The Pac-12’s Search for West Coast Survival Ends with Boise State
Many critics, myself included, have written about the challenges and shortcomings of Boise State University. We've read them all, including famous signs like 'Boise is not a state' at opposing football stadiums. The days of Chris Petersen, Ian Johnson, and Kellen Moore are over. However, I believe their legacy and the house that Gene Bleimeyer built have enough attraction to bring the Pac-12 to Boise.
Although the season is over, the Pac-12 is in the news again concerning possible expansion. Whether you follow the excellent work of Jon Wilner from the San Jose Mercury News or John Canzano from The Bald Faced Truth, there is a lot of smoke concerning two teams that are on their way to joining the Pac-12.
As reported by my colleague, Mr. Walling, the Pac-12 is looking at San Diego State and SMU, Southern Methodist University, as potential additions to the conference. The Pac-12 is in big trouble with the defections of USC and UCLA to the Big 10.
The conference has new leadership, which is trying to secure a more lucrative media rights deal. Under the old regime, the Pac-12 was a massive disadvantage in media rights payouts.
Pac-12 Conference Schools
The conference hopes that San Diego State will bring in over a million households and SMU's three million will be enough to get Amazon or ESPN to pay the conference rights fees. Those teams have the money and the population, but they need two essential elements that Boise State brings to the table.
Jon Canzano shares the math with us:
• SMU + San Diego State = 4.1 million combined TV households. That will be attractive to media partners. But after the dust settles, the Pac-12 would still have ~2.6 million fewer television homes than it did before the departures of USC/UCLA.
Does anyone outside of television network executives believe anyone will care about who the Mustangs and the Aztecs play week in and week out? In the new world of content, the potential audience is one factor, but the tune-in factor is much more critical.
If ESPN decides to spend its money supporting the Pac-12, expect the worldwide leader to have a say in who the league brings in.
Check Out 5 Current College Football Teams That Have Surpassed Boise State Football
We know that Boise is not a big tv market, Mr. Canzano points out that the state has only 517,000 television households in Idaho. He says that the Broncos could get vetoed by Pac-12 current members that do not want to compete for recruits.
It's funny that the big time schools with all of their legacies and money would be afraid of a team that plays on a blue turf? Boise State would have to spend millions to be ready for the jump to the Pac-12, although it's not out of the realm of possibilities.
The Broncos were at their best when they partnered with ESPN. The network has never had a draw outside of the big powers that rivaled Bronco Nation. Perhaps they tell the Pac-12, 'twelve is nice but we want to bring you to bring the Broncos home or the deal is off.
Boise State is a more cultural fit in the Pac-12 than the Big-12. The team has had success against the league's northern teams for years. Can you imagine a football and basketball season involving BSU playing Oregon, Utah, USC, and the other teams of the Pac-12? Now that is must see television, let's hope someone at the network is reading this dispatch from the home of the Blue.
CHECK OUT BOISE STATE FOOTBALL'S 2023 SCHEDULE