Boise State is in talks with the Mountain West Conference about the Broncos staying in the conference instead of leaving for the Big East in 2013, according to an ESPN report. A decision could come quickly as the Mountain West announced on Friday it had restructured its current TV media rights deal with CBS. The restructured deal, while it doesn't extend the length of the agreement, does give the MWC the right to sell packages of games to two other networks, which could mean millions more for current Mountain West programs.
The new deal is a strong indication that the Mountain West, not the Big East, will become the dominant non-AQ conference of the college football playoff era.
If Boise State does decide to return to the Mountain West, I've got to think that San Diego State would join the Broncos as the league's 12 member. The Mountain West intentionally stopped at 10 programs, leaving the door open for both the Broncos and Aztecs to return to the conference. The conference would be able to split into two divisions and host a conference championship game. Say,
With the MWC solidifying its TV deal, it could also leave the door open for future expansion -- picking off Houston and SMU from the Big East or providing newly independent Idaho and New Mexico State a conference home.
If the Broncos and Aztecs do return to the Mountain West, it's basically lights out for Big East football. Boise State is a lynchpin for the Big East landing its next TV media rights deal. Should the Broncos leave the Big East at the altar, the Big East is going to have even more difficulty landing a lucrative TV deal with a conference that includes UConn, Temple, Cincinnati, South Florida, UCF, Memphis, East Carolina and Tulane.
Last one out, turn off the lights.