Tom Burman welcomed Boise State back.
The Wyoming athletic director believes the Broncos’ decision to stay in the Mountain West instead of joining the Big East is a good thing for his conference, and therefore a good thing for his school.
"It's great,” Burman told the Star-Tribune by phone Monday afternoon. “It obviously enhances dramatically our stability as a conference. If Boise doesn't choose to stay in the Mountain West and chooses to stay in the Big East, there is going to be this ongoing tug-of-war between members trying to be the premier non-BCS league. By maintaining Boise, and maintaining our stability. I think we have solidified our position as that premier league."
The Mountain West gained from the Big East's most-recent loss. It lured back a nationally-respected program that will boost TV revenue across the league.
"Right now, we're not taking home, as a league, enough TV dollars per institution on a long-term basis,” Burman said. “This will help us. I expect to see our TV revenues increase dramatically over the years.”
The re-addition came with costs. The Mountain West has agreed to help Boise State pay its Big East exit fee and granted Boise State special TV rights for its home games. That kind of treatment has some Mountain West loyalists upset.
"I understand their frustration with Boise,” Burman said. “But Boise deserves to be viewed a little differently than many programs. What they have done in the past 10 years is pretty remarkable. They've built a brand that put them in the position where they are extremely remarkable. National TV entities love the Broncos. And they've got a great following."
Burman said he has no hard feelings toward the Broncos, who joined the Mountain West after the 2010 season, then finalized plans to leave, but are now back again.
"It's a business,” he said. “And Boise State was looking out for Boise State. Fortunately, from the time they decided to join the Big East and today, the Big East has changed dramatically. And I think they realized the Big East is going to continue to change."
One of those changes could involve another soon-to-be former Mountain West school (San Diego State) cutting its ties to the Big East in time to rejoin.
"You will see continued dialogue about the Aztecs, and probably other schools,” Burman said. “Hopefully we get that resolved, one way or the other, soon."
But whether it is San Diego State, another school, or no additional program at all, the Mountain West has reeled back its big fish. Wyoming's outlook, as a result, improves. UW is a school tied to the Mountain West. Should the league weaken to the point of falling apart, the Cowboys could have trouble finding a new home.
"It's best for the University of Wyoming if the Mountain West is a stable league," Burman said.
Boise State's return adds that.