Sunday, July 1, 2012

All The Commissioner’s Men

 Sorry, I just got done reading Robert Penn Warren’s classic. Can someone tell me why the actors in the movie version are listed on the book cover? As if James Gandolfini’s acting chops are really going come across as I read the part where Jack confronts Duffy.

This post is about the Big West conference and Boise State. Just wanted to make that clear before since the title was a bit cryptic. If you don’t care about the Big West, feel free to leave.

For those of you still here, here’s the latest with that whole situation:

Boise State has officially told the Mountain West that it will be departing in all sports on June 30, 2013. The football program joins the Big East. The rest of the athletic department is basically homeless.

There’s been ongoing discussions about the Broncos joining the Big West, as a simply a cheap place to put their non-football sports, a la Hawaii and San Diego State. Today the Boise State athletics website curiously released this statement:

the Big West announced today that it will hold  meeting of its Presidents prior to the start of the coming academic year for a final decision on Boise State's membership in the Big West beginning July 1, 2013.

That’s a little too ambiguous for my liking. Either Boise IS heading to the BWC and this article just implies it too weakly, or they aren’t (yet) joining the BWC and the article seemed to imply that they are.

What the release is trying to say is that BWC commissioner Dennis Farrell and the various members will decide Boise's fate sometime this summer, so now the question becomes does Boise have the votes to make it happen?

Boise does not sponsor some of the Big West’s most popular sports… including Baseball. The travel costs will be prohibitive, so BSU will have to subsidize road trips for the league. Then there’s the whole concern that Boise will just up and leave the conference (and take San Diego State with them) as soon as a better opportunity presents itself.

Hawai'i (starting today an official member of the Big West, welcome!) seems firmly against the addition for obvious reasons (which I will now state: they don’t want to have to travel halfway around the globe for conference games, they joined the BWC to avoid doing that in the first place). Long Beach State doesn’t seem to be on board either, meaning one more “nay” vote and the Broncos will fall short of admission. 

Rumor has it (by that I mean, people have said on message boards) that Boise’s official departure from the MWC makes it’s joining the Big West more likely. Regardless, as a Big West fan, I’d just rather not see it happen. The only thing the Big West gains from adding the Broncos is a slightly larger sense of stability when it comes to San Diego State’s status. Financially speaking, the best the Big West can do is try to directly profit from Boise State through fees, subsidies, and revenue sharing. Even though Boise needs the Big West a lot more than the other way around, seeing the rest of the conference directly profit off of one specific member sets such a bad precedent that it’s not even worth doing.

BSU’s precarious standing in the Big East isn’t going to get much stronger than it is now. So even though San Diego State’s Big East (and thus, Big West) membership is tied to Boise’s, the BWC would be better served to simply move forward with what they have now. The Aztecs bring a lot to the conference, and if Boise’s BS lead to SDSU’s tenure being short-lived, so be it. One of the things that has keep this conference alive through all the realignment is its commitment to beardown and maintain a strong footprint in California. Putting up with Boise’s politics would be a major departure from that gameplan. So hopefully Farrell and Co. can conjure up one more no vote and keep the league at 10 teams

But then, there could be so other factors I'm ignoring. There’s also some talk about the Big East/Big West possibly cutting a side deal as part of BSU’s admission that would bring include some Big East @ Big West basketball games, which would be a great for the conference if possible, but frankly I don’t care about that and I just want to get this post finished. So I’ll just let you think about that.

One final note; someone caught me reading All The King’s Men the other day and remarked “oh yeah, I thought about seeing the movie.” I appreciate that they where trying to make conversation but how lame of an attempt is that? Oh, your son goes to Harvard? I almost watched the “Call Me Maybe” video the other day!