There was a meeting of the Idaho State Board of Education today, and here is the agenda (hat tip to Twitter follower @ArtDirectorBYU for the link). Air Force fans can skip ahead to page 601 for the interesting parts, which start with Boise State asking permission to change conference affiliation.
Like Air Force, Boise State has drawn the interest of the Big East. Unlike Boise State, Air Force has not made a decision. That was confirmed by Idaho Statesman reporter Brian Murphy, who quoted Boise State president Bob Kustra has saying Air Force has “not indicated it is ready to make that move.” There are plenty of factors the academy is weighing, and academy officials have insisted through the process no decision has been made.
The agenda offers some details about Boise State’s potential move to the Big East that apply to the decision Air Force is weighing:
- The agenda states bluntly, “The primary impact will be the increase in conference revenue.” This isn’t a surprise, but there shouldn’t be any doubt: If Air Force goes to the Big East, the main reason is money.
- It is stated the payout from the Mountain West is $1.4-1.9 million each year. Under current media agreements with the Big East, each football-playing school would make $3.7 million annually. But, from the agenda: “The Big East expects that bidding its media rights on the open market in the fall of 2012 will result in a significant increase in the conference media revenue.” From The Gazette this week, that could increase to $8-12 million per school if the television contract approaches what other BCS conferences have gotten.
- One issue in which Boise State and Air Force differ is the importance of the BCS automatic qualifying status for the Big East. From the Idaho Board of Education agenda, on the BCS AQ status: “This exposure is important to the University and its football program for various reasons.” While this would be a nice perk for Air Force, it hasn’t been a top priority.
- Boise State anticipates the extra travel will cost $200,000-300,000 more per year. Kustra told the Idaho Statesman it is “critical” to join the Big East with another western-based institution, such as Air Force.
- The agenda states it expects the move to take place on July 1, 2013, to avoid an additional $5 million exit fee from the Mountain West. That is in line with what Air Force has said about the timetable of its move, if one happens.