Boise State denies talks with Mountain West

By Brian Murphy

Boise State President Bob Kustra released two statements on Monday night. In the first, shorter statement, Kustra did not deny reports that the Broncos were considering a move back to the Mountain West.

“We are in contact with the Big East Conference office and are evaluating the information that has come forward regarding conference realignment the past few days," Kustra said.

Less than two hours later, he released a longer, more detailed statement.

"In following up on my statement from earlier this evening and because of a report that Boise State has been talking with the Mountain West, I want to make it clear that Boise State has had no discussions with the Mountain West Conference in the past couple of weeks. We are in constant communication with presidents and athletic directors of the Big East and we intend to strengthen our the conference by adding members who can contribute to a strong conference," Kustra said.

Report: Boise State, San Diego State, BYU in talks with Mountain West

Boise State, San Diego State and BYU have talked with the Mountain West about remaining in — or rejoining, in BYU's case – the conference, Brett McMurphy reported Tuesday.

The Broncos and Aztecs are scheduled to join the Big East on July 1, 2013.

The Mountain West and Boise State engaged in serious negotiations in June before the Broncos signed their final papers to join the Big East.

Stefanie Loh of the San Diego Union-Tribune tweeted later that San Diego State Athletic Director Jim Sterk denied any talks.

Boise State-Big East contract

Boise State's contract with the Big East contains just one provision related to conference membership — that the league have another mutually agreed upon football-playing school west of the Mississippi River.

With Big East-founding member Rutgers prepared to leave the conference for the Big Ten and other defections possible, the league is again in a tough spot. Big East members Connecticut and Louisville are likely targets for the ACC as it seeks to replace Maryland.

Boise State and San Diego State are scheduled to join the Big East in football-only in July. Houston, SMU, Central Florida and Memphis are joining the league as full members. Temple re-joined the Big East in football this year and will join in all other sports next year.

Navy (football-only) is scheduled to come aboard in 2015.

The Big East is currently negotiating a television contract that was seen as the key to long-term stability. The league's contract with ESPN/ABC expires on Dec. 31, 2013.

"In the 11 months I've been here, we've talked about how all of us are trying to make long-term decisions with a shifting foundation. That foundation continues to shift for all programs, not just Boise State," Athletic Director Mark Coyle said Saturday as reports of Maryland and Rutgers moving to the Big Ten surfaced.

Here is my Sunday column on the possible ramifications for Boise State.

Boise State owes the Big East a $2 million entry fee that can be paid over five years. If Boise State does not join the Big East on July 1, 2013, the school would owe the conference $5 million. That number can be reduced if:

— The Big East's total revenue drops by 25 percent before July 1, 2013.

— The new television contract allocates less than 70 percent of proceeds to football-playing members.

— The conference losses "automatic qualifer" status in the Bowl Championship Series, except if "automatic qualifier" status goes away for all leagues. Since there is no more AQ, this provision would not be in effect.

Maryland to Big Ten

The Associated Press

NEW YORK — Maryland is joining the Big Ten, leaving the Atlantic Coast Conference in a shocker of a move in the world of conference realignment.

The university's announcement is to come Monday at a news conference with school President Wallace D. Loh, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany and athletic director Kevin Anderson.

Maryland will become a Big Ten member starting in 2014. Rutgers is expected follow suit by Tuesday, splitting from the Big East and making it an even 14 schools in the Big Ten.

The Terrapins were a charter member of the ACC, which was founded in 1953.

"Our best wishes are extended to all of the people associated with the University of Maryland," ACC Commissioner John Swofford said in a statement. "Since our inception, they have been an outstanding member of our conference and we are sorry to see them exit. For the past 60 years the Atlantic Coast Conference has exhibited leadership in academics and athletics. This is our foundation and we look forward to building on it as we move forward."

There was speculation last week the Big Ten and Maryland were talking. On Saturday, it became clear the discussions were serious.

The addition of Maryland extends the Big Ten farther east and south than it ever has been, and gives the conference a presence in the major media market of Washington. D.C.

Rutgers, in New Brunswick, N.J., and about 40 miles south of New York City, gives the Big Ten a member in the country's largest media market.

For both schools, the move should come with long-term financial gain. The Big Ten reportedly paid its members $24.6 million in shared television and media rights revenues this year.

There will be some financial matters to resolve in the short term though. After the ACC added Notre Dame as a member in all sports but football and hockey in September, the league voted to raise the exit fee to $50 million. Maryland was one of two schools that voted against the increased exit fee.

The Big East's exit fee is $10 million, but the league also requires a 27-month notification period for departing members. That means Rutgers will not be able to join the Big ten until 2015 without working out some kind of deal with the Big East.

Syracuse, Pittsburgh and West Virginia have all negotiated early withdrawals from the Big East in the past year.

The ACC could now be in the market for another member and it would not be surprising if it looks to the Big East, yet again. Connecticut would seem a perfect fit after Pitt and Syracuse join next season.

The Big Ten added Nebraska in 2010 to go to 12 members, and Delany had given every indication that the conference was happy to stay at that number. The conference had given no indication it was in the expansion market.

The question now is whether this sparks more realignment from conferences that weren't even affected. The Big 12 has indicated it is comfortable with its current 10 members, including newcomers West Virginia and TCU, but there has always been some sentiment within the conference to at some point go back to 12 — at least.

The Southeastern Conference reached 14 members this season with the additions of Texas A&M and Missouri.

The Big East, which has plans to become a 12-team, four-time zone conference next season, could be in real trouble again — especially if UConn is wooed by the ACC. The Big East was hoping that adding Boise State and San Diego State, and maybe persuading BYU to join, would make it a strong enough football conference to justify its far-flung nature and make up for its lack of traditional powers and rivalries.

But if it sustains more losses, while it's trying to negotiate a pivotal new television deal, will Boise State and San Diego State renege on their commitments to the Big East?

And will Maryland's departure spur other ACC schools — such as Florida State — to eye a new home?

For now, though, Maryland is the latest school to forsake tradition to potentially gain more revenue. The Terps have mostly been a middling football program for several decades, though its men's basketball teams have been consistently strong, winning a national title in 2002.

Maryland this year cut seven sports programs because of budget concerns and has been having a hard time filling its newly renovated football stadium.

Dang....Sounds like Big East not all that rosy....wonder who has

been saying, "The Big East is a Big Mistake?"

How come all these other schools are trying for the Big Ten and ACC and Boise seems satisfied with the Big East?

It only appears to be a mistake

to mindless Vandal trolls. The Big East is a stepping stone similar to the MWC & WAC. BSU will continue on it's journey to the highest echelons of college football. Yes, it would be easier to stay in the WAC or WAC 2.0. However, BSU prefers to go forward, not backward like U OF I junior college. To your point about other teams going to the Big Ten or ACC. Good for them. BSU will recieve an invite some day & we'll jump on it.

No, you are wrong

The Big East is a mistake and I have said it before and I am not a mindless Vandal Troll. I am a mindless BSU troll. The Bis East is fast becoming the small east that will have no more clout than the MWC. We should have stayed put (as should have SDSU, and TCU.


The MWC, even today is so far below the Big East in every aspect it's not even close.

If BSU goes back to a conference that they are 63-11 against, routinely has sub 20,000 attending games, has had only 3 top-25 teams (Big East 18)......

Pete will not stick around for that, and I wouldn't blame him.

I'll make it real clear so you can understand...

Two things:

#1 It's not that BSU isn't "trying" to get into other conferences, or wouldn't like to ... The issue is, these conferences are closed parties and you only get in with an invite. If you aren't invited, kick rocks.

#2 TELEVISION. It matters. It equals $$. It matters more than a winning record, or tradition, or regional/natural rivalries. It's EVERYTHING. Maryland and Rutgers, while they bring absolutely ZERO cachet to the Big 10, can provide TVs tuned to Big 10 football- a LOT of them- and BSU can't. PERIOD. And that's why they're getting in, and BSU is watching another conference turn to quicksand under its feet. (see point #1)

Bad Contract

You would think that after BSU joined the Mountain West only to see TCU, Utah and BYU flee, it would have negotiated an escape clause if the make-up of the Big East changed in a substantial manner. Hire a decent lawyer next time!!!

Did you read the article?...

... 'cause, um, there are "escape" clauses. Thanks for pitching in though. Every little bit helps.

Still better than MW

Clearly the Big East isn't what it was when BSU started talking about moving, but it's still a step up from the Mountain West in terms of competition, visibility and revenue.

Louisville and UConn may make the move to the ACC, but that's a basketball-driven change. I would not be surprised to see the Big East look to Fresno State or Nevada-Reno to augment the Western Division.

Just started getting boring, fun times again maybe.

Bet the phone lines are burning up among the new kids on the block. San Diego St officals have to be looving this. They love running a conference and sure they're on the phone plotting how to steal the Big East and make it a football conference.

If this fails, staduim expansion is history.

MWC foes wont ever creat enough excitement to draw fans into a larger staduim folks. We cant even sell the extra 3500 we just added. BSU needs to be scheduling BYU, Utah St and whoever like Mich St, Wash and Wash St that will play us home and away games.
But those couple home games a year is not enough for staduim expansion past where we're at now.

We didn't sell out most

We didn't sell out most games even Before the current expansion

Rumor already..

Conn will be invited to ACC tomorrow.

I don't see the problem

So the Big East will lose the New York market, which Boise State never had a foot in to begin with, and pressure mounts to get BYU to join, who would be a natural rival for Boise State.

The Big East is still going to be able to offer more than the Mountain West, especially since (A) Boise State has already officially left and (B) San Diego State is still going to the Big East. Just because the Big East is a little less attractive than it was a week ago doesn't mean it will be less attractive than the cash-strapped Mountain West.

Just the way it is

As much as Boise wishes it could not be in the Big East and be talking to a bigger conference they are not qualified to. They do not have a large alumni base, are not in a big time tv market, not great in other sports and not great academics. I love the Broncos but the fact is that they are still a very young school compared to schools in the Big 10, PAC 12, SEC and ACC. Maybe one day they could have a chance at the Big 12, but I think that is at least 5-10 years away, as good as football is you need more. I know it stings Bronco Nation but that is the way it is and honestly that is how it should be. Decisions should be based on the whole university package and outside of the moves by the Big East every other school that has changed conference has a better pedigree that Boise State.

Boise fans need more info

I was so glad to hear our new athletic director saying that when he came here he was under the assumption that we Sold Out all our home games. Why else would we be expanding the stadium, right??
But NO, we rarely sell out except for the big name opponents.
Fans angrily reply that they live too far away or don't have the money to go, but the point is, at least quiet down with all your complaining if you're not supporting them, don't dog on them.
BYU fans are the worst in the nation and we are trying to be a close second to them, it's sad.
Being a BSU alum, I will always be a fan, despite the embarrassing, ignorant comments made be our fans. The bad fans are the only ones posting comments and calling in to radio programs or interviewed on local tv. So people think all BSU fans feel that way.
But NO, many of us are well informed about college football and realize our coach is Top 5 in the nation so we would never second-guess HIS decisions, even when we lose. Expansion is sad but it's the reality, which is why I said all along that moving to the Big East wasn't such a great idea. The WAC is tougher than our conf. this year and has more teams ranked or just short of being ranked. Funny how things work out.
Louisiana Tech, Utah St, San Jose St, are all better than San Diego St, Fresno St, Nevada and Air Force this year.

If the Mountain West is so easy

Why hasn't Boise State been able to win a conference title?

The "new" MWC

is 11-63 vs Boise State

Conference titles or not, it's not even competitive.

Because its a down year for

Because its a down year for us. Did you notice San Jose St just spanked BYU, better than we did. We are lucky we moved out of the WAC or we'd likely have 3 conf losses this year.
BSU fans must understand this is NOT the NFL and coach Petersen has to re load EVERY year with players AND coaches.

macsimillian....this is cfb and all college teams have to

reload every year, not just Boise and Coach Pete....

Every college team has their graduating senior cla$$....

Φ Careful, macs

Before long ugly will be offering advice on how you can become "macsimillionaire".

oh, that's too easy

buy silver.

Just know

there are a lot of comments made by Vandal alum who pretend to be BSU "fans". Believe it or not these "vandals" may even donate money to BSU. In some sick & twisted way they believe this gives them a right to critique BSU's every move. They are not true fans rather a bunch of whiners. True fans will support the blue through thick & thin & offer solutions to problems.

Mrcasual, you are absolutely correct

in what you're saying about most of the Vandal alum on here, and that's why I don't comment very often. It's their way of trying to soothe their egos, because it's hard for them to accept the ugly truth about the U of I. No longer is it the proud "flagship" university it once was. It is now known almost as much for being a party school as it is for it's educational offerings. Serious alcohol related accidents are fairly common, and the murder of a student by a faculty member did not help the university's reputation. The once-decent football program is a shadow of it's former self and in complete disarray. The hole it is in will take years to dig out of. I would almost feel sorry for the university except for the fact that so many of the Vandals that post on these articles always feel the need to belittle BSU in one way or another. It's kind of sad, really, to see supposedly educated adults act, and sound, like spoiled children that are jealous of their younger sibling, and do such a poor job of hiding the fact..Sunny...

Φ You, too, are

absolutely correct. I have long-held ambivalence about the U of I ... don't care because there is no reason for me. Their long-term prospects academically are probably okay. Idaho's athletics likely will go on to reside in the Big Sky.

As far as the Vandal trolls who soil the blogs, their approach is nothing new. It's been (as I know you have observed) to pick a topic about BSU, any topic (rarely on-topic), and proceed with outright insults, snide digs, diversions, and threadjacks in their efforts to denigrate the university. All the while proclaiming that something they have done validates their commentary, as they are BSU fans, too. It's baloney and everyone can see it. Those of us who are the real fans of BSU and it's athletic programs are repeatedly guilty of cardinal rule #1 of online forum/blog participation: DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS.

The Statesman itself (or whoever has been assigned the responsibility) shares most of the burden here. If the blogs are monitored at all, which I doubt, whoever has the job isn't doing it. I am disappointed that, with this new subscription mode, nothing has changed. The format is terrible and the features/functions are worse. It doesn't take much looking to see what real forums ought to be. The Statesman is stuck in about 1994. Where are forums for the now-paying subscribers? For your $6.95, they don't exist.

A couple of years ago there were twice as many frequent posters on the blogs (short articles really; no different than the main pages) as there are now. P2 stated in a recent post better than anyone else why this has occurred. Until the Statesman (McClatchy) moves to bring its e-offerings into this century, nothing will improve.

That's corporate arrogance. Give the customer the same old thing, start charging for it, and tell them to like it. Check out the free Seattle P-I (Hearst, to see what a real online newspaper should be.

Vandal Lawyer

I would imagine. We should probably look out of state next time. Dude/Chick was probably drunk.

The only thing worse than a lawyer

is a Vandal lawyer. They know just enough to be dangerous....

You give morons a bad name!

You give morons a bad name!

Bob Kustra;

Forget your big Ego. Give it up.


Dis a conference....A conference Dis you....

Dr. Dre

Great leadership, moving

Great leadership, moving athletics to a dying sport conference with a list of mediocre schools, nothing new, now these crappy schools are across the county.

With no guarantees to BCS why is BSU still committed to this insanity of a conference........

to late to turn back now.......with the rise of PAC 12 and its massive tv contract, BSU will start to lose those 2nd tier recruits they covet.

good luck out east your going to need it.

Nobody really cares anymore?

Arizona will toy with the local team in a bowl game.

Turn back to what?

Some people need to read more.....

Alright funky, razor, dex, 81...

Give me some scenarios here...want some better insight into this.

This obviously hurts the TV contract. When Louisville and/or UCONN go to the ACC whats the plan for expanding the Big East? Thoughts?

Φ Pick 'em apart.

You asked, so some off-the-cuff thoughts.

BYU and Air Force, revisited. Fairly obvious pursuits, unless those schools have definitely shut the door.

East Carolina ... often mentioned, then dismissed. Maybe that one gets another look.

Army??? Big question mark with that. Here's McMurphy's article in September:

Of course the scenario has changed since then, but getting all three service academies in one conference (and in the same division, as McMurphy suggests) would be pretty cool. Have they ever been? Not that I can remember. What kind of following would that generate, especially if division position AND the Commander-in-Chief's trophy were on the line every time those three would meet? End of the year: Army-Air Force, then Air Force-Navy, then Army-Navy? That's a big marketing (and armed forces recruiting) opportunity. Nike might just jump all over it. Navy comes out with aircraft carrier-themed helmets, Army gets all the new camo gear, Air Force features something that's actually in the air.

San Jose State ... Bleymaier is good at lots of things. Hiring unbelievably successful coaches among them. How would it look for him to take SJSU (1-12 in 2010, 5-7 in 2011, to 9-2 so far this year ... T2 in the WAC and heading for a bowl) from being one of the WAC's worst to the Big East AND help establish the BE's western presence? Two Big East teams in California? Why not? It's pretty well established that geography is well down the list for conference realignment. Got Texas, got Florida, got California ... not bad. People will soon forget that Boise is in Iowa.

Might have a few ideas later (gotta look more at C-USA).

Finally, Otis Sistrunk just texted me. He's holding out for the University of Mars.

OR ... BYU, SDSU, and BSU might be in discussions to return to the MWC.


This obviously stings and hurts the TV contract. One of the things going for the BE in its negotiations was the NYC market. If with Rutgers leaving and the ACC doing a knee jerk and opening the door for UConn, and Louisville, then I think the TV deal with the BE takes a huge hit. If the TV monies aren't there, then the BE loses appeal for me personally, even though I like the thought of Cinncinati and USF coming to play on the blue. Not to mention the bowl tie ins for the BE are quite superior to the MWC.

I guess I'm glad someone else is paid to make these decisions, but this is not good news. I would like to see SDSU, BYU, and BSU kind of band together and try to make the best of this situation. In an ideal world, the Big12 would decide they need to go to 12 or 14 teams like everyone else and give BSU the invite. That is probably a ways off though.

OK JL, how about this

Big East as of 2015

Boise State
Air Force


* Give BYU the TV rights to their home games.

* Give AFA the option to substitute one of it's eastern games for Army each year.

The Big East

can still be a viable conference if they can replace Rutgers and (Connecticut?) with two solid programs from the west such as BYU and San Jose State. That would actually provide a better balance between the east and west for the conference, enhance its status nationally, and add a couple of lucrative TV markets--until the next domino falls.

The size of the Fan Base matters

You're falling into the winning program trap. San Jose St beat BYU, they are having their best season in history all true. What you aren't aware of is that their fan base is the second smallest in the FBS. Go to the New York Times and search"The Geography of College Sports" it has a break down of each school's support by considering 1000 different factors. The largest fan base in the intermoutain west is your hated BYU, with 790,000, followed by, (envelope please) ripping sound Boise St at 400,000, then Utah at 350,000. On the overall bottom, nationally, is San Jose St with 55,000, in the next spot is Utah State with 65,000. The other mistake is assuming that if a college is in a metro area they have a big level of support. Not so, clearly Utah doesn't have as much support in their backyard as their rival to the south and San Jose is a distance consideration after the Giants, 49'ers, A's, Stanford, Cal, Raiders, etc.

Forget the Big East

It is time to forget the Big East and to find a conference home that makes sense. Maybe we should stay in the Mountain West until the major conferences finish their selections and stabilize.


I'm still trying to digest it. I stand by my firm belief that the MWC is not a viable option, IF, BSU football wants to continue to grow.

I'll predict this tough, in 3 years we will be reading about a financial crisis in the athletic department at Maryland. They will also not have a winning season in the next 5 years.

Φ Do you suppose

that no contract resulted during ESPN's negotiating window with the Big East because ESPN knew that Rutgers (NJ, NY) was leaving?

Window closed on November 2, right? Rutgers is gone less than three weeks later. Too much would be known by too many people for that to be coincidence.

How much do you bid for the San Andreas Conference?

I believe...

This had nothing to do with the BE (or ACC). This was solely a B1G deal from the get-go for TV sets.

Rutgers was just in the right place at the right time (they were an afterthought).

Rutgers actually makes a little sense, Maryland on the other-hand will regret this move for years to come.

Φ Right

and ESPN just lost (or would have lost) a whole bunch of TV sets.

My point is that this move by the B1G and Rutgers had sufficient impact to give pause to ESPN.

What if UConn goes next? Yes, UConn is more basketball than football. Still, how can you bid on shifting sands?

After San Jose State, if I were BYU I would be

talking to the MWC too....

Get about 4 more teams to join, then the MWC can have two divisions and a championship game as well....

This is gonna get Ugly...

before its over. I see major back lash coming for BSU and some folks if its true we're heading back to MWC.
Grab the cheeks of your donkey folks.

Φ Plan G

or maybe Plan N. Could be that BSU bites a bit of the revenue bullet (and pays whatever withdrawal penalties) and endures less-than-projected TV revenues for the duration of the MWC TV contract. tfunk probably knows when that's up.

Given that a reformed MWC would include BYU, SDSU, and BSU might be (might be) better than whatever the BE becomes, the long-term tradeoff in TV revenues might not warrant continued participation in the conference carousel. Does that guarantee stability for a reformed MWC? Probably not.

It is possible that a new MWC could generate the same kind of TV revenue that the eventual BE could? Probably not. Are the headaches that this non-ending circus has been worth it? Probably not. Not unless measurable in seven digits.

Non-football athletics would return to the MWC. The grounds crew wouldn't have to scrape the terrible MWC logo off the blue.

Don't know about all of this and could be off-base. Wouldn't be surprised to see this settled by the Nevada game.

If those three are talking, it's pretty likely to happen. Far easier now than later.

Houston and SMU folks, like us, are probably having the same discussions.

Troops !

Retreat !!!!

Φ Nobody advocates

or practices retreat and surrender better than ugly.

ugly clearly is of French heritage. does not take a Marketing genious from any reliable

business college to see that this was coming....

I thought the past exits of VT, Boston College, Miami, WVU, and Pittsburg may have been a clue....and the rumors of 4 more teams exiting as another clue....

When a business entity has many key players leaving but wants another player to join badly, one must ask 'why?'....

I didnt say 'retreat and surrender' because for over a year now I was against this business deal in the first place....even VNDL stated by Feb 2013, Boise wont join....two Vandals gave the warning call much like Paul Revere, 'The Big East is coming, the Big East is coming' no hearers....

Oh well, $2 million does not buy what it use to....

Φ Well, we know

you aren't a marketing (it's spelled) genius. That's been established since your "bell tower" days.

The "business deal", as originally planned, was a good one. BSU had/has no control over the defections and certainly could not have anticipated all that has developed after making the decision to join the BE.

Nobody knew then that Pitt, Syracuse, WV, now Rutgers, and possibly UConn would opt out. You didn't know then (any more than anyone else) and now are trying to play the "I/we said so first" card. And, the "I/we know more than anyone at BSU" card. Trying to join the big kids club? Doesn't cut any more than your "Troops Retreat" posts.

About time you settled down to actually listen to what people in the know and in control have to say. You don't and aren't.

If you don't think BSU anticipated something like this and had contingency plans, you are a very dumb businessman.

Further, if you relish the idea of continuing to joust over this, go right ahead. You will get your arse handed to you. You are a troll, but I am not feeding you. Just attempting for the 73rd time to kick your carcass to the curb only to count your staggers into an upright stance.

Carson left in 1992. You should be the replacement for "Carnac" ... replete with the onstage pratfall.