Bryan Harsin Wants Boise State To Leave Mountain West?
Will the Broncos be in a new league?
Coach Harsin is not happy.
Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin sent an email to his higher-ups a month after the Mountain West decided to not go ahead with the upcoming college football season. He did not like that one bit.
Harsin told the then-athletic director, Curt Apsey and university president Marlene Tromp about his displeasure with the Mountain West and suggested that Boise State should find a new conference.
“That leads into the conference conversation that we need to address again and for as long as it takes to put a plan together to move,” Harsin wrote in emails obtained by the Idaho Press-Tribune. “NOW is the time! The longer it takes the longer we stay in the MW. I am 1000% convinced we need to make this move for football and if that means other sports too in the long run it will be what’s best for this University.”
Former Big East/WAC/Big West/Big Sky football member Boise State is once again upset with their affiliated conference leadership https://t.co/umi17H6EIW
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) December 8, 2020
This is not the first time that Boise State and the Mountain West have butted heads. There was a lawsuit filed earlier this year regarding the Broncos share of the new media rights deal. The whole thing was eventually dropped and allowed Boise State to take in an extra $1.8 million per year over the life of the current TV package.
Does he mean the league that gives them more money than the rest of the league in the past two TV rights deal?
That Mountain West. pic.twitter.com/jYqq5EbJAM
— Mountain West Wire (@MWCwire) December 8, 2020
The big takeaway from the emails was the response from Apsey and who he ultimately contacted regarding a potential new league partner for Boise State
The two were the Big West and WCC; not power conferences.
“I did talk with the commissioner and for now, until they get through COVID, they are pushing the pause button,” Apsey wrote of an unnamed conference. “She continued to reference faith-based, private institutions as the mission and didn’t think they were interested in expansion at this point.
“I also have a call into Dan Butterly (Big West) but haven’t heard back yet,” he wrote.
That is not the athletic director who is looking to get the football program into a bigger league, but rather maybe try the independent route. Also, the response shows that this was a way to placate Harsin and pat him on the head by reaching out to a pair of leagues that would host the non-revenue sports.
The odds of anything happening and Boise State leaving the league is fairly slim. They have a good deal within the Mountain West and make decent money, and that extra media rights bump likely isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
There are better odds that Harsin would up and go to a bigger job than the Broncos leaving the Mountain West.
Harsin To Leave For Arizona?
There have been reports and rumors of Harsin interviewing for the Arizona job, per Wild Cats Authority. That Wildcats job is a complete mess.
The only upside for Harsin to take that gig would come from a decent bump in pay. Arizona was paying Kevin Sumlin $3.1 million while Harsin’s pay currently is $1.85 million. That increase is nice but it is not doubling or tripling his current salary.
Arizona football coach odds: Joe Salave'a, Bryan Harsin favorites to replace Kevin Sumlin https://t.co/iFV8Ewdzbm
— azcentral (@azcentral) December 14, 2020
Also, this is a huge rebuild of a job.
Remember, Arizona just lost 70-7 to its rival Arizona State. The Wildcats likely will be at the bottom of the Pac-12 South for a while. USC will always get the talent, Colorado looks to be on the upswing, Arizona State is finding its path under Herm Edwards, Utah is seemingly a contender every year, and then UCLA which is not great but has more potential than Arizona.
If Harsin really is upset with the conference his best way out would be to take a challenge as a Power 5 head coach, but going to Arizona may not be worth it.