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Boise State Officially Joins The Big East, Leaves Mountain West


Edited, 8:49 p.m. PT

Las Vegas Review Journal is reporting that BSU has sent its letter of resignation to the Mountain West Conference, per UNLV president Neal Smatresk.

The 23rd hour is quick approaching for Boise State — literally. The BSU athletic department must decide if it will honor the commitment it made to join the Big East Conference as a football-only member this past winter, or remain in the Mountain West Conference before midnight tonight. Indecisiveness will cost the university at least $5 million in additional transfer fee penalties, per Brian Murphy of The Idaho Statesman.

Murphy has been diligently covering this developing story throughout Saturday afternoon. Give him a follow on Twitter, @murphsturph.

BSU has embroiled in an odd courtship with its current suitor, the MWC, throughout the spring. While the Big East is seemingly a step up for Bronco football given its automatic qualifier status to the Bowl Championship Series and rejection of the MWC’s bid for such recognition, football-only membership proves challenging.

Other Bronco teams were slated to rejoin the Western Athletic Conference. However, the future of the WAC is very much in peril. Should the conference survive, it will be a bottom rung league in its current state. The MWC, which sent three teams to the most recent NCAA basketball tournament, offers far greater stability for the other Bronco athletic programs.

Further, the institution of a restructured football postseason makes Big East membership possibly superfluous. While the Big East does still offer a more competitive football landscape with Cincinnati, Louisville and Connecticut to the additions of Houston, UCF and Navy, AQ status is among the BCS elements dissolved in the new system. At least, AQ status for the Big East.

Lines have been drawn in the proverbial sand, and the Big East is not on the same plane as the SEC, Big 12, Pac-12 and Big Ten. While the Big East may feature a more robust football profile than the MWC, the difference is not necessarily enough to matter in the context of the new four-team playoff.

Stay tuned to as this develops.

Edited, 5:33 p.m. PT

The following tweet from Las Vegas Sports 8 reporter Chris Maathius says BSU is remaining in the MWC. No sources or concrete validation.

Edited, 8:09 PT

Per, San Diego State appears committed to its Big East departure with or without BSU.