SB Nation's Mountain West Conference blog, Mountain West Connection, had a good breakdown of some buyout clauses that Boise State was able to have in their new deal to join the Big East conference.
It seems that the Broncos have some options if the conference isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Now, Boise is still obligated to do 27 months of hard time if they decide they want out, but the amount they have to pay can change. Significantly.The current buyout is $5M. It was slated to rise, but actually never did. That fee, however, could go down for Boise State, if certain things happen.
For example, if the conference loses its BCS AQ status, one of the main reasons, I'm sure, Boise was interested in the Big East, then the buyout goes down to only $1M.
The fee also goes down to only $2.5M if at least 70% of the money from a new TV deal doesn't go to football-playing members. In other words, if the Big East decides the basketball-only schools need more cash, if they get too much, Boise benefits.
Both of these are pretty interesting, but while they give Boise State some leverage, I have a hard time wrapping my mind around just how big it is. Unless I'm reading this incorrectly, the exit time is still 27 months. No school probably wants to wait that long to leave if they have a better situation. I can't imagine Boise wouldn't try to negotiate a higher fee in order to leave early if they wanted to.
In other words, even if the exit fee is reduced to $2.5M or $1M, the Big East could still charge them more in order to let the Broncos leave early.
But as MWC says, this is still a good job by the Boise State lawyers to get this set up.