A lot can happen in two seasons' worth of college football. But if Chris Petersen and Mark Dantonio can keep their programs at or near their current level, we'll have a blockbuster Week 1 nonconference matchup to open up the 2012 season, as Peterson's Boise State and Dantonio's Michigan State have agreed to face off in East Lansing on Aug. 31 of that year.
The timing is nice for the Broncos, as they continue to fend off charges of soft scheduling on their attempted rise to the top-two in the BCS rankings. (Their 2012 nonconference slate currently consists of the Spartans, BYU, and Miami-Ohio. Combine that with a Mountain West conference schedule and there shouldn't be too many complaints from the BCS-conference rabble.) Even nicer:
Boise State will receive a guarantee of $1.2 million for the 2012 gameElsewhere, the headlines have referred to this as a "series," and technically that's true, since the teams have also agreed to play a home-and-home at a later date. But that date is 2022 and 2023. Maybe those games will happen, but 12 years' worth of waiting means the odds are much better that at some point, the schools will mutually agree to skip it and find other suitors.
So make no mistake: this is a guarantee game for Boise, a $1.2 million payday in which both schools get a big boost to their strength-of-schedule. It's win-win. But Boise's elusive quest to get a true home-and-home against a team from outside the state of Oregon -- or even a two-for-one -- hasn't been fulfilled just yet.