By Brian Murphy
LAS VEGAS — On the eve of its final game as a member of the Mountain West, Boise State is once again dealing with questions and speculation about its future conference home.
Sports Illustrated's Pete Thamel reported that sources have said it's "inevitable" the Broncos will back out of their commitment to join the Big East in 2013 and return to the Mountain West.
Thamel wrote the Mountain West is "on the offensive," and has talked with at least one non-Western member of the Big East. The most likely candidate would be Houston.
CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd reported that the Mountain West and CBS have agreed to restructure the league's television contract. Under the new terms, the Mountain West would be able to sell secondary packages to other networks with CBS remaining the primary rightsholder.
If the Mountain West can increase the value of its current television contract — $8 million split between its members — and be competitive (or even best) the Big East's rights deal, then one of the major incentives for Boise State to leave would be removed.
No one knows what the Big East television contract will be worth, but reports indicate that with the loss of Rutgers, Louisville and seven basketball-playing Catholic schools, that its value is dropping.
Boise State has been silent, as has been the case throughout the fall. President Bob Kustra was not available for comment Friday. He was in Boise early on Friday to participate in commencement.
Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson is in Boise. Dodd's story indicates Boise State could make an announcement as soon as Saturday.
Boise State plays Washington on Saturday in Las Vegas.
Become a fan of the Statesman on Facebook.