Boise State president Bob Kustra said Tuesday morning that he considered recent comments by Mountain West Conference commissioner Craig Thompson a "final statement for now" on the Broncos' hopes of joining the nine-team league.
Boise State is a member of the Western Athletic Conference, but Kustra has made no secret of his desire to join the Mountain West, which includes Utah, BYU, TCU, UNLV and Colorado State among its members.
Thompson told USA Today this week that his league was not interested in expansion unless another team could guarantee entry into the lucrative Bowl Championship Series.
"Unless there is evidence, concrete evidence, that would say this will get you an automatic bid — not just get you closer but get you or guarantee you — I think we'll just play on with the current nine (MWC schools). There's cohesiveness. There's balance, four home games and four road," Thompson told the paper.
"We've run all sorts of models. And there's no model where a 10th member would guarantee us automatic access."
That seems to close the door any chance Boise State had of joining the league in the near-term. Some reports indicated the Broncos could enter the league as soon as 2010 — a possibility that is all but gone now.
"It's a final statement for now. They can re-examine. They can open it up at anytime they want, but it seems to me that that's a fairly definitive statement on where they stand," Kustra told the Idaho Statesman on Tuesday.
Kustra said he discussed the situation with athletic director Gene Bleymaier and football coach Chris Petersen recently.
"I said it looks as though they're looking for a model that works for a 10th team and the only way I know how to build a model like that for Boise State is to keep beating them in everything we play," Kustra said.
Boise State's football team was 12-0 against current Mountain West teams since 1996 before losing to TCU 17-16 in the Poinsettia Bowl in December.
The Broncos have dominated the WAC in football over the past decade, winning six conference titles in the last seven seasons.
"The WAC is getting stronger in some respects. This is not ever been about casting aspersions on the WAC as much as it's been about a better fit in terms of competition in the intermountain West," Kustra said.
"If that's not meant to be, we still have a strong program and it won't affect our success in the future."
• Here is a statement released Tuesday from Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson:
"The Mountain West Conference will continue with its growth and development as a nine-team conference. There is no timeline as to when this position may be re-evaluated, nor any specific series of events that would serve as an impetus to consider expansion.
"The Conference’s ongoing progression has been further strengthened by the success the MWC earned during the 2008 football season (which included three teams – Utah, TCU & BYU – finishing in the Top 16 of the final BCS standings), and there is no compelling motivation at this time to deviate from the status quo with regard to membership."