By Chadd Cripe
© 2012 Idaho Statesman
LAS VEGAS — Boise State will forfeit about $2.3 million in Mountain West revenue for 2012-13 because it’s leaving for the Big East but would not lose its Bowl Championship Series-qualification money if the football team reaches a BCS bowl game, commissioner Craig Thompson said Wednesday.
The Mountain West pays BCS participants $4 million. That money must be used to cover the school’s expenses.
The Mountain West distributed about $2.9 million per school for 2011-12. The total revenue of $23.3 million is expected to remain the same in 2012-13 despite the loss of $4 million in TV revenue because The Mtn. was shut down. Money from the NCAA basketball tournament will make up the difference.
The Mountain West’s TV deal now will be worth $8 million per year, but that’s open for negotiation again with the membership changes next year.
Other notes from Thompson (click here for his comments on Mountain West membership):
— The Mountain West rule prohibiting Boise State from wearing all-blue uniforms on the blue turf would have been rescinded if the Broncos had decided to stay in the conference, Thompson said (if Boise State breaks the rule, the league board of directors would tackle the issue, with a fine possible).
The largest piece of the Mountain West’s pitch was to subject half of the conference’s BCS distribution to a performance-based distribution. Teams with BCS Top 25 finishes would have gotten larger shares, with Boise State getting the most and Nevada and Hawaii getting a bump. It was a change of philosophy from talks with BYU, when Thompson indicated the league wouldn’t give the Cougars a special deal. “(This) was equal to everybody,” he said. “Hawaii would have gotten an incremental bonus. Nevada would have. So it looks like, ‘Oh, this is for Boise State.’ Yeah, Boise State would have been a benefactor.” Thompson said he dealt with the Boise State negotiations on a daily basis for months and thought he had a chance to prevent its move to the Big East. “It was a very hard decision for Boise state,” he said. “… Our presidents felt we were a better league with Boise State. I agree with that.”
— The Mountain West is close to finalizing its TV schedule for this year. Most non-national games will air on local/regional TV. Boise State-New Mexico is expected to be part of that package. It’s the only Boise State game not scheduled for TV so far. Several MW-owned games are on ESPN, including BYU-Boise State, because CBS Sports Network sold them. “ESPN was willing to pay and buy those games,” Thompson said. “I don’t know if they weren’t in the past, but this year they were.” The Mountain West is looking into putting games on digital platforms like phones and tablets in the future, perhaps as soon as this basketball season, but not for this football season.
— Thompson said he was disappointed in the BCS decision not to grant the Mountain West’s waiver request for automatic-qualifier status. The league proposed either a one-year exemption, while Boise State is in the league, or a two-year exemption. Both were denied. “We deserved it. We earned it,” Thompson said. “The black-and-white rules say we should have received it. It had been granted in the past. For whatever reason, it was not granted for us. … We were able to access those games without it in the past and there’s nothing stopping us from doing it again.”
— Hawaii will pay Boise State a $175,000 travel subsidy for this year’s game as part of the Warriors’ membership agreement with the conference.
— The MAACO Bowl Las Vegas will have the first selection from the Mountain West again this year. The Poinsettia Bowl gets the second pick, with the Hawaii, New Mexico and Armed Forces bowls working together on the final three selections. BYU is set to play in the Poinsettia Bowl, which makes that an unlikely destination for the Broncos.