Report: Boise State scuttles Mountain West expansion effort

By Brian Murphy
bmurphy@idahostatesman.com

Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News sent a string of tweets earlier today, indicating that Boise State was responsible for the Mountain West's decision not to expand to 12 teams earlier this year.

Click here to read Wilner's string of tweets, which are repeated below.

6:19 a.m.: To those who asked: I've heard nothing substantive about Utah St to MWC. Why would MWC do it? Comcast doesn't consider Logan the SLC market

6:23 a.m.: Remember: Utah State would have to bring enough $ to MWC trough to justify extra rev split. Not sure Logan (pop: 48k) does that

6:25 a.m.: If MWC expands again in a few years and Big 12 has not blown up, then Houston and San Jose State make more sense than USU

6:31 a.m.: And good chance MWC xpands eventualy. Sources said it left 5M on table by not adding 2 in Jan to create fball title game. Deal killed by BSU

6:33 a.m.: BSU didn't want double jeopardy to reach BCS (undefeated reg season and then have to win fball title game)

Reaction

This is very interesting news — and since Wilner is very well respected college football writer on the West Coast, I have no reason to doubt it.

It does not surprise me that Boise State would not be interested in playing a championship game. Similar complaints have been made by Texas and Oklahoma, one reason the Big 12 is sticking with 10 teams and not adding two more schools to replace Nebraska and Colorado.

It also make sense, in some ways, for the conference. A 12-0 Boise State team is headed to the BCS, but a loss to an 8-4 San Diego State in the Mountain West title game costs the league a BCS spot.

Under the current distribution model, the Mountain West earns $8 million in additional revenue for placing a team in the BCS. A title game would be worth $5 million, according to Wilner.

Does a $5 million title game mean before expenses or after? Even if it's after, when you divide that by 12 teams that equals less than $416,000 per school.

The Mountain West's No. 1 priority has been earning automatic-qualifier BCS status. The league has a decent chance to earn an AQ waiver for the next two years after this season. Why dilute the league for $5 million and risk losing a chance for the big AQ money?

It would be just as easy to add two teams after the waiver process is over — and the Mountain West knows if it is getting AQ status or not.

Update

Here are some quotes from January when the league opted to remain at 10 teams:

Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson said the league never got around to considering specific teams.

"There were reports that Utah State was on its way down," Boise State president Bob Kustra said. "It's like, 'Down for what?' We weren't even talking about that."

"For the foreseeable future, certainly, we are pleased and content to build the league around the 10 future members in July 2012, " Thompson said in an interview with the Idaho Statesman. "... I would suspect we're ready to move on to other items. The only thing that would probably change that was if there were additional membership changes in the Mountain West between now and then, which I don't anticipate at all."

Here is what Thompson said last week in Las Vegas about going to 12 teams: "My personal opinion is I think divisional play is very risky because then you're right back where you were with the (16-team) WAC."

And what he said last week in Vegas about the possible disintegration of the Big 12 and its impact on the Mountain West: "There's a reason we haven't talked expansion. ... I think we've been very selective. We could have changed our membership many times through the years."

In June 2010, the Mountain West delayed a decision on adding Boise State because of the upheaval in the Big 12. The league thought it might have a chance at adding Colorado. One day after Colorado went to the Pac-10, Boise State got an invite.

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Murphy - IS Mr. ANTI-Boise State

Anything and everything that is NEGATIVE about Boise State - Murphy IS THE GUY who will jump on it.

You took that as anti-Boise State ...

... Did you read the post? I explained all the reasons why not expanding is the smart move at this point.

-- murph

Not expanding is the smart move...

Well said Murph...I didn't take the article as being "anti-BSU".

I didn't take it as

I didn't take it as 'anti-BSU" either.
GO BRONCOS

Bronco754 doesn't need to read the post

He's a Donk homer, so the standard routine is to cry and whine and ignore logic/facts/etc.

You're confusing him

with a Vandull.

I don't think he needs confusion lessons. Vandull? A pro typist.

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Too literal? I'm sorry you feel I have a Literal Agenda!

How could this article possibly be anti-Boise?

If anything its pro-Boise. A MWC championship game makes no sense, and Gene got it right.

Your Article Was Concise

You stated it very well, and it was accurate. I trust Jon Wilner as well. And on a side note, I would like to say thanks to Directv. The Mtn. Channel is now a part of my Choice programming as of today....

everything you write...

is slanted in such a way, as to try and make BSU, the football program, Kustra or someone in the AD's office llok like they are sinister. Yes, you showed why the argument against the 12 team conference works, but you purposely made your title to stir the pot...

You have been this way since you got here. I expect you will never change. Hopefully the mis-stakesman realizes they need a writer more like C Cripe, instead of bMurphy in the future. Yes,,,it should be positive for BSU and some homerism. You and the pHR8ter do anything you can to portray BSU, it;s football program, in as bad of light as possible.

Well said syncster.

.

Tea Partier. C'ete moi, non plus.

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Too literal? I'm sorry you feel I have a Literal Agenda!

And Twitter and Facebook aren't safe places as well.

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Too literal? I'm sorry you feel I have a Literal Agenda!

BTW Give my regards to the Murky News.

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Too literal? I'm sorry you feel I have a Literal Agenda!

Murph is anti BSU and sometimes anti life...

BUT that article was not negative. If anything it only shows the BSU that had the power in the WAC will continue to call the shots in the MWC. AND murph stated that the AQ bid was a good shot for the MWC. So, from murph who chews zoloft like gum and who always thinks the world is ending for Bronco nation, this was actually a good post and was neither anti BSU or Pro BSU (that should kind of be murphs job) even though no journalist is truly "unbiased." Especially about sports or politics. And you should be wary of sone that tells you how unbiased he is......

Really

If you were smart you would encourage your reporters to be report both the good and the bad, that his how they get credibility. You just hate hearing anything negative about your beloved program. BTW, Mr. Murphy has more than his share of pro-BSU posts, with very few having a negative slant.

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Too literal? I'm sorry you feel I have a Literal Agenda!

Thanks for the info Murph

I had not heard this until I read it here.

I think any non-AQ conference would be foolish to have a championship game.

It makes sense,

bringing in two low tier teams wouldn't help in the waiver process for sure. Also, a highly rated Boise State team would have nothing to gain in the rankings from a championship game, and there is always the potential for injuries to think about before going into a BCS game.

At MW Media Days:

Murph I mostly back you up but this story is crap and you know it! I don't care how respected you think that idiot tweeter is! Coach Pete said he liked the Bowl games but also stated he felt a playoff was needed, and that there were people smart enough to put this system together. Kellen concurred! These guys at BSU are not shy about playing a championship playoff even after going undefeated. This mostly smells fowl to me. Go BSU

IM4

What does Pete's thoughts on a playoff have anything to do with not expanding the MWC?

What exactly "smells fowl" to you?

b43s42u

Not all of my comments posted? Murph said: It does not surprise me that Boise State would not be interested in playing a championship game.

Why would he say that when Pete said he was for a playoff system and bowl games? As for additions to the MW - Pete is not interested in Utah State or San Jose etc otherwise he would have remained in the WAC with those bottom feeders. I would gamble that if MW hopefuls were Tulsa and Houston or even SMU Coach Pete would be all for it. Reason those teams are potential contenders

You may be

confusing a "conference" championship game and a "playoff" championship game.

Tulsa and SMU

I think both those would be good for the MWC:San Jose and Utah State -- Not so much. Neither has any real support, facilities or TV draw. BSU gets it's TV draw from across the nation and yes I understand that if we drop a couple of games, many of those will evaporate like spit on a sidewalk in August in Tucson if that happens. But until then, there they are watching BSU and enjoying it.

MWC

Boise State hasn't even played one game in the Mountain West and they're already the conference bully.

Surprise, Surprise

That's better than

playing several seasons in the WAC and still being completely insignificant, even in the watered down WAC going forward.

I laugh

:)

Make up your mind Bozo

Make up your mind Bozo State...clearly it is all about YOU and what is best for YOU...stop critizing the Big Boys...you are playing the same game only you lack credibility. No Automatic Qualifying Conference again...nice move.

Good article Murph!

What do you mean no AQ conference?

go back and read the article harley. idiot.

Surprise Surprise....

WOW.....All the Bronco haters think Murph writes good articles. Isnt that interesting? We are lucky to have Chadd Cripe and cursed to have Brian Murphy. I dont care what tfunk says. Murphy hates that the Broncos are relevant and enjoys catering to all the haters. Theres a reason Bronco fans at obnug and broncocountry cant stand him and hes voted biggest hater behind Mark May and Craig James.

Coach Pete and the Broncos dont fear a conference title game. Thats asinine. Period. And to a Bronco homer for 30+ years, its blasphemous. Ask yourselves when the Broncos have feared playing anyone. What makes them great is they have the confidence to line up against anybody, anytime. Just because some San Jose St. whiner whos bitter hes stuck in the pathetic WAC conference is looking for an excuse doesnt make it true. This guy believes the MWC will take San Jose St. if they expand in the future. He sounds really credible. And then Murphy thinks were all gullible to believe his back handed compliment isnt negative. Are you kidding me? Some of you newbie Bronco fans may be sheep. But theres no way this program fears an extra game at the end of the season.

Yup, Boise St. is solely responsible for not allowing Utah St to enter the MWC...I mean a team that cant even wear its Home uniforms has the power to veto a new member even tho neither are (were at the time) official members of the MWC.

Jlandon

We can disagree on Murph (although you should check out John Canzano at The Oregonian to see what a real "hater" reads like). But Pete and BSU not wanting a conference championship game makes perfect sense. There is absolutely no benefit for any Non-AQ conference to have a championship game.

tfunk

Theres no question the game makes little sense. I dont disagree to that at all. I said, Coach Pete and the program dont fear one and no way told the MWC on its own not to add Utah St. and San Jose St. Consider who is tweeting. Did he give a source as to who told him "it was BSU"? Nope he didnt. But Murphy believes him at his word yet doesnt believe Mr. Wilmer has an agenda. Mr. Wilmer is pro San Jose St. Like I said, BSU may be the new standard bearer in the MWC, but THOMPSON RUNS THE SHOW! He made it clear no one team is above the conference...and by proving it took away the Home unis and responded to questions about it with intolerance.

You could be right about Wilmer

and then again so could Murph. I remember The prez at USU saying some very unkindly things about Bronco Bob when we made the move. I thought then that we would never vote for anything USU again. So, in my cynical mind, I think we probably led the way on the decision.

BTW, the decision on the uni's was made before we joined the conference (when TCU, BYU, and Utah were still there). In-fact it was a requirement that we had to agree to, to be accepted. Things have changed a little since then, in-fact I'd say if we were invited "after" those three teams left, we would still be wearing them.

tfunk I agree....

I agree that the decision about the Unis were made before BYU Utah and TCU left. I still dont believe the Broncos have any magical powers to demand and get anything from the MWC.

Utah St. made its own bed with a backwards deal to try and stay in the WAC with BYU. It backfired. And no way does the MWC add San Jose St. over Houston Utep SMU etc...Ive been to a few games in San Jose and their fan base (at least at the game) was unimpressive (sans this guy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwhy1pe8l9E).

are we still taking about uniforms?

geezus...why? Seems as if all the bandwagon fans think we've been wearing blue on blue since the beginning of time and that's it's some sort of 'BSU Tradition' or something, but in reality, the tradition is that we've worn multiple home uniforms, be it blue jerseys/blue pants; orange jerseys/blue pants; orange jerseys/white pants; or blue jerseys/white pants.

see for yourself http://www.idahostatesman.com/2009/09/01/884976_a886136/boise-state-football-over-the.html

fact of the matter is that we've worn nothing but blue on blue since the beginning of the 'decade of dominance' so in the name of 'Tradition' it'll be nice to see BSU get away from the home blue on blue for a while.

nobody said BSU 'feared' a conference title game

Read it again.

Not reading it again dad

What does reading it again have to do with anything? No S&%$ no one said the Broncos feared an extra game. If the MWC wanted to add two teams and play a conference championship the Broncos wouldnt protest. Is it ideal to play a conference championship if you didnt have to? No. But no way the Broncos hold any clout to keep Utah St. and San Jose St. out of a conference, especially over playing an extra game.

that's a shame

considering you're the one who came away from his article thinking Murph or someone else said that broncos feared a conference title game or else you wouldn't have written this.....

'Coach Pete and the Broncos dont fear a conference title game. Thats asinine. Period."
JLandon

Geezus tomato2

Are you that big into dramatics? What would cause the Broncos to ask the MWC NOT to add San Jose St. and Utah St.? According to Mr. Wilmer, the Broncos didnt want to play in a conference championship game due to possibly of losing it and not going to a BCS game. I say BULL. But if true, Is that being fearful of losing a BCS game? Or smart? The Broncos may not desire to play an extra game but they didnt tell the MWC what Wilmer is saying they did. And if the MWC decided to add two teams and play a conference championship, the Broncos wouldnt "fear" playing in it. Im happy to spell it out for you. For someone who pretends to be more intelligent than every other poster, it gets boorish answering every "asinine" statement you make. I know you want a long drawn out argument over every detail to feel important and right. You do this to tater2 too and probably the wife and dog as well. You worry about the semantics. Ill worry about defending a team I love.

As for the unis, it got brought up to prove the Broncos dont have swaying power. Not to Bi&%ch and moan over it. I would love to see new color combos. I remember the unis from the late 70's and early 80's. And tho I love the Blue on Blue, I would love other stuff too. Its just the MWC telling us we cant for the reason of "an unfair competitive advantage" that seems not right.

we get it... you dislike Murph

I'm not into dramatics but I am into calling BS when I see it and it's BS that you try to slander Murph as you do, and I'm sorry if I find humor/irony in that you're the guy who seems to know what BSU would have or wouldn't have said and/or done in their interworkings with MWC.

Example: "The Broncos may not desire to play an extra game but they didnt tell the MWC what Wilmer is saying they did" - JLandon

BS

Wow...good work detective. Awesome post, by a guy who brings racism and politics into a football thread....oh wait, just racism. I find it humorous you think you are an unbiased Bronco fan but in reality use Wikipedia to get your info.

Rocky Barker, is that you?

Do not bite us without a protective device...

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Too literal? I'm sorry you feel I have a Literal Agenda!

Big 12 scraps

If the Big 12 dissolves (which still may happen) the MWC would be better served to invite KU, K-State rather than San Jose and Utah State.

That would be ok

I'd prefer the texas teams such as Houston, SMU. I could also live with Tulsa and or a combination of any of the above with a Kansas team. Most of which would be a basic improvement to the league. I like Utah State and SJS but let's face it - except for BB in Utah St. there really is not a lot to look forward to if you invite those teams. I guess if it was a necessity to get another Texas school, that even Rice would be OK as they have a lot of supporters in the state legislature down there.

harley the coward returns

with another irrelevant comment.

Good article Murph.

I was all for expansion to 12 with a championship game, but what's the rush? If we get AQ status, who knows who would come knocking on the door looking to join a BCS conference that is looking to expand to 12 teams? BTY, Boise State had to have had some help with the voting not to expand this year.

champ game

It made sense with Utah, TCU, & BYU in the conference. It would have added to the credentials of the winner's record. Now all negatives and loss of an OOC game that could up the SOS coming out of the now weaker MWC which they will need if ever going to rack up the stats for AQ status.

If true

If true Idaho should be thanking BSU for keeping them from having to drop to the Big Sky.

Are you sure that the Big Sky

is looking to invite Idaho?, you sure Montana wants to travel to Moscow to the pit of the D-1 Football houses. I mean Montana has some standards don't they?