NEW YORK — Big East tried to work a deal to keep Boise State on board, but was unwilling to give the Broncos the deal that kept them in the Mountain West.
We worked hard with Boise, Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco told The Associated Press in a phone interview Tuesday. We explored a lot of different ways to keep them. No question. Ultimately, we were unwilling to do the things they wanted. Our membership was unwilling to make the deal the Mountain West made with them.
Boise State had committed to play football in the Big East, starting in 2013. But the school announced Monday it was reversing course and staying in the Mountain West. The Mountain West recently re-worked its television contract with CBS Sports Network to allow the conference to sell packages of its games to other networks. The deal will allow teams that appear on national TV more often to make more money. Also, the league agreed to sell Boise State home games in a separate package.
The Mountain West also agreed to allow teams in its conference that play in BCS games and the equivalent when the new postseason system starts in 2014 to keep half the money. The rest of the conference will split the other half. In most leagues, all bowl money is shared equally.
San Diego State, another Mountain West team currently committed to play football in the Big East in 2013, also is reconsidering.
Without San Diego State, the Big East has 10 schools committed for next season: Current members Connecticut, Cincinnati, South Florida, Temple, Louisville and Rutgers, plus newcomers Memphis, Central Florida, SMU and Houston. Louisville (ACC) and Rutgers (Big Ten) have announced they are leaving.