conference USA and then take one of its teams out from under it.

1:29 p.m. — Conference USA has issued a statement about its meetings with the Mountain West:

"The conferences have much in common and have worked cooperatively for many years and we are exploring creative ways to work together going forward. The discussion included scheduling, television, and post-season football. It is premature for anyone to suggest anything else at this point. We have the strong support of our members as we work on a variety of strategic initiatives. We had a good discussion yesterday and likely will have more in the future."

12:18 p.m. — The Mountain West Conference has acknowledged a strategy session with Conference USA. It would be interesting for the league to meet with C-USA and then take one of its teams (Houston).

Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com more details.

How close was BYU to joining the WAC?

The league had a 2011 football schedule created with BYU on it. Yes, BYU would not have been a member, but the Cougars would have played six WAC games. Not Idaho, though, according to ESPN's Andy Katz.

12:07 p.m. — Let's speculate for a moment. If Houston does make the Mountain West a 12-team league (that means BYU stays), how do the divisions break down?

I say a Mountain Division and a West Division:

West: Boise State, BYU, Fresno State, San Diego State, Nevada and UNLV

Mountain: TCU, Houston, Air Force, Colorado State, Wyoming and New Mexico

It makes geographic sense, keeps rivals together and splits Boise State and TCU, currently the strongest football members. Yes, the West is a better football division, but not by much.

How would you break down the potential 12-team league?

11:05 a.m. — We thought conference realignment was over this summer when Nebraska (Big XII to Big Ten), Colorado (Big XII to Pac-10), Utah (Mountain West to Pac-10) and Boise State (WAC to Mountain West) switched leagues.

Then came this week's earlier shifts — Fresno State and Nevada from the WAC to the Mountain West.

And now everything seems uncertain. Will BYU leave the Mountain West it helped form to go independent in football? Will the Mountain West grab another team, perhaps Houston from Conference USA, starting another avalanche of moves? If C-USA loses a team, does it go after Louisiana Tech, thus reducing the WAC to 5 teams and putting its status as a conference in jeopardy?

Or is it over — for now?

I wouldn't bet on it being over, not by a long shot.

Links

Here is a question-and-answer piece on BYU going independent in football.

• The ball is back in BYU's court after Fresno State and Nevada moved to the Mountain West.

• Yahoo! Sports columnist Dan Wetzel, one of the finest writers and reporters in the country, tweeted this morning: Nothing official but won't be surprised if MWC ends up adding Houston, keeping BYU (for now)

• The Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram is the is the latest to report on a possible merger between the Mountain West Conference and Conference USA. Much of the talk has been about a merged title game with the winner getting an automatic berth in the Bowl Championship Series.

• The Orlando Sentinel also reported on the potential Conference USA-MWC merger. Orlando is home to Conference USA member Central Florida.

I am a bit skeptical about this for several reasons: It would involve the BCS giving access to the non-AQs and, if I am the Mountain West, do I want to have to share with Conference USA?

• This Forth Worth columnist thinks TCU should hold tight and wait for the Big XII to implode. It also includes some stinging comments from TCU coach Gary Patterson about BYU.

• WAC commissioner Karl Benson made no secret of his league's need to get into Texas in the future. The athletic director at Texas-San Antonio said the school will pursue WAC membership.

"Our dependency on Louisiana Tech now becomes more of a priority," Benson said. "... The state of Texas becomes a very important part of the WAC's future."

• This was a hot topic during yesterday's live chat, so I wanted to link to this Fresno Bee story about how much Fresno State and Nevada will have to pay to leave the WAC.

Fresno State athletic director Thomas Boeh says since Nevada and Fresno State left at the same time, they will split a single $5 million payment — and not owe $5 million each. This case is going to court. I promise you that.

Fresno Bee columnist Matt James says the $5 million (or whatever Fresno State has to pay to get to the Mountain West) is well worth it.

You can follow Murph's Turf on Twitter.

C-USA and MWC merge

Murph have you heard anything about the supposed talking going on about C-USA and MWC merging a title game with the winner gettting a BCS birth?

C-USA, MWC

I posted a link from the Fort Worth paper about this very issue in this blog — and made some comments on it.

-- murph

Cmon MWC

add Houston and lets finish this off.

Sounds....clumsy

A merger with Conference USA? If BYU stays, then the MWC could have a shot at the BCS without a merger and a 20 team conference to share the money with. Thompson and the MWC members have always shied away from a large conference and remember, that was a major factor why the old WAC 16 team format folded.

My bet is if BYU bolts, we stay at 10 teams, and if BYU stays then we add one (probably Houston) and go to 12 teams with two divisions and try for BCS on our own. Even a 12 team expansion scenario is a huge push for the MWC to consider.

If they merged....

All the teams in the same division still wont play each other? Isnt it too many teams? A 20 plus team league.

Sounds like ...

... the leagues would be separate, but their regular-season champions would meet for a BCS berth.

-- murph

which is really rediculous

the MWC winner deserves an auto bid regardless (well almost every year).

I just read the link

An utterly horrible idea. If that's what it takes for Mountain West teams to get an automatic berth, then the BCS needs to be blown up worse than I even thought.

Agreed.

I also think we know now why BYU said enough is enough and left this Mtn West. This move appears desparete.

Please

Don't ask Murphy about anything West of the Mississippi. He's east coast bias all the way except the slander and drivel he's learned from Prater. Two snakes in the grass.

Welcome ...

to the chat, Seas. Thanks for stopping by.

-- murph

Don't worry Muph

I used to be a HUGE critic of you but as of late you have really impressed me. I still hate you but at least I can respect you more.... I still think you need Prozac but I have been impressed by the Thursday live chats and you were way better than Prater yesterday on KTIK.... I love Mcdonalds.

Just when I think I hate

Murph for trying to belittle Bronco Nation, he says some cool things. Plus, hes busted his tail on this conference expansion story and has beaten the major news media outlets by hours and sometimes days. The guy is working hard.

Good Job Brian,

Signed,
Mom

Don't sweat it...

You got it right. Some of these guys have VERY short memories concerning murphy. "Two snakes in the grass" is on the money.

Idiot

Get a life.

Funny JL

that is enough or murph will write another piece on how we aren't a football town and we wont go to a BCS game with one loss.....

Ya

Too much praise might mean the Mariners may win it all next year. In all seriousness, I think sometimes you have to be a little hated to be good at a job he does. Heck we are hated enough tater2. Plus, he has thick skin and never takes personal insults personally. That, and he has a chance to get a second date with that Andrea girl from ESPN. I mean he better take her out again. Any girl that goes with Murph to Big Judds is a keeper.

Can you imagine sitting

accross the table from murph eating at Big Judds? that scene has to be similar to when Jobba the Hut had Leah in that skimpy outfit....

I resent that comment

Hey Murph, I would go to big Judds with you anyday brother!

What is that su*king sound?

Knock it off, or get a room. Disgusting.

I Concur...

just threw up some of my lunch reading through all of the sticky lovin' on this board today! ;-)

Houston....

If I'm Houston, I wait a see this Merge/Champ/BCS Berth thing out before I entertain a conference change.
Just sayin...

Houston Has A Pedigree

They have been at the mountain top before. They were a top 10 team in the late 1970's. Put them in a conference with an AQ possibility and my guess is that recruiting will get better and their presence in the top 25 will be a regular thing.

Big 12 Moves.....

They say they're done...are there cherries to pick in light of this to secure their future? May be an offensive move looming rather than go defensive again next season when the PAC2 goes after them again. They have to be considering options too...

there is even grumblings about Utah staying in the MWC

although I do not believe it for a second.

http://www.sfexaminer.com/sports/Dickey-Latest-additions-to-Pac-10-Conference-not-all-positive-101138474.html

Interesting Read....

Thanks!

The Man Makes Sense, in an

The Man Makes Sense, in an elitist sort of way. I always thought BYU and Utah were academically high achievers. BYU wouldn't let me in and I am smart (my mother says so) so that has to say SOMETHING for them.

It Seems Like He.....

has plenty of PACX clout too......

Murph

What's the likelihood of someone in the media getting a hold of that piece of paper that the WAC schools signed agreeing to the $5 million buyout? You wouldn't be working on getting that would you? Seems like state-funded institutions would have to live up to an FOIA request. I'm curious, and I'm betting other folks are as to what the specific language looks like in there.

Of course I'm also curious why the heck ANYONE, let alone Fresno or Nevada would sign a $5 million buyout clause for a weaker WAC conference, even if there was the chance that BYU would come. I wonder how clear Benson made it that BYU was driving the buyout for their own reasons.

Gary Patterson Speaks

And I want to hear what the man says. He is no loud mouth know-it-all. He says there are other things coming and I believe him. I just wish he was able to tell us what he knows.

He is no loud mouth?

He is an emotionally driven person, prone to speak based on emotion rather than fact.

kinda loud mouth emotional driven talk half the time. is talk with the media the other day was him being mad and he let out a few things that he shouldn't.

You May Know Something I Don't

I have never seen that in the man. But then again I don't live in Houston.

PATTERSON

I think you are half correct on this. Patterson IS emotionally driven. But he is also a very intelligent man who doesn't lose focus on the facts. As a Ft. Worth native, I've seen dozens of interviews with Patterson, and he handles himself with class and is very calm, except right after a ballgame. Can you really argue with his statement that if BYU thinks going independent will get them closer to a BCS Bowl then they are foolilng themselves? I can't.

FYI, I like to have intelligent discussions with fans of rival teams that I respect. That's why I'm posting here and not with BYU. I read some comments from articles in their paper, and some were so idiotic that I felt I had lost several IQ points by reading them. They actually think we have no integrety for our reaction towards BYU for secretly brokering a deal with the WAC and setting up a 2011 FB schedule, plus influencing the WAC to put a 5 mil hit on teams trying to leave the WAC. That is insane. And someone please explain how Benson can call Nevada and Fresno St. traitors for not staying put while the WAC was sneaking BYU into the conference (non-football)and away from the MWC ( willingly by BYU I might add )? Anyone see a problem with his statement?

BYU motivation isn't BCS driven....

It's just a smokescreen for church/religious exposure on a more national level, IMO. Benson was so stupid he couldn't see he was being used for a football schedule ONLY until BYU's indepenence gained momentum and stability. Had UTSt said yes to the MWC, that may have ended the WAC then and there. Now BYU has chummied up with Texas, scheduling a bunch of games and "loaning" them the production trucks to kick off their own network...I hope they stay, we will beat their azzes and I'm sure the 'Frogs will too...

WISDOMMAN

I think you are right about Benson, and I KNOW you are right about Boise and TCU kicking BYU's behinds. I am surprised Texas would schedule a home-and-home with BYU. Texas scheduled a home-and-done with TCU a few years ago ( sadly, TCU lost that one ). They wouldn't agree to a road game to Fort Worth. But look for the Longhorns to blow BYU out. FYI- TCU has some exciting non-conference games on schedule in the years ahead. The have a home game against Oklahoma in a couple of years, and will have a home-and-home against LSU. I also believe Arkansas is on the schedule for a home-and-home as well. They start this season with Oregon St. Man, I hope they found good replacements for the defensive players lost from last year and beat that team. Also, I think with Boise St. being in a stronger conference, they might have an easier time getting good non-conference teams scheduled. No basis of fact, but my gut feeling is Boise St. will start getting the credit they deserve and be looked at as an attractive non-conference opponent ( providing teams don't get too scared to schedule them...Clemson really didn't want TCU last year but TCU was the only Div. 1A opponent they could find for that time slot). Victories over strong opponents helps the conference, and Boise St and TCU are the flag ship programs for MWC. Go MWC!

frogman is a boss

thanks for joining. you will find many allies on here. some say last years fiesta bowl was the nc game:) keep posting.

TCU is a friend...

Frogman, please let me apologize for a lot of the drivel you see on this blog. I have been reading the posts for some time, but only rarely comment because most of the discussion/bickering concerns BSU vs. U of I, and that stuff gets old. I think that TCU is an incredible athletic school, and I really hope that in the years to come, BSU and TCU can form a good, friendly rivalry. I only want TCU to lose one game this coming season, Oregon State. If TCU loses that game, then goes on to win the MWC, and BSU beats OSU, it helps BSU's SOS...and potential crystal football dreams, especially if OSU were to win the PAC-10, and VA Tech were to win the ACC. I do have one question for you, frogman...what is with the "quotation marks" all your fans hold up during the games...you know ":)"...are they supposed to be claws or...? I get the longhorn's fan's signal, and even the 'O' that Oregon fans hold up...but the quotations from TCU fans, don't get it. Go BSU, and go Frogs!!-BB

TCU is a friend

The quotation marks you see are actually curved. Its supposed to be the "horns" on the frog, I believe. FYI: there really is no such thing as a horned frog. The reptile we call horned frogs or horned toads ( that's what I called them as a kid ) are actually a lizard. But there were lots of them back in the day, and that's what became the school mascot. I don't know all the traditions because, unfortunately, I couldn't afford to go to TCU. I went to Texas Wesleyan, a smaller private college in Fort Worth. But as a native Fort Worth guy, I have always rooted for the local team.

No apologies needed for the stuff on the blogs. You get that everywhere. Don't be surprised with Boise joining the MWC that some idiot from TCU will sign up and talk smack. You get that everywhere. Just keep in mind that the majority of TCU fans will handle themselves with class and view Boise St as a kindred spirit (IMO) because both are dealing with the same respect issues as far as trying to better themselves and get to the big game. On another story in your paper, I commented on the attitudes of other Texas schools vs. TCU - arrogance, jealousy over TCU getting national attention, and overall superior attitude. UT fans are extremely arrogant and will not give TCU credit for anything it does...too easy a schedule, if you played in our conference you would stink, etc.

You might want to rethink rooting against TCU vs Oregon State. Yes, you want Oregon St to have a strong rating when you beat them. But they are a strong contender for winning the PAC, so beating TCU won't gain you that much, IMO. Plus, since this is the last year TCU and Boise can possibly both get to a BCS like last year since they don't play each other, I'm hoping both of them get there. That would help when the BCS committee is evaluating the MWC in a couple of years. I want Boise, like TCU to win every game. If one of them fails, I'll root for the other. We need at least one of them to make it.

I thought a Horned Frog was a Frog with a

UT LONGHORN stuck thru it???? Jusssss kiddin...I have a son in Ft Worth, in the corp stationed there. He's been a USC fan forever. I sent him BSU car flags lasy year and he did fly them from his car for a week before the Fiesta Bowl. He thought he would take a lot of abuse (and even fretted over vandalism), but said he got more inquiries about the team, the state, the city than anything. I was impressed.
I hope you beat O/S. Good yardstick for the pollsters, we both play them. They have speed in the backfield and on the edges, but their QB can be had. For some reason they seem to produce QB's that rattle. Derek Anderson. Yes, even Matt Moore.
How is your defense shaping up?

TCU

I would love to see them win every game, just like the Broncos. And I think TCU has a much better shot at being undefeated IMO. What would the BCS do if both teams are undefeated and every other BCS team had a loss? That would be some serious squirming you would see BCS Chair Bill Hanco-c-k doing.

This censor thing is lame.

Wizard

Why are you not golfing this morning?

I'm policing

the boards for DISGUSTING JUNK posted.
I usually don't play Saturdays. Too crowded. You?
I did buy a few new clubs. Haven't had my clubhead speed checked in like 12 years. Dropped from 100-105 to low 90's so I replaced my woods (1,3) with reg shaft, light grams (55). I played with them last Mon/ WED and got back down in the 80's (85,87) after 3 rounds in the 90's. Still adjusting to them but drove the ball much better. I also added a hybrid 3 to replace my 5 wood. Only hit it twice. This golf crap can make you a head case.

Same as you

Saturday you might as well live with the fact its going to be a five to six hour round. And I cant live with that. I hate waiting 22 and a half minutes between shots it drives me nuts. Then I see the group ahead taking 10 minutes each to line up a 1 foot putt, walking around the stick 20 times. Im like, geezus, are they playing for 100G?
Tell me about going crazy. I switched to a nice TaylorMade Hybrid a few years ago but now am back to the woods. I dont know why. My buddy just got that new Ping Driver, the k15. He loves it.
Tell me again about you're push cart. I need one but need someone to say "just get one already".

The Push Cart.....

We're in pretty good shape for our age. We decided to buy carts and walk to "kinda" tune up some for ski season. We'll ride bikes hard later to finish that off. The walking hurt my game at 1st. Just got tired after @ 13 holes. Changed my routine, etc. Now it's better. But hey, we did walk a few in the 95+ heat and that was some of it. We swear by it. GO GET ONE. You notice stuff about the course along the way, makes you appreciate it and you think more. We bought 3 Sun Mountains on Craigslist, exc condition, from $50 to $75 ea. There is one on there like every other day.
I did hole one out from 148 with an 8 iron the other day. An eagle on a 4. Thats my eagle for the year. Yeah, even though I bought the hybrid I still want to hit my 3-4 irons.

As Long As I am Running Off At The Mouth

I want to say how glad I am that Fresno and Nevada are once again going to be regular opponents. Boise State is better because of their presence. Both play intense, high quality football. Both teams bring excellent athletes to the playing field and make the game interesting.

Agreed.

Those two teams are quality opponents for Boise State, and make the new MWC that much stronger.

I Just Read The Star-Telegram Piece

I think that could change the entire post season land scape for the better. I truly hope BYU stays in the MWC. But their staying or going really doesn't matter if the MWC-C-USA Championship game and auto invitation to the winner thing happens. If BYU leaves I wish them only the best, but I won't cry my eyes out. This new thing with C-USA is an outstanding idea.

Here is the downside to the merger playoff thing.

What if say BSU and TCU was undefeated, would they play each other for the MWC champ? Then say the winner was top 5 (3-5 for this scenario) loser was still top 10. Now so the winner plays the CUSA champ and they are champs but with some losses(take your pick how many). Then say the CUSA guy wins, goes to the Autobid. What happens to TCU and or BSU realizing that other conferences will most likely have top 10 losers in their respective conference championship games. were in all actuallity BSU and TCU both probably would deserve at least an at large bid. Now what happend if the MWC champ is top 2, do they then vacate the game vs CUSA? or still play in it? It doesn't bold well for the MWC to do this. The could concievable have a year where say both a TCU and a BSU go to the BCS (one undefeated the other was undefeated before the championship game). We don't need any alliance with CUSA.

Details

The problem isn't a problem that arises from the championship game. It exists only with each conference. It is up to the conference to make that call.

truth to rumors.

http://www.themwc.co...erence-usa.html