So, the Boise State Broncos must declare their intentions to either leave or stay put in the Mountain West Conference by Saturday.
Well, they don't necessarily have to do anything, but if they do in fact decide to take their football program to the Big East and don't announce it by Saturday, such a move in the immediate future would become much more expensive, and they could be locked into the MWC for the 2013-14 academic year.
If BSU leaves the Mountain West — which has long been the expectation — it could open a door for New Mexico State's inclusion into the league.
If the Broncos do in fact go to the Big East for football, where will their Olympic sports wind up? BSU is currently slated to place such sports in the WAC — although the WAC clearly has its fair share of issues at the moment, like, being a Division I conference let alone a football-affiliated one. Perhaps Boise State could go to the Big West for it's non-football programs, although the California-based league could balk at such inclusion.
Again, to a degree the Aggies fate rests in the Broncos hands — if BSU stays in the MWC, it, for all intents and purposes, eliminates any hope the Aggies have at landing in the league. If the Broncos elect to leave the MWC, it provides NMSU with some level of hope — even if such hope is minimal, perhaps false.
Again, the Mountain West is going to exhaust other options before settling for the Aggies. And does the MWC have to move to a 12-team league? Only if such a league would guarantee them better financial opportunity — such as a more lucrative TV deal. Yes, a 12-team league would ensure a football championship game, and surely retaining Boise State and San Diego State would help provide them such financial backing. But bringing in NMSU and Idaho? It wouldn't seem so.
This is about providing assets — money — and what do the Aggies bring to the table at this point? Right now, not a whole lot.
Which leads us to the final point that we at the Cruces Sports Blog have been harping on for some time now: NMSU will still, in all likelihood, be an independent football program if and when the WAC football model folds following the 2012-13 school year. This is a scary thought, simply because outside of a Notre Dame, being an independent program is close to impossible. In the long-term at least. The Aggies could hold it together for a year, two years tops. Then hope that another massive realignment shift comes, where the haves — the major BCS powers — really break away from the have-nots — the mid-majors of the world — which would possibly cause conferences to realign once again, more geographically this time, and make NMSU's search for a new home easier, and more attainable. That, or the WAC could add some FCS football programs to its agenda and try to remain afloat as a football conference.
There are still questions in the present. How are the Aggies even currently recruiting to their football program, which is in such an unfavorable position? And, will the WAC hold together as an Olympic-sports league? One would think it will. But, as it's currently comprised for the 2013-14 campaign — NMSU, Boise State, Idaho, Seattle and Denver — it's not an ideal, or feasible model, particularly for the long term.
There are major issues indeed.
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