Boise State University has filed a legal complaint against the Mountain West Conference over the new TV contract announced earlier this month.
Boise State claims that the Mountain West breached its contract with the school and “violated, nullified and significantly impaired Boise’s State’s rights” by signing the deal without the Broncos’ approval. The complaint also says that the conference has decided to put an end to two benefits the school negotiated as part of its 2012 deal to stay in the Mountain West, including a $1.8 million annual bonus.
Dan Wolken speculates that the AAC, seeing an opportunity here, may be mulling over a decision to extend an invitation to the Broncos to join that mid-major conference, partly in hopes, I assume, of strengthening its own brand. I have no idea whether he’s right or wrong about that, but I have to say it smacks of some of the same brilliant reasoning that brought geographic outliers like Missouri and Rutgers to their respective conferences.
Of course, this move, were it to become a reality, would dwarf those distances, as the AAC would stretch almost across the entire country. And for what? If these schools were the television draw they’d like to insist they are, they’d be pursued by bigger fish than another mid-major conference.
The other unanswered question is what’s in it for Boise State, other than the enjoyment of taking your ball and going home. It’s unlikely the AAC would give the Broncos preferential treatment when it comes to sharing broadcast revenue. There are also AAC programs which possess name recognition similar to BSU’s, so there goes the big fish in the small pond flavor Boise currently enjoys.
Most likely, this is little more than legal maneuvering over money, just like the big boys play it. It’s only the size of the pot that’s different. College football these days — what are you gonna do?