Boise State Broncos to stay in Mountain West Conference

By Kevin Kelley -
Boise State
Boise State has decided to stay in the MWC. Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

The Boise State Broncos will stay in the Mountain West Conference rather than join the Big East Conference, the MWC announced today.

Boise State will remain a member of the MWC in all sports effective immediately. The Broncos were set to join the Big East on July 1, 2013.

“Without question, conference affiliation has been an odyssey for Boise State, with all the unexpected turns and changes that term suggests,” stated Boise State University president Robert Kustra. “The benefits of geographic footprint, revenue, and national exposure have to be balanced against the changing circumstances of conference realignment. I am confident that our Mountain West membership is the very best decision for Boise State University, our student-athletes and our incredible fan base.”

“We are very pleased today to announce Boise State University’s continuing membership in the Mountain West Conference,” said Commissioner Craig Thompson. “Maintaining the Broncos program as part of the already solid foundation we have established creates a posture of great stability for the Mountain West going forward. It also enhances the Conference’s competitive and marketplace platforms, positioning us favorably in the evolving FBS landscape.”

As part of their new agreement with the Mountain West, Boise State’s home football games will not be part of any “current or future Mountain West Conference wide television rights contract.” Further, the league will “guarantee the rights to Boise State home football games that are sold as a separate package.”

Another provision in the new contract stipulates that the MWC will honor Boise State’s previous non-conference scheduling contracts and that they will not “regulate Boise State’s uniform colors or designs.” This means that the Broncos will once again be allowed to wear all blue uniforms at home.

With Boise remaining in the MWC, the conference will have 11 football members for the 2013 season: Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, Fresno State, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, San Jose State (new), UNLV, Utah State (new), and Wyoming.

San Diego State is set to join the Big East in 2013, but could also decide to stay in the MWC. That would give the conference 12 teams with the possibility of splitting into divisions and staging a championship game.

A report from indicates that MWC commissioner Craig Thompson has been in talks with 3-5 teams about the possibility of joining. One of those is likely San Diego State, with the others rumored to be Houston, SMU, UTEP, and UTSA.

BYU is also a candidate to rejoin the Mountain West, but they would likely require a television rights contract similar to Boise State in order to pry them away from independence.

The Big East, which recently announced their new 6-team divisions and 2013 home/away opponents, is in turmoil once again. And it could get worse if San Diego State stays in the MWC and Houston, or others, bolt for greener pastures.

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Comments (39)

someone finally with sense…….I hope San Diego St. does the same thing next week……the MWC is a very good conference that only can get better……BYU should rejoin as well.

SDSU will certainly rejoin the MWC as they will probably be able to negotiate the same type of deal.

I also expect BYU to rejoin, especially since the MWC will be letting the teams that actually appear on network TV keep most of the revenue.

I suspect the MWC will look something like this: Certainly a stronger conference than the Big East leftovers.

Air Force
Colorado St

Fresno St
San Jose St

I can see all sorts of trickle-down from this. MWC takes some of the western Big East teams, Big East takes some more C-USA teams, then C-USA takes teams from the MAC or Sun Belt, who then try to get Idaho, NMSU, or an FCS team………..the possibilities are endless.

SDSU better hurry up…..if BYU rejoins before they do,they’ll be stuck in the Big East..very pleased Boise is returning,we Spartans sure owe them a beating or three….

SDSU is afforeded the right to rejoin the MWC before BSU. Therefore, they’ll definitley be returning if BSU has already been allowed to rejoin.

Air Force, Colorado State, Houston, New Mexico, SMU, Utah State, Wyoming & in 2014 UTEP added

Boise State, Fresno State, Hawaii, Nevada, San Diego State, San Jose State, UNLV & in 2014 BYU added

Mountain (East):
Air Force-BYU, Colorado State-Wyoming, New Mexico-UTEP, Houston-SMU,

Pacific (West):
Boise State-Utah State, Nevada-UNLV, Fresno State-San Jose State, Hawaii-San Diego State

Pairings above would be end of season rivalries. As for cross-division games, the only rivalry that would need to be protected would be BYU-Utah State. BYU also shares rivalries with some of the “West” teams, but I guess you can’t satisfy everyone. Perhaps switch BYU and Utah State in above alignment?

I doubt SMU and Houston are likely candidates. Just because they are located in large TV markets, that doesn’t mean that they will provide massive TV revenue. Remember, the MWC no longer has its own network, so their revenue is based on actual viewers; not simply TV households like the Big Ten and Pac 12. Both Dallas and Houston are Longhorn and Aggie country. In DFW, SMU is also less popular than TCU and Baylor.

I see the MWC holding steady at either 12 or 13 teams, depending on whether BYU wants in or not.

TCU is more popular than SMU in DFW, but not Baylor. Baylor is 8th in DFW TV power behind Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, TCU, SMU, and even freaking UNT. Baylor is pretty much devoid of a real fanbase.

Boise already has four non-MW games, which means that a 9-game MW schedule in which Boise does not play at Hawaii would require Boise to lose one non-conference game. Boise played at Hawaii on 11/10/12, making this scenario very likely if SDSU rejoins. (SDSU not rejoining would keep the conference at 8 games.)

I think MW will stick with an 8-game schedule, so Boise has nothing to worry about unless BYU also joins the MW.

Part of the press release said that the MWC will allow Boise to keep all Non-Conference scheduling commitments. So it looks like an 8 game schedule for the foreseeable future.

Yes it is about the money. It costs money to have athletic programs, and without income, there is no gymnastics team, swim team, softball team, cheerleading program, athletic scholarships or anything else.

And Hernandos, this seems like it was a sound financial decision. Do you have a problem with that?

Dear Bill,

Boise State University has an endowment of $78.5 million, with just 1 % interest rates income, Boise State can finance gymnastics team, swim team, softball team, cheerleading program, athletic scholarships or anything else.

78M is nothing for an endowment. I know Iowa is over 1 billion (yes billion with a B) and that is the smallest one in the Big Ten.

Even the University of Idaho is almost 250 million.

Furthermore, their are usually terms and conditions attached to such an endowment; including the stipulation that they be used for ACADEMIC pursuits.

The problem is Boise State, they would like to play football in the Duck Tales Conference against Duckburg College, Spoonerville U and St. Canard College, if they got enough money.

I apologize to everyone to responding to Hernandos other post. I did not realize he was a troll who was unable to discuss the realities of college football.

clearly the best non- ‘Power 5’ Conference under the new system. Might as well go large and try for Tulsa, SMU, and/or Houston. This conference can schedule ACC teams OOC and make some waves—might thereafter challenge the notion that they don’t get an automatic bid for one of the six BCS bowls.

Boise State had signed a contract on Dec 7, 2012 that they will join the Big East in football, said ESPN.

The big east is the better confrence and will remain so, they have a stronger line up you will see their tv deal will be better than mountain west. in fact the BE will still get two more Mountain West Schools in the next 3 months

Last reports were that the Big East tv deal was very similar to the MWC deal….and that was WITH Boise State and SDSU. I think the scale has tipped in the MWC’s favor. I would like the MWC to stay at 12 and the Big East to grow back to 12, adding a couple more C-USA teams. Then, you could have the Big East and MWC play for the Group of Five Access Bowl berth. Send everyone else down to FCS.

Not so fast on the SDSU to MWC rumors. From what I’ve heard, Jim Sterk has burned a lot of bridges with other MWC AD’s and likely isn’t welcomed back.

The Mountain West Conference will be a much better league with Boise State, I think SDSU would be wise to join the MWC.
BYU does not benefit at all from joining the MWC. They lose scheduling flexibility, they lose the chance to be on ESPN (They are on there an annoying amount) Why swap out home games with Ga Tech, Notre Dame, Texas and Virginia for Wyoming, New Mexico, UNLV and Fresno? Utah is struggling in the PAC 12. It’s too bad, they could have been a competitive team in the MWC every 2 or 3 years.

I agree…..BYU is going to do fine as a Indy,the Pac 12 blew it by adding Colorado when they should have added Utah/BYU/Boise and drop Washington State who brings very little to the Pac 12. I think Utah’s recruiting would have benefited from having BYU in the same league.

BYU was never seriously considered by the Pac 12.

The pac 12 wasn’t about to pick a 2nd team ion the SLC market over a team in the Denver market.

Also many Pac 12 sports have the conference finals on Sunday. BYU will not play on Sunday.

Evan, it isn’t like Costco where you show up at the membership counter and fill out a form.

Why in the world would the Pac-12 want to dilute their brand with any of those teams?

Bill, you obviously don’t pay attention to sports because SDSU would improve their basketball brand, BYU would improve basketball and football, plus they have a worldwide fan base and a unique recruiting base, and Boise would improve just about every sport at this point. If this year is any bit telling, their basketball is really stepping it up.

The PAC12 brand is not NEARLY as great as they try to make it out to be. Chris Peterson is 6-1 against the conference. Dilute the brand my eye.

dawg; the 4 California teams in the pac 12 aren’t going to let SDSU take a slice of their pie. whether it is fair or not the “elite” universities regard SDSU as a lesser academic institution, and USC and UCLA already have a strong foothold in the San Diego market. here in LA (where I live) SDSU is virtually a non-entity.

Schools protect their turf, why do you think that Clemson, Florida State and Georgia Tech will never get into the Sec? In fact it took an act by the Virginia legislature to ptohibit UVa from blocking VT when they joined the ACC.

BYU has fans world wide, but they aren’t to add to the bottom line of the conference either. Especially when BYU adamantly refuses to play on Sunday and the pac-12 adamantly will not move to accommodate that. besides, BYU seems happy with their Indy football team and the WCAC for the other sports.

I tend to agree with Bill about Pac-12 membership. I have heard it said that the Pac-12 steering committee puts a lot of weight on the overall stature of a school, not just the success of a sports team or two. The disqualifying point for a school like Boise State or SDSU is not necessarily the football or basketball team, it is that in terms of size and status as an academic and research institution, BSU or SDSU do not really compare to schools like Washington, USC, UCLA, Cal or Stanford. It is subjective and can change over time, but it is a valid issue.