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Boise State beats deadline to leave Mountain West

The SportsXchange

Boise State University barely beat the deadline Saturday night to withdraw from Mountain West Conference and join the Big East Conference in football.

The MWC presidents received a letter from Boise State at around 10 p.m. MST Saturday, according to the Idaho Statesman and the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The Broncos, who are still a member of the MWC for the 2012-13 academic year, announced they would leave the MWC in December, but did not officially make the move until Saturday night. They would have faced a $5 million penalty had they not given the MWC at least one year's notice. They now will forfeit a year of revenue from the MWC.

The holdup was Boise State's indecision over where to place its non-football sports. BSU had agreed to put those sports in the Western Athletic Conference. However, recent defections will leave the WAC with five non-football schools in 2013.

Boise State has been in discussions with the Big West, but its commissioner, Dennis Farrell, told ESPN.com on Saturday that Boise State had yet to join the league.

Also complicating matters was the formation of the new college football playoffs system, which starts in 2014. The new four-team playoffs, approved last week, will not recognize the Big East as an automatic qualifier. That revenue of being a Bowl Championship School was a perk the Big East enjoyed and one reason it had lured Western schools Boise State and San Diego State.

Saturday's decision allows Boise State to become the 12th football member of the Big East, which has been shuffled greatly in the national college conference shakeup.

Boise State has become a national college football power in the past 15 years. It joined the MWC in 2011 after winning nine WAC titles in 11 years and winning two BCS bowls. Since 1999, the Broncos have won at least 10 games 11 times.
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