Blog Entry

Boise State big winner with Big East expansion

Posted on: December 14, 2011 5:06 pm
Edited on: December 15, 2011 10:06 am

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Amid some fanfare last Wednesday, the Big East finally announced the addition of Boise State, San Diego State, SMU, Houston and UCF to the conference. The move was designed to replace departing members Pittsburgh, Syracuse and West Virginia and marked just the latest chess move in the college realignment chess board. (Navy figures to be next to move)

The reaction, as you can probably tell from the map above, has been mostly incredulous. The Big East includes schools in the Pacific time zone? Well, regardless of how the still-shifting sands settle, the league will have to deal with things on the recruiting trail. Who makes out the best among the new members? It seems pretty clear from a quick glance.

Boise State: Two BCS bowl wins, just three losses in four years.
San Diego State: Two bowl games in 14 years but fertile recruiting area.
SMU: Three straight bowl games but head coach was in talks to go to another school, talent rich city.
Houston: Coach has left for Texas A&M.
UCF: Facing significant NCAA issues.

A lot of the reasoning behind the move to the Big East (football-only for Boise State and San Diego State) is increased access to better bowls, a better chance at making the BCS and greater television exposure. All three matter in recruiting and will no doubt be a selling point each program makes to kids. But more than that, the Broncos success coupled with the increased access to the powerhouse recruiting states of California, Texas and Florida make them a big winner - even if there's elimination of the AQ conference in the near future.

Look at the current class of 2012 for the Broncos and you can understand why they're excited: five players from California, six from Texas and a quarterback from Florida. Due to their success, the program with the blue turf has gotten quite a bit of exposure and figure to become even more of a national brand in a conference that spans four time zones. While there are certainly questions about the Big East in terms of talent and depth, it should also help dispel some concerns that they play "no one."

The other schools will enjoy benefits too. San Diego State should be better able to keep Southern California recruits closer to home and Houston/SMU should be able to get higher caliber players than they have in Conference USA. UCF has issues but is no longer little brother to USF down the road.

There's plenty to dislike about conference expansion but for schools like Boise State, things are not that bad at all from a recruiting perspective. It may seem like a patch-work job in order to keep the league together but it should bring plenty of good things for the new members.


Since: Oct 23, 2011
Posted on: December 23, 2011 1:01 pm

Boise State big winner with Big East expansion


Watching some great football this past week, and it made me think about possible expansion teams for the B-EAST. I think a western province and eastern province for football would make sense and would suggest adding 6 more teams.  In the west would be B-EAST teams Louisville and Cincinnati along with the new additions Boise, San Diego, SMU and Houston and my suggestions for the final2 would be  Louisiana Tech and Nevada.  If Nevada is not interested then Colorado State and if Louisiana Tech is not interested than Memphis. In the east would be B-EAST teams Rutgers, UConn, USF with the new addition of UCF and my suggestions for the final 4 would be 3 teams to keep the B-EAST in the footprint it presently has Buffalo (to stay in New York State), Temple (to stay in Pennsylvania) and Marshall (to stay in West Virginia) and then ECU (if Navy is out).  Just a thought...

Since: Sep 22, 2011
Posted on: December 17, 2011 7:30 pm

Boise State big winner with Big East expansion

"BigdaddyQH" people outside of the Mountain West don't seem to understand the media exposure/revenue problem.  People think it is still all about AQ Status and although that might have been the initial driving force for Boise to look at joining the Big East, it wasn't the final deciding factor.  The fact of the matter is that BSU had far more media exposure last year when they were in the WAC, and this year in the MWC, despite producing an identical record going into bowl season, they recieved little to no exposure.  The media revenue in the MWC is AT MAX $1.9 mil per year.  It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out even a weak conference media deal could do much better and doesn't require it's fans to have a whole cluster mess of ESPN, CBS Sports, Versus, and the Mtn to watch 12 games of football.  The Mtn doesn't even have a presence in a number of media markets.  The same is true for SDSU, they are tired of the lack of media exposure in the Mountain West Network (they have the worst of any of the FBS Conferences out there) and the odds of them earning at least double what they make off their TV deal in the Big East are pretty good. 

It's all a matter of perspective:  Boise State fought hard for the last couple of years to get into the Mountain West to try and form a BCS Conference with Utah, BYU, TCU at the helm and with Air Force and SDSU shoring up the middle.  After being turned down several times, they were finally invited, only to discover Utah gone.  Then to be followed by BYU and ultimately TCU.  After which they were told of limitations on their uniform combo that they have worn on their home turf for several years and quickly discovered that after having tons of media exposure while they were in the WAC, to have all but dropped off the face of the earth in the MWC, but hey they got to play Air Force and SDSU in conference and get a slight media revenue increase for their efforts and found out that they had moved right back to the old WAC Conference with Fresno State, Hawaii and Nevada filling the empty slots in the MWC. 

With the Big East Boise got to dictate it's own terms, including a dirt cheap buyout if AQ status is lost by the Big East (a whopping $1 mil buyout) and went together as a package deal with 5 other teams instead of moving to a conference by themselves.  BSU has already seen positive ripples from this annoucement which isn't even 2 weeks old yet and doesn't officially occur until 2013 (ie funding immediately given by boosters to add the first of the stadium expansion additions, getting it's logo in bright lights in Time's Square, etc.).  The point is that all in all they are better off by this move and even if the AQ disappears, there are still serious advantages that make the move worth it.

Since: Sep 28, 2008
Posted on: December 17, 2011 2:26 pm

Boise State big winner with Big East expansion

*sports, not schools. 

Since: Sep 28, 2008
Posted on: December 17, 2011 2:22 pm

Boise State big winner with Big East expansion

What I am still woundering is why the BIG 12 has not asked BSU to join their leage? If only makes since for both BSU and the BIG 12
The Big 12 wouldn't want anything to do with the rest of Boise State's teams. The Big 12 isn't like the Big East. They won't take just a team for football and then tell Boise they need to find a new home for the rest of their schools. That's only something the Big East morons do.

Since: Dec 17, 2011
Posted on: December 17, 2011 12:30 pm

Boise State big winner with Big East expansion

You guys that think we should play a tougher schedule realize that teams don't want to come to Boise to play.  They would play us in their stadium.  That's fine once or twice a year but were not going to just be everyones little b**** and play in their stadium and allow them to refuse to play in ours.  Since its so easy to get a tough schedule maybe we should hire you to create the schedule for us I'm sure you could talk a few top 25 teams into coming to Bronco Stadium.

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: December 17, 2011 12:24 pm

Boise State big winner with Big East expansion

So now we see the Big East trying to save their AQ status by expanding about as far West as they can go.  What happens if they do NOT save their AQ status?  What happens if, as rumored, the BCS junks the AQ status of conferences?  Then you have a reverse stampeed.  Boise State and San Diego go running back to the MWC, so they can play games closer to home and save travel expenses.  The Air Force stays put, as they probably really want to do to begin with.

Another way to burst the Big East's bubble is for the Big 12 to expand back to 12 teams and take Louisville and Cincinnati, setting up two perfect divisions.  The North, featuring the three former Big East teams, the two kansas teams, and Iowa State, and the South, featuring the same 6 teams it has now except for TCU taking A&M's place.

Yet a third way to burst the Big East's bubble is for the ACC to decide that they do not want to stick with 14 teams, and grab two more Big East schools.  UConn, Rutgers, and USF certainly would jump at that opportunity.

So this whole expansion thing is still up in the air, and subject to reversal at any time.  We know that the Big East is going to lose West Virginia, Pitt, and Syracuse.  Everything else is unresolved at this time.

Since: Dec 28, 2007
Posted on: December 17, 2011 12:17 pm

Boise State big winner with Big East expansion

Minor, I agree completely. BSU plays no one and complains they don't get to play for the NC. Now that they will have to play real teams week-in and week-out I can see them losing 2-3 maybe even 4 or more every year so it will prove the point I have tried to make many times before. When you play no one, you can go unbeaten but the doesn't mean you should be in the NC game. You have to play someone and earn that right, although I think this year's NC game is a joke with two SEC teams there. If BSU can win the BE consistantly then maybe I will change my mind about them. But as for now they need to keep quiet. They don't deserve to be in the NC game, period.

Since: Sep 10, 2010
Posted on: December 17, 2011 10:29 am

Boise State big winner with Big East expansion

What I am still woundering is why the BIG 12 has not asked BSU to join their leage? If only makes since for both BSU and the BIG 12. Boise State would bring great talent and resume that we all know is one of the best in the last 10 years. What BSU is getting a chance to prove or disprove everyone that they are a great team and can win a BCS leauge. This will stop all the talk about BSU not playing anyone and having a weak scudel. BIG 12 think about it and open your eyes.

Since: Nov 7, 2006
Posted on: December 17, 2011 10:22 am

Boise State big winner with Big East expansion


I hear what you're saying about Boise having more consistent competition, but I wouldn't underestimate how much depth a good coach like Peterson can acquire over a long tenure.  Boise will show up, week-in & week-out.

Since: Nov 7, 2006
Posted on: December 17, 2011 10:15 am

Boise State big winner with Big East expansion

Have you ever watched a mid-major conference?  The Cards use to play in C-USA and I can tell you right now even the "lowly" Big East had better athletes on the field than C-USA.  Except for the rare exceptions (Boise & TCU) there is a definite talent gap in AQ & non-AQ conferences.

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