There is nothing new to add about what Boise State plans to do about their future to leave the Mountain West and join the Big East. The July 1 deadline is fast approaching for Boise State to leave the Mountain West and join the Big East with only a small financial hit for the $2.5 million exit fee. If Boise State leaves after July 1 with the intention to join the Big East by 2013 the penalties could be closer to $25 million if things fall a certain way.
Even if the exit fee does not reach $25 million it could easily be more than $10 million after accounting in loss of revenue from television, bowl games or even money from themselves or another Mountain West team earning a spot in a BCS bowl game.
So, what are Boise State's options? Believe or not they actually may have some even after July 1.
This decision must be looked upon as a long-term and not just something that will benefit Boise State over the next five years. We can all agree that Boise State's top priority is landing their football team in the Big East, once there they should be earning more money than if they stay in the Mountain West. Plus they would have a better shot at earning a playoff berth with an uptick in competition.
However, the non-football sports can not be thrown out to the wayside. Odds that the Big West will make a decision on Boise State by July 1 is highly unlikely, and the WAC may or may not survive. With no clear spot for those others sports Boise State is playing a huge game of chicken. Playing an independent schedule for soccer, basketball, volleyball and others is nearly impossibly, and doing so with just over a years notice is going to be extremely difficult.
An option that has not been discussed is the possibility of delaying Boise State's entrance to the Big East until the 2014 football season. If Boise State can somehow delay their entrance to the Big East for 2014 then that will give them more time to find a home for their non-football sports. However, I am not familiar with the contract they signed with the Big East and this more than likely would affect San Diego State's status to join the Big East for the 2013 season.
Delaying their entrance to the Big East would allow Boise State to get answers to the many questions they have right now. One main key point, outside of finding a home for their non-football sports, is the future Big East television deal which is up for renegotiating this September. The current Big East contract on the football side goes through the 2013 season, so a new deal would not go into effect until 2014. So, if Boise State pledges to be a member by 2014 they will not be missing out on any of the money from the Big East's next television deal, and it does not hurt the Big East's negotiation with the networks that will bid for their rights.
I do see a small problem in that the networks may want to have some guarantee that Boise State would be in the league, but that can be solved by having a clause that gives the network the right to restructure the deal if the league changes membership.
So, Boise State does have some options and the best one is delaying membership until the 2014 season, but will the Big East be on board and what will San Diego State do.
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