Could Boise State be headed to a new-look Big 12? Plus more conference realignment talk

By Brian Murphy

Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson made the media rounds Monday, discussing his conference’s place in the ongoing realignment circus.

Thompson told the Idaho Statesman that he had spoken with teams from the Big East and the Big 12 about possibly joining his league. He said he has reached out to TCU about remaining in the league. And Thompson said the Mountain West is engaged in conversations with Conference USA about a possible football-only “federation.”

Thompson spoke with other media and expanded on those topics:

• In a conversation with The (Fort Collins) Coloradoan, Thompson mentioned that he has spoken with members of the Big East and Big 12.

“I have spoken, literally, to every institution in the Big 12 that has the possibility of being displaced," Thompson said. "I've spoken to a number of Big East institutions. I've had a lot of conversations with TCU; TCU hasn't left yet. They've announced they're leaving (the MW for the Big East), but who knows where all this ends up?”

Colorado State president Tony Frank told the newspaper that it is possible the Mountain West could lose members during the realignment shuffle.

• In an interview with ESPN, Thompson mentioned the possibility that Boise State could be invited into a league of displaced Big East and Big 12 members.

“But that's where the Mountain West comes back into play," Thompson said. "What are the numbers? Will they need to get to 12 or 14? Are they trying to get Air Force or Boise State? It would be a long way from Boise, Idaho or for Air Force's Olympic sports (to travel to Big East schools). We don't know what a reconfigured Big 12 would look like.”

That league could look something like this: Cincinnati, Louisville, South Florida, West Virginia, TCU, Iowa State, Baylor, Kansas, Kansas State

That league could be looking for additional members, particularly ones with football clout, like Boise State.

Boise State Interim Athletic Director Curt Apsey told the Idaho Statesman he has not been contacted by another conference nor have the Broncos applied to another league. Boise State President Bob Kustra told the Idaho Statesman last week he has not been contacted by another league.

Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle wrote:: "If Oklahoma and Texas do join the Pac 12, the Big 12 and Big East will create some kind of merger. Houston, Boise, BYU, Air Force and one or two others will be invited to join in the conference."

• CBS is reporting that West Virginia has been denied membership by the ACC and the SEC. The Kansas City Star is reporting that Missouri has an offer to join the SEC, which has already accepted Texas A&M conditionally.

• In an interview with the Tulsa World, Thompson said he was surprised by the movement so soon after last year’s changes.

"There was movement last summer with BYU, Utah, Nebraska, Colorado, Boise State coming to our league," said Thompson, MWC commissioner since 1999. "People signed new 15-year media rights contracts, and I thought it had settled in. Apparently I was wrong.”

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1316543469 Could Boise State be headed to a new-look Big 12? Plus more conference realignment talk Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

I said this over on the main Statesman pages

...and you should of seen the "fans" from other teams go absolutely nuts. Even if it isnt true it sure was funny watching these other "fans" go bonkers.

Thompson thought signed media contracts would keep teams from defecting? Really? And this is a guy leading our new conference. Sweet....

And how does one "speak, literally''?

I took "literally" to refer... speaking to "literally" every potentially-displaced university.

Im only teasn man

It just sounded funny is all.

On another note, some of you may find this interesting...

Ω Interesting and agree, except for ...

"... Once Boise State returns to earth (not long after Kellen Moore is drafted next year and/or Chris Petersen takes the big $$$ somewhere) ..."

tryptic67 is a little short on BSU history, let alone the long-term objectives.


is going to draft a 5 foot 10 inch QB under 200 lbs. NOBODY... (in the NFL)... which is too bad, because he would do fine. probably close to great...

Ω Right, just like VA Tech ...

... was going to beat BSU and take the top spot early last September.

Right TheEnd..Too Short, Too Small, Weak Arm...

just like Drew Brees when the Chargers took him as 1st pick in the second round.

Yup, Nobody...


that comment makes me smile ear to ear!

Really? Are you certain?

Moore is measured at 6ft and 191 lbs. You don't think the NFL would take a chance on a guy with those dimensions? ARE YOU SURE, PRIVATE PYLE?!?!?!?

Then, how did Drew Brees get his chance to play in the NFL? Since you obviously don't know what you are talking about, I'm gonna enlighten you:

Drew Brees is 6ft and 200 lbs.
He went to Purdue University of the Big Ten, where he set Big Ten Conference records in passing yards (11,792), touchdown pa-sses (90), total offensive yards (12,693), completions (1,026), and attempts (1,678).
He led the Boilermakers to the 2001 Rose Bowl, but lost.
He was a finalist for the Davey O'Brien Award as the nation's best quarterback in 1999.
He won the Maxwell Award in 2000.
He was a 2-time finalist for the Heisman Trophy (1999 & 2000).
He was drafted in the second round (32nd overall) by San Diego in the 2001 NFL draft.
He is a 5-time Pro Powl selection, and was MVP of the 2008 Super Bowl

Kellen Moore has an almost identical resume, except for his conference. You still think an NFL wouldn't draft Moore? If so, then you are a fool, and can't be talked to. Good luck in your fantasy world.

And John Elway was washed up, never to win a championship?

How did MUGGSY BOGUES >>EVER!!!<< have a successful NBA career around 7 footers?


Economists were invented to make astrologers look professional.


the big 12 survives (and that now MAY be the case), The MWC will still need to be vigilant against poaching!

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I think what we have to realize.....

is that a football team's success has virtually nothing to do with its appeal to a given "super conference". This is all about money from TV and the size of the TV market in a given location. One must keep that basic fact in mind when looking at where BSU could end up. If it were about football success on the field - conferences would be falling all over themselves to get BSU - they aren't and won't. We can grow the strength of our football and basketball programs, we can't grow the size of our TV market.

Home TV markets don't matter

Home TV markets don't matter for a national television audience targeted game. It's all about appeal generated by match ups and story lines. Even if it came down to our TV market, people all over this state tune in to BSU games. I have family members and friends in Cd'A, Moscow (Yes, UI's backyard), Rexburg, Idaho Falls, Poky and Twin that never miss a BSU game on TV.

Add up all those fans in the towns you just mentioned and then..

compare them to a Rutgers or UConn game and see how the numbers compare. If you were an advertiser buying TV time, why would you not look for the big population centers? Again, I might be naive, but I think its time to "follow the money" not your emotions as a fan in order to understand this issue.

Check out the link

Boise State is ranked 57th and with a move to a larger conference would be likely to increase. Your TV market argument appears to have a few holes in it.

TV Ratings for this last game. Boise-Toledo averages 2.2 rating as per ESPN. That's almost 3 million viewers.
For a Friday night with all the high school games being played and against an unranked mid major team is huge.

I guess we will be able to take our pick of.....

super conferences - given our rising popularity. Which one should we join? I say PAC-12 (16), lets move next year. Our troubles are over!

The New League

Ideally would want teams with best TV markets etc. But folks THEY ARE ALL GONE mostly. So then now they have to get teams that will increase the leagues viability, that is where BSU has clout. A legit top 10 program. BSU carried the banner for the WAC and the MWC and may well do for the new league. Someone has to be ranked high (BCS ranking system)or the league is just what the Big Least was, so so. For that reason alone BSU is valuable to the new league. But if wiser heads prevail and there is a merger of big east/12 and BSU is still in the MWC, then the BCS slot vacated by the Big East should be open for the MWC. The system was made for 6 bcs leages.

Very true...

sometimes I feel that people living in the northwest get a feeling they are the center of the world when in reality we are still considered an outpost...just like in the ole fur trading days.


Is the center, just ask any Texan. The sun rises & sets in Texas. Alas the problem with the Big 12. However they've never heard about the pioneers who were guided by the stars heading west until the alignments were correct. And where were they ? Fort Boise!
Well they were pretty close to Meridian anyways (the Meridian), pretty good for all their primitive equipment! :) Ol' William Borah looked around and saw the Boise river. Some other feller kept on sqaukin about them "trees". Eventually they cut some of em down. Right down there near what is now Boise State University.(not that any of those sentences were related to each orther) But Broncos fans all know the center of the world is right down there at Bronco Stadium!


and boise nation and i can keep drinking that koolaid.

All the More Reason

irrespective of the team's conference, a play off would resolve so many things. If BSU happened to be #1 after the Play off - as well as others winning "above" their rank - a demand for the team - toward greater competitors would begin a new thinking about regular schedules. Funny, an amateur sport being all about money - none of which finds itself in the players' pockets - they are indentured servants for the cost of an education - they should be grateful?

A little pet peeve of mine

The unpaid players aren't JUST getting an education. They get to play football for five years. You talk to any college football player and they'll tell you yeah, it would be nice to get paid, but it's a distant, distant, distant second to just getting to play the game.

I think back to when I was a college student with an internship for a job that usually paid $35-50K a year, and I didn't feel shafted because I wasn't getting paid, I thought it was awesome that I got this incredible opportunity. I still had to pay for my education and I didn't get hired into the industry I interned for, I've never made the kind of money that they pay folks who do that job, and I'd do it all again in a heartbeat. And that wasn't even sports.


to add to what you have said. Not only would I be grateful for the opportunity to play and enjoy the experience, but I would love the opportunity to not have student loan bills come each month. While the players don't recieve "payment" for their services, they definitely are compensated for their efforts for the university. I would say on average each scholarship player gets "paid" approximately $20,000 per year in college savings (maybe more at larger institutions), not to mention the travel they are provided that many other students don't get to enjoy. I'm sure many of the "indentured servants" of the past would have enjoyed such perks.


Nobody discounts the value of a college education. But I think that the big reason that a lot of people, including me, think that athletes are being taken advantage of is because they are the reason that the conferences can sign those multimillion dollar TV and merchandising deals.

See those bobbleheads at the convenience stores around the valley? See the players on EA Sports' NCAA Football game? See their names on the back of the jerseys at the Blue and Orange store? They represent millions of dollars in marketing...each year. In return for that, a student athlete gets maybe $10,000 in education benefits (assuming that he's living in the dorms and eating in the cafeteria).

The same people who make a giant hullabaloo over rich people taking the working class to the cleaners don't have the same problem with colleges and universities doing the same thing to their students. Well, I say this: If you think that what goes on in terms of compensation for student athletes is fair, then you'd best not complain the next time that Walmart posts record profits - their minimum wage employees are getting compensated!

Horns Gettin Stuck?

If you watch all the series of Espn videos available from Murphs link, Texas may be sweating some "RED" BB's right now. They did the powerplay on the Big 12 lasy year, getting TV and $$ concessions to stay...when IMO, that was a bluff. They felt lil sista OK would go along with whatever TX did. Maybe so...
Now it appears TX is carrying the flag to keep the Big12 together as OK has openly stated they may go to the PAC-X without them, along with OK State. I'm not convinced the PAC-X is looking at this as a "get 4 or nothing" deal..

So it's what if time...what if Ok and Statie go..PAC accepts them...then TX truly got horned..

What do they do? Dictate who the Big 12 ads and keep it together? Run behind OK to the PAC? start courting the SEC?

I think OK is gone..they have finally found the guts to sever the TX umbilical cord..and you know it's got to stick in their craw what TX did last year..

Did the TX bluff backfire?

PS...good stuff on the Big Easy..bound to implode with some non football programs stuck in the mix with the football schools..

EDIT: IMO. it's become obvious all TX ever wanted and still want is to CONTROL the Big12..

I would say Texas' powerplay is backfiring big time

Even if Texas does choose to move to the PAC 12, they have lost nearly all of the negotiating power they used to have. It is clear that Independence is not going to be the path of riches for Texas, evidenced by the failings the Longhorn Network has experienced this year.

The current PAC 12 presidents and chancellors, including USC and UCLA, have been very adamant that any move to expand the current conerence numbers would have to abide by an equal revenue sharing moel for ALL members. That includes Texas. Oklahoma has also been on record stating that any conference they move to must have equal sharing.

I have already seen early estimates predicting that a PAC 16 with Oklahoma and Texas could pull in roughly $35 million in revenue per school...and that is WITHOUT PAC 16 network revenue which would add another $10-12 million in revenue.

The big question is now whether or not Texas wants to come down off their pedestal or look for greener pastures. Oklahoma and Okie State are as good as gone. Texas still has options. They could go ACC or possibly try their hand at Independence, although how will they schedule teams when most conferences adopt a 9 game schedule?

I would like to see the MWC pick up the remnants of the Big 12 and the best of the rest - Kansas, Kansas State, Baylor, bring back TCU & BYU, and Houston. Make it to 16 and attempt to force themselves into the Super Conference equation.


I concur with your thoughts...most of my thoughts have been molded by the Denver Post and Fort Worth-Dallas Star newspaper reports. Having said instincts are telling me that Texas has LOST it's negotiating power and I think the end is in near.

What's sad to me on a personal level is the loss of the old Big 6 and SW Conference region. I think losing this geographic region is a BIG BIG LOSS to college football.

I'm feel very sad for this loss.

SIF1960.. Another Thing That Hasn't Come up..

Is if 2-3-4 Big 12 Teams Bolt to The PACX, what about the same legal issues that are going on for A & M to leave same? Would not the new schools leaving face the same issues? the SEC just being cautious and the PAC is not?

Case in point...

The reason the stock market DOES NOT fly through the stratosphere is because of people who think like you. Instinctually, I do not understand why the geographic region of the midwest/southwest would vanish from the college football geographical map. Think about it...where has the population been moving the past 2-3 decades? Just doesn't make sense...maybe it's not in the best interest of the SEC for this to happen.

I think stocks are a crappy deal anyway, not a good analogy.


Economists were invented to make astrologers look professional.

Here..Oklahoma States Position...

Bottom Line, not sugar coated...

Unequal revenue sharing that Texas blackmailed last year is unacceptable.

Fix it or they are gone.

where would we be without Portand media?


What the

F are you talking about? Do you think Canzano is the great spokesperson? I hardly think so.

So you LOVE channel 7!


Economists were invented to make astrologers look professional.


Vote once a day everyday. Kellen is #1 on Davey O'Brien, He is #2 On the Heisman watch adn Coach Pete is #4 on Coach of the year.


Some interesting spreads this week

Broncos -33 Tulsa

Fresno -4 @Idaho

Oregon -16 @Arizona

Michigan -10 San Diego St.

LSU -4 @ WVU

Sycuse -2 Toledo

LSU v. WVU -4?


I'm not a betting man, but that line sure makes me want to be one.

My thoughts exactly....

How will WVU manage to even score. That LSU/ Mississippi St. game was just brutal.

Geno Smith and..

win this game and they are likely undefeated for the season.
Smith 36 completions for 388 against nobody.
WVU will play up in this game but not that close.
I say LSU by 13

Ω GameDay will be ...

... in Morgantown for the first time ever. Should that affect the spread? Who knows? That place will be rocking, though.

MWC Additions

After persuading TCU to come back the MWC should invite SMU, Houston and Baylor. There could be a south and north division. Who knows, maybe even Rice would come in?


Is only the first phase of the changes we're likely to see in college football in coming years. Right now everybody is scared and trying to position themselves in the best conferences possible. Nobody knows yet how that's going to shake out, but my guess is you'll end up with the follwing:

Tier 1:

Pac 16
SEC 16
Big 16
ACC 16

Tier 2:

Big 12/East (combo of B12, BE and possibly some MWC schools)

Tier 3 and below:

Everybody else

Then the next questions are how to you structure postseason play and how do you address the issue of student-athlete compensation. The latter question will probably dictate the former question to a large degree. If you're going to provide stipends and other monetary benefits to all scholarship athletes, an axe will drop somewhere on the continum that separates those that can afford that kind of change from those that can't.

Obviously nothing is official yet, but I have seen estimates of $40M plus in annual TV revenue for each Pac 16 member. I assume it's fair to say the other three super conferences would be in that same neighborhood. On top of that, all of your larger athletic departments with the most money outside of TV revenue are going to be in these conferences. This group of four conferences, obviously, is going to hold the lion's share of resources in college athletics.

To me the big questions are (1) does the axe fall upstream or downstream from the Big 12/East, and (2) what kind of access into the super conference postseason will non-members have?

Interesting days to be a college football fan.

Athletic Director

I bet it would be nice to have an experienced athletic director to handle this crazy realignment mess. I can't stand it when people say "LITERALLY", when they are not actually being literal! I really hope it ends well for BSU. Their football success deserves a happy ending; however, I think a super-conference scenario could spawn a playoff system, but it would still likely favor the major conferences. Better than status quo I suppose.

More bad karma...

a conference shuffle is happening without BSU having a legit athletic director...Bronco Bob must be working overtime. Is there any language in his contract that indicates how much time he's to be spending on athletics versus academics? LOL LOL LOL! This is better than a comedy sitcom!