A common opponent has been added to the schedules of both the Michigan and USC football teams.
Thursday, Fresno State announced that it has reached an agreement with the Michigan and USC football programs for future games. The Wolverines game will be played in 2024 while the Bulldogs will face the Trojans.
Obviously, both of those contests will be road games for Fresno State.
The game against Michigan will mark the first-ever meeting between the schools. Fresno State and USC have met five times previously, the first coming the first in 1992 and the most recent in 2019. The Trojans own a 4-1 record in the mini-series, with that lone loss coming in the first-ever meeting.
This past season, the Trojans got past the Bulldogs but lost starting quarterback JT Daniels to torn ACL.
Fresno State and USC had also been scheduled to meet again in 2022 and 2025. According to USC, that 2025 game has been moved to 2026.
The developing situation between Boise State and the Mountain West Conference has taken yet another twist.
Earlier this month, the MWC announced a new six-year television deal that would significantly increase the annual revenue for league members. The only problem? MWC commissioner Craig Thompson stated earlier this month that Boise State’s sweetheart arrangement that allowed it to receive broadcast revenue above and beyond what other league members receive — originally part of a deal to remain in the conference after briefly going to the Big East during realignment’s heyday — would be coming to an end when this new deal expired.
That was apparently news to Boise State, which stated Tuesday that the university was “weighing our options to move forward.” One of those options, apparently, was the legal one as it was reported earlier Wednesday that Boise State filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit against the MWC.
Two hours or so after those reports emerged, a “joint statement” from Boise State and the Mountain West addressed the latest development.
Last week, Boise State filed a complaint regarding media rights against the Mountain West Conference; however, that action alone does not formally begin a lawsuit. The University and the Mountain West are currently in discussions in hopes of bringing this matter to a resolution without litigation.
In the agreement that allowed Boise State to return to the MWC after the Big East flirtation, the university was to receive an additional $2 million in conference revenue annually.
Boise State’s biggest fight in Mountain West play may not come on the blue turf this year but in the courtroom.
The Broncos have surprisingly filed a lawsuit for breach of contract against their own conference in local district court over the league’s new TV deal with Fox Sports and CBS.
At the heart of the matter? MWC commissioner Craig Thompson told reporters in early January announcing the deal that Boise State’s sweetheart agreement to take an extra cut of broadcast revenue — originally part of a deal to remain the conference after briefly going to the Big East during realignment’s heyday — was ending. That was news to the Broncos, who were not too happy with such a change that they apparently never agreed to.
“Boise State’s decision to join the conference was predicated on a number of negotiated provisions, including the right to separately negotiate material terms of media rights relating to our home games,” the university said last week in a statement to the media. “This is stated in our conference agreement and cannot be changed by any vote of the membership or conflicting agreement. We will not support any change to this provision and are in the process of weighing our options to move forward.”
Those options naturally included a lawsuit and that’s just what we have now. Interestingly, based on the timing of things, that suit was filed just a few hours after the school issued their statement on Jan. 17. The university is demanding a jury trial on the matter and is seeking that the re-entry agreement signed in late 2012 with the conference be honored (worth over $1.8 million a year).
We’ll see what, if anything, ultimately comes out of this latest tiff between the MWC and Boise State but it certainly does threaten to loom large over the coming months before the new broadcast agreement goes into effect. The Broncos have had a difficult relationship with their peers in the league ever since they first departed (though never in reality) for the Big East many moons ago and then rejoined the conference.
Now that friction is making its way into the courtroom in a way that could lead to even more fireworks than a typical BSU football game features on a typical Saturday night.
The Mountain West Conference has a brand new TV deal locked in, and it’s a big one for the conference. The Mountain West announced it has agreed to terms on a new media rights deal with CBS Sports Network and FOX that will run through 2025-2026. The six-year contract is valued at $270 million for the conference.
The new media contract with CBS Sports and FOX will send 23 Mountain West Conference football games to CBS, CBS Sports Network, FOX, or FOX Sports 1, and an additional 10 games may be added to CBS Sports Network or CBS’s streaming digital platform, which is a paid service. FOX will air game son both network television and FOX Sports 1. FOX will have first dibs on any Boise State home games as part of the deal. FOX will broadcast the Mountain West Conference championship game as part of its package of games on either FOX or FOX Sports 1.
Boise State continues to be a winner in the new deal with a higher percentage of conference TV revenue share. However, it has been noted this will be the final time Boise State gets such an advantage.
Also of note, Hawaii will be keeping its own local rights agreement. In return, Hawaii will hand over conference games as part of the TV deal. Hawaii’s revenue share will be calculated differently as well.
The new media deal is certainly heavy on traditional television outlets as opposed to the push for digital streaming options. Even though the media landscape continues to move away form traditional cable options, the Mountain West Conference going with a relatively shorter contract shows the conference is still comfortable with the media landscape’s stability for the near future. And for how much the conference will distribute to conference members for the next six years, everyone should be pretty happy about the deal. As far as Group of Five conferences go, the Mountain West has a very good deal in place with multiple viewing options to expand the visibility of the conference’s football and basketball brands.
Fresno State’s next head coach will be a familiar one to the Bulldog faithful.
Tuesday afternoon, Fresno State confirmed that Kalen DeBoer has been hired as its next head football coach. DeBoer replaces Jeff Tedford, who stepped down earlier this month after three seasons with the Bulldogs amidst health concerns.
His replacement will officially be introduced at a five p.m. ET press conference this evening.
DeBoer spent two seasons (2017-18) as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Fresno State under Tedford. He left to take the coordinating job at Indiana, spending one season with the Hoosiers.
The South Dakota native has been a head coach once at the collegiate level, at alma mater Sioux Falls from 2005-09. In that span, the Cougars won three NAIA national championship s (2006, 2008, 2009).
At the FBS level, DeBoer has also served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Eastern Michigan.
With DeBoer’s hiring, just one FBS head job, New Mexico, is open at the moment. That could be closed shortly, though, as UNM is said to be zeroing in on Arizona State defensive coordinator Danny Gonzales.