Boise Needs To Bolt

As I'm sure everyone who follows college football has heard by now, Boise State is in an argument with the Mountain West Conference over the new TV deal.

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Now at the surface this new TV deal seems to be pretty solid. It will likely more than triple the tv payout for MOST of the schools. I emphasize most because it doesn't even fully double Boise's payout. Why? Boise's sweetheart deal (which per the contract is permanent and can't be changed by other members or the commissioner of the conference) gives them an additional $1.8 million over the base TV payout the rest of the conference receives which sounds like a nice perk, but now that the TV revenue has tripled, primarily due to BSU's presence in the conference (confirmed by commissioner Thompson), Boise feels that it is only fair that their $1.8 million bonus go up as well. Meanwhile the rest of the conference is trying to breach the contract and eliminate the bonus money all together and Commissioner Thompson is doing nothing to stop them. This doesn't sit well with the premier team in the league. So Boise has filed a legal complaint which could easily turn into a full blown lawsuit and legal battle. Boise has also stated that they are "weighing their options". could this mean a departure from the league? I personally hope so and here is why:

Reasons Boise State should leave the Mountain West Conference.

The Mountain West really doesn't bring anything to the table for Boise State. BSU is carrying the league on their shoulders.

1. The MWC doesn't pay them well.

  • This can be seen in the fact that even with the new TV deal and their extra $1.8 million, Boise still doesn't make as much money as BYU or the AAC (and schools like Tulane, ECU, and Tulsa who make more than BSU)

2. The MWC won't promote BSU.

  • During this past seasons NY6 bowl race the AAC was promoting the crap out of Cincy and Memphis. They were talking about their teams on TV, online, on social, etc. Meanwhile the MWC posted a couple of posts that basically just said our conference is better than the AAC but barely promoted BSU (something Coach Harsin was pretty furious about)

3. The MWC won't give BSU the recognition they deserve and earn.

  • This is extremely apparent when you look at post season awards. For instance, the winningest coach in the entire conference who has more conference titles over the last 6 seasons than any other coach, has never once been named coach of the year?! It can be seen in the player awards as well, with players from other teams who may not have the same statistics as a Boise players, but getting first team nods over the Boise players.

4. The MWC is not respected in the national spotlight.

  • It could be strongly debated (when you look at the statistics) that the MWC is a stronger conference than the AAC. However, most of the college world ignores this data and views the AAC as clearly supreme among the G5 conferences. This is reflected in them receiving the Auto-NY6 bid in 4 of the last 5 seasons, getting 3-4 teams ranked regularly (in comparison to the MWC 1, maybe 2 teams), and now we have seen a one loss BSU team ranked lower than multiple AAC teams with the same record (one of which hadn't beaten a single P5 team) and lose out on the NY6 bid to an AAC team that had the same record as them but half the amount of wins against bowl eligible teams. So BSU is missing out on the NY6 because the MWC is dragging them down and not promoting them.
The way I see it, The Broncos have 4 options:

1. Stay in the MWC
  • And continue to be disrespected by thier own conference and see their brand continue to diminish.
2. Bolt for the AAC with SDSU and Air Force
  • This would create a 14 team AAC with a true western division made up of Boise State, SDSU, Air Force, Tulsa, SMU, Houston, and Memphis. This would also give Boise more money, more exposure, more respect, more Fiesta Bowls, and more travel (although 4-5 conference road games isn't all that bad when you think about it).
3. Go Independent
  • This sounds like a really intriguing option (pull a BYU). BYU plays a lot more P5 teams now that they are independent. They also make a good amount more money than Boise does in the MWC. But, while the front half of BYU's schedule sometimes looks stacked, they rarely play top end P5 teams and the back half of their schedules are usually very pathetic with games against UMass, New Mexico State, Liberty, Idaho State, and half the MWC. Not to mention they haven't been in the national conversation or the NY6 bowl race in years. Not to mention they don't have a way to get an automatic NY6 bid like G5 conference teams do.
4. Form a new conference
  • Several writers have suggested forming a new conference similar to the old WAC. They state Boise could pull in teams like NMSU, UTEP, and FCS teams like Eastern Washington, Montana, Montana St., among others. The issue is that this would put BSU in a significantly worse position than they already are. That conference would immediately be the worst FBS conference in the country.
  • My idea would have Boise joining forces with teams like BYU, SDSU, Air Force, Houston, UCF, Memphis, Cincy, Navy, USF, SMU, and others. Basically take the best teams in the G5 and form a new conference that would be a very strong candidate for power status. I talk all about it in an article I wrote a while back.
Either it may be time for Boise State to bolt.

What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments.