The Gears Continue To Move

That Doctor Who-esque Mountain West logo might not be coming off the Boise State unis. - Otto Kitsinger III

Just because it's late in the day on Friday doesn't mean news can't break. In this case, the news is that Boise State is exploring the option of remaining in the Mountain West Conference instead of moving football to the Big East and their other sports to the Big West for next school year.

I first saw the reports about Boise State coming from ESPN's Andy Katz, so let's hit the high point: Boise State no longer sees an advantage in going to the Big East. The potential television contract is plummeting in value and the Big East has no advantage over the MWC when it comes to access to the forthcoming college football playoff system. Toss in the report from CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd that the MWC is restructuring their television deal with CBS and it seems that the Broncos will not be coming to the Big East. Odds are that if Boise State doesn't move, San Diego State won't move either.

At this point, you're probably saying: Hey, what does college football have to do with The Seven? Fair question. Here's what I'm thinking: At what point is it even worth it to the Big East to make The Seven stick around? Remember: there's no basketball television contract for next year. If you're a TV executive, are you really excited about signing a contract with the Big East for longer than two seasons? You've got The Seven along with Notre Dame, Louisville and Rutgers all taking off in two years. If Sports Illustrated's Pete Thamel's sources are accurate, The Seven are already looking at getting a raise and possibly even doubling their current $1.5 million per year per school TV money. If they can get a better deal than they currently have on their own, it stands to reason that the Big East would get a better deal with The Seven off on their own as well.

Thamel's full of other tidbits as well:

  • The Seven's new conference is probably going to 12 members because that means 36 more basketball games to televise.
  • Xavier and Butler are "definite," while Creighton and Dayton are "near definite."
  • The lead television suitor is Fox, mostly because they are starting up their own sports channel potentially starting next fall.
  • The chances of The Seven starting in their new conference for next school year are estimated at between 15 and 35 percent.

It's really not crazy to think that Fox Sports would be willing to help The Seven and their partners with their start up costs in order to get the conference up and running for fall of 2013 to go along with their network launching. Of course, if that's going to happen, Xavier president Rev. Michael Graham, S.J., needs to stop saying ridiculous things like this to Andy Katz:

It's always been important for us to be at the highest level. For us, it's essential that we make the A-10 the strongest conference we can. That won't change.

Graham also told Katz that Atlantic 10 commissioner Bernadette McGlade would be making phone calls to The Seven to discuss merging with the A-10. If anyone in the Marquette administration is reading this: Please just hang up the phone if you get this call. If you want to laugh loudly while hanging up the phone, that's up to you.

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