Will Boise State be left out when conference expansion happens?

Brian Murphy
bmurphy@idahostatesman.com

UPDATE 5:06 p.m. Here's a great expansion primer from SI.com's Stewart Mandel.

Long a favorite topic for fans and media speculation, conference expansion could soon become a fact of life in college athletics.

The Big Ten could inform other conference commissioners of its intention to expand during this week’s BCS meetings in Arizona.

Though expansion is not on any official agenda, it promises to be the most important topic discussed.

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany is expected to address the media Wednesday afternoon.

It is not only a question of expansion for the Big Ten and Pac-10. It is a question of survival for the Big East and possibly the Big 12. Some think that college athletics will have four Super Conferences when the dust settles. I am beginning to lean that way.

Those four 16-team super conferences would be the Big Ten, ACC, SEC and Pac-10.

Notre Dame and Texas hold a lot of clout in the coming months, with Texas being a wild card that could go to the Big Ten, Pac-10 or SEC. Any league would love the Longhorns.

Where would that leave Boise State, Idaho and other non-BCS schools? The Honolulu Advertiser speculates that lots of movement would hurt Hawaii. I totally agree. A lot of movement would hurt nearly all of the non-BCS schools.

Boise State's best hope is for limited expansion and an invitation to a still-intact Mountain West Conference. The Broncos second-best bet is for mild upheaval that puts them in the same league as BYU and Air Force, either an expanded WAC or Mountain West. Massive movement is bad for the Broncos and Idaho.

Here’s one radical guess at what the landscape could look like in 2012:

Remember it’s all about getting cable companies to pick up your conference's regional television network and then charging subscribers to line the pockets of your conference members.

Big Ten
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Michigan
Michigan State
Minnesota
Northwestern
Ohio State
Penn State
Purdue
Wisconsin
Notre Dame (currently Independent) — National player
Connecticut (Big East) — Going after NYC market
Rutgers (Big East) — Going after NYC market
Syracuse (Big East) — Going after NY market
Missouri (Big 12) — Locks down St. Louis/Kansas City markets

ACC
Boston College
Clemson
Duke
Florida State
Georgia Tech
Maryland
Miami
North Carolina
North Carolina State
Virginia
Virginia Tech
Wake Forest
Louisville (Big East) — Best team in region
West Virginia (Big East) — Next best team in region
South Florida (Big East) — Another Florida market
Pittsburgh (Big East) — Could be Navy instead

SEC
Alabama
Arkansas
Auburn
Georgia
Florida
LSU
Kentucky
Mississippi
Mississippi State
South Carolina
Tennessee
Vanderbilt
Texas (Big 12) — Home run
Texas A&M (Big 12) — Got to if you take Texas
Oklahoma (Big 12) — Triple, plus Texas wants them
Oklahoma State (Big 12) — Got to if you take Oklahoma

Pac-10
Arizona
Arizona State
California
Oregon
Oregon State
Stanford
UCLA
USC
Washington
Washington State
Nebraska (Big 12) — A no-brainer
Colorado (Big 12) — Big market, good rival with Nebraska
Kansas (Big 12) — Big television market
Utah (Mountain West) — Big television market
BYU (Mountain West) — For the exposure
Houston (Conference USA) — To get into Texas

That would leave the rest of the Football Bowl Subdivision in scramble mode as those four conferences may want to go off on their own and create a new partnership free from the NCAA.

Who needs all those pesky rules and regulations from the NCAA? Who needs to share money with smaller schools that aren’t carrying their weight or bringing in revenue?

Not sure what would become of the other leagues or independents such as Army and Navy, which have storied college football histories. The ACC could grab Navy instead of West Virginia, South Florida or Pittsburgh.

And Boise State? Maybe the Broncos join a league with the remnants of the Mountain West and whatever WAC members decide to keep playing football.

Sure, it’s an apocalyptic future for college football. But something like this is entirely possible.

A big 4?

Well if they go that route, I personally will likely drop college football as a tv sport and just settle on going to BSU home games.
If it gets bad enough and enough of us who are regular game watchers, don't watch their games maybe the big TV game rating will drop enough to change their collective minds. And of course if no one pays attention to the little guys like me, the only one who cares will be me, but I do have control of what I spend my time watching, and where I spend my money. Keep in mind what has happened to America since the super banks have been turned loose on us. Was not that good news for a few and the trashy leftovers to the rest of us.

Cue the torrent of comments...

in 3, 2, 1...

"We belong in the PAC-10."
"The PAC-10 would be stupid not to want BSU."
"We could beat most the PAC-10."
"We're PAC-10 good."
"Blah, blah, blah."

You know it's coming...

At least Murph's smart enough to know there's not a chance.

Great comment

Let the stupidity from Donk fans commence...

BSU Needs Out!!!

The only things that matter are that BSU gets invited to a conference that the UofI can't follow them into and the annual game between BSU and Idaho no longer has to happen. The only benefit to anyone that comes from "the game" is to the Vandals when their strength of schedule goes up dramatically when they play the Bronco's. Boise continually gets beat up over the strength of teams they have to play, and the three worst are Idaho, New Mexico State and Utah State.

Here's some info for you Steve...

GBE College Football ratings from 09 dimwit. ID is right there @ #4.

BSU has a football program and unfortunately for all the donk nation fans that think they belong in the PAC 10, good luck. Keep your sights set on the MWC and only when Utah, TCU, or BYU leaves.

1 Boise State 1551.7 2 Fresno State 1025.8 3 Nevada 998.3 4 Idaho 962.2 5 Hawaii 730.4 6 Utah State 567.6 7 Louisiana Tech 563.9 8 New Mexico State 359.9 9 San Jose State 278.6

Plus, the Vandals are playing the Huskers next year

That should make for a tougher strength of schedule than last year.

And so really what do these

And so really what do these numbers represent? Was this last year? What was it the year before that, or the year before that, or how about let's use what the Vandals have managed to do not only during their existence in D-1A or FBS but even while they were in D-1AA. List the lifetime win/loss percentage of the Vandals, then look at the win/loss percentage of the Vandals since they have been in D-1A or the FBS.....not just one year!

Fact of the WAC

Fact of the matter is, it's not just Idaho (historically in D1A) that pulls down the SOS for BSU, it's their league...no need to single out the rival school. TFunk makes me state facts, so I used the 09 numbers so he won't berate me.

Besides, if and when BSU ever has a chance to put in an expansion bid to the MWC or Pac 10 (highly unlikely), I doubt the administration will have an "Idaho can't follow us into this new league" clause built into the proposal...

Of course they will....

...have that built into the clause. You guys need to quit comparing yourselves to the Broncos. Find you're own avenue and quit tagging along.

No Argument

There is no doubt that the bottom half of the WAC, not just Idaho, drags BSU's SOS down, thus mentioning the three I did. And no doubt that clause will never be added to any contract, that said, the UofI's determination to follow BSU to wherever they go because they don't want to be perceived as "second rate" to BSU is off the charts. Making the move to D-1 when Idaho was nowhere near ready to move (small facilities, small infrastructure, and small attendance)is just one example...they moved because BSU did and for no other reason. Idaho jumped at the chance to follow BSU into the Big West and now the WAC, and every time the move is made, Idaho becomes the "door-mat" for the conference. BSU needs out and they don't need Idaho tagging along.

Hmm... an 8-5 bowl-winning doormat?

Try again.

All programs go through ups and downs. Enjoy your ride on the BSU bandwagon while it lasts because there is a pretty good chance the Broncos won't always be as dominating. College football is a pretty dynamic arena.

bronco nation wac only

bronco nation wac only football program will lose at least four games this year bronco nation

4-20

What have you been smoking Murph? There are about 746 variables that would need to fall into place for any of this to happen! Nice job on the speculation! Why don't you tell us about how the western states could join forces to create one big super state and secede from the union! Hey, it could happen!

What's it all about?

Murph: Remember it’s all about getting cable companies to pick up your regional television network and charging subscribers to line the pockets of your conference members.

Dang, I feel old! Because I can remember when it was about sportsmanship and teamwork and friendly rivalry and school spirit! Ah, those were the days. Rah-rah-rah!

Boise State doesn't fit in with the Pac-10 because of school demographics. (Although they could certainly compete on the football field.)

Boise State is ALREADY in

Boise State is ALREADY in the PAC-10 for wrestling. Why not football?

That's Pac 3 Wrestling

ASU, Stanford, and OSU. The rest are a bunch of piddly CA schools, Cal State Fullerton, UC Davis, etc.

please nobody likes

please nobody likes wrestling should be a club sport

Wow, that IS pretty radical.

Seems pretty unlikely to me. It appears to create more problems than it solves. For instance four automatic bids and all the rest at large? You lose many regional rivalries. Intraconference tavel would be much more expensive. These super-conferences seem just to big and unwieldy. Concerning BSU, why BYU, Houston and Utah but not BSU? That makes no sense. I still say expand the MWC to include BSU or (re)combine the MWC & WAC and have a conf. Championship. That conf. would be AT LEAST as strong as the Big East and worthy of the automatice bid or a play off spot should that ever happen a win/win for the MWC...if the other teams can beat us.

bromco nation afraid of the

bromco nation afraid of the pac 10 they are more relaxed as a mid major go vitginia tech they will beat up bromconation

Too much booze wiestard?

Time to head to AA nerd...

BYU will never be in Pac-10

Utah would get the nod over BYU in any scenario. BYU doesn't play on Sunday, and the Pac-10 routinely has it's championship games on Sunday. Besides that, there is some major bad blood between BYU and the Cali Pac-10 schools, especially Cal and Stanford.

No way BYU gets into the Pac-10.

byu should be in pac 10

byu should be in pac 10 dummy or i should say silly put them both in

Pac-10 doesn't want to add church-affiliated schools

I've read this several times from several different sources as a response to the rumors that Pac-10 expansion would include BYU.

The Pac-10 wants large, public, research institutions that match the existing members. Utah, Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska all fit that mold much better than BYU does.

While it makes sense to sports fans to keep BYU and Utah together from a rivalry perspective, the Pac-10 doesn't care. They're looking for the best fit from a competitive, academic and revenue standpoint.

BSU

Blah,blah,blah!!! Who cares.

Good job Murph

Thanks for bringing out all the loser vandals. You must of got that award for sensationalism and stirring the pot. What an absolute waste of time and money to speculate.

Cry some more, son.

Please? You don't look quite silly enough already...

Thanks for making the point valid

Dont the vandies have enough to worry about daddy? The Broncos had 12500 fans for a Spring scrimmage. I wonder what you guys will get Saturday?

I don't really care how many people come to BSU's scrimmage...

Sorry to burst your bubble, pal.

A final dagger in BSU's BCS hopes.

Keep in mind murph thinks seattle will go to the world series and that BSU would not go to a BCS game last year...... Is thier anything he does know? what is the point of this article other than sensationalism?

Maybe Murph is just trying to say

that the vandies will scrap their whole athletic program and focus on academics and locking windows.

If the topic isn't ACC basketball..

you don't want to rely on Murphy.

No matter, Brian was kind enough to call his own speculation a "radical guess."

The SEC and Big 12 don't need to change. They get into BCS championship games already. The Big 10 and the PAC 10 are the ones that need to add teams to get the championship game. Texas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska are the only teams with any real history that would be appetising to the Big 10 or PAC 12, would any of them want to go?

In a way, I would like to see the super-conferences created and leave the NCAA. The facilities arms race could then be contained to those schools that can afford it. To make all teams competitive in the super-conference I think you only need to go to 48 teams, but basketball would make that impossible.

Maybe the WAC would look like this

TCU
BSU
SMU
Montana
Air Force
Wyoming
UNLV
Nevada
Fresno State
E. Carolina

East Carolina??? Montana????

Tough travel schedule for E. CAR. Alot like Hawaii.. Don't see that happening... Montana doesn't stand a ghost of a chance They have a small stadium and its not expandable....

Well E.Carolina is

currently in the C-USA with SMU and Houston, I think it's doable. Montana doubled Idaho's attendance for years now. Not sure about the stadium.

Hawaii???

What does Hawaii have to do with all of this??? This is a Boise paper talking that conference expansion will hurt .....HAWAII????? Murph.. Head on down to your local marijuana dispensary!!! Let's worry how this will faire, (if its crazy enough to happen), for Boise State....oh yea, and also for our ugly step siblings to the North....But who really cares how Hawaii would end up out of all of this????

For once, Murph is right ...

While there may be some small variance in which teams go to what Super Conference ... and there may be some movement in the teams from 58-70 to get the actual final six (i.e., I do not see Kansas State being left out ... and I do not see Houston being included) ... teams like Iowa State and Baylor that murph left are in trouble ... Texas Tech will be hard one to leave behind ... I think Washington State is in real danger ala Iowa State ... South Florida has few friends and the three powers in FL DO NOT want to share ... notice Cincy is out ... TCU is out ...

In reality, the fate of BSU in this breakaway is in the hands of the Univeristy of Texas. If Texas says NO ... there WILL be five leagues -- not four -- BSU will be in.

I also see a greater chance of the Texas and Oklahoma schools jumping in with the Pac-16 ... sure there is more travel ... but Texas isnt used to sharing the spotlight with anyone and likes to push its weight around ... that WILL NOT be easy against the likes of Bama, LSU, Florida, Tennessee, and the like ...

With it appearing the Big Ten is going to take Mizzou and then go for the UConn, Syracuse, Rutgers troika to gain access to the NYC cablesystems (as well as ND as the 16th team) ... the Big XII has a CHANCE to survive ... IF IT SURVIVES ... BSU will make the 80-team cut ... and with every league being required to have 16 members either the Pac-16 of Big XII + IV will be have to take the Broncos.

But, honestly, I think murph is right ... the number will be 64 ... and we will be out ... and forced to regroup with what is left from the MWC and the Big XII plus maybe a WAC member of two like Fresno or Nevada.

Utah and probably CU to the Pac-10 is eminent ... VERY eminent.

BSU

Can't get into the Pac 10 or Big 10 - academics and research are nowhere near where they need to be. The Big 12 may overlook those deficiencies if that's what it takes to survive.

I think a smaller change-up is ultimately more likley to actually occur, leaving BSU in a de-fanged MWC.

BSU

Already has teams competing in the PAC 10....

Math?

Pac 3 you mean, for wrestling? Write this down 50 times, Pac 10 means 10 teams, not 3.

Name me a sport where BSU is competing against the full league?

What does this have

...to do with the vandies? Why would you waste you're hours talking about a team you despise so much? If its just for fun, then why not be funny about it?

For the record, I agree with you about the Pac 3.

Hawaii is a Research University

yet, everyone dismisses them being invited to the PAC-10. They also have the largest stadium in the WAC (larger than Washington State's stadium). This would also alleviate the ridiculous LATech-Hawaii travel nightmares.

Besides, you can't get more Pacific than being completely surrounded by it!

Hawaii is the most ideal team to join the PAC-10. They will probably be bottom feeders, but Washington State won't mind.

Move up

Could you hear the crying from baby brother(Idawho), if BSU moved up, to go to a higher conference! They feel it's their right to tag along! Sorry, this time, you'll have to stay at home with a baby-sitter! Don't worry, you will grow up someday(maybe, although I highly doubt it).

If Idaho continues playing

...like they did last season, they will compete for the WAC championship. I see them winning it long before Nevada or Fresno St or Hawaii.

Murph, stop herding wusses with this garbage.

----------

You can use any words you like here, as long as you don't use actual words.

BSU

Football absolutely belongs in the PAC 10 along with the other sports we compete in that conference with. From a region standpoint and program level of play, we beat out practically ALL of the current PAC 10 teams. I truly believe BSU would have gave USC a bigger pounding than we did to Oregon. Stanford definitely needs to be dropped from the PAC 10. Also, Washington State University also needs to go. Add BSU and you have got the makings of a true power conference!!

I would really like to see BSU drop the idea of joining the MWC. This is a bad idea. I am not convinced that the MWC has any better teams than the current WAC and they definitely have LOWER national tv coverage. Join the MWC and your program will drop from view. Plus, why go to another non-BCS conference. You gain absolutely NOTHING. Ask Wyoming, BYU and Utah.

BSU in the PAC-10? Nah!

BSU might be good in football...at the moment. Everything changes and don't expect BSU to be a football power forever. All programs go through streaks then they fade. Beyond the current football program what else is BSU competitive in among PAC-10 schools? Not much!

As for Stanford and WSU the posters comments are absolutely rediculous. Both schools have had streaks of quality football teams on par with BSU and overall they are much stronger in athletics than BSU. WSU football is currently down but like I said...every school has its up and down periods in football. Can BSU match WSU or Stanford in Basketball? Track? Baseball? Women's Softball? etc., etc. I don't think so.

The problem with you BSU people is you look at Football as the be-all to end-all. It's not! You have to look at the overall strength of the Athletic Deparment and BSU just doesn't stand up to the PAC-10 schools overall...including Stanford and WSU.

Beyond athletics, BSU is a small school. Sure its growing but WSU with 18,000 FTE students in Pullman is quite a bit larger than BSU and offers a much wider range of acedemic programs with many more Masters and PhD programs than BSU. Stanford is an acedemic powerhouse...enough said!

BSU is a WAC school and has a looooooooooong way to go to be PAC-10 caliber.

Lil'package

Check out who has won just a few PAC 10 wrestling titles. Then you might want to look at certain Gymnastic scores. After that you might want to research a little tennis. And then maybe check-out the recent success of little ol' BSU's golf program.

With 1/15th of your PAC 10 money, BSU does a little more than "not much"

WSU football is 58-71 since 1999 with one (1) good year. They haven't been to a bowl since 2003 and without the PAC 10 conference check, would have been bankrupt years ago.

Stanford I have no problem with. Every conference has a Stanford (Northwestern, Rutgers, Vanderbilt, Duke, Baylor)

As for matching in all sports, nope. But neither can most of your PAC 10 programs

Last 3 PAC 10 Baseball champions, ASU (WSU 1995)
Last 5 PAC 10 Basketball champions, UCLA (3) UW (2) (WSU 1941)
Last 8 PAC 10 Cross Country Champions, Stanford (6) (WSU 1975)
Last 12 PAC 10 rowing champions, CAL (9)
Last 7 PAC 10 Soccer champions, UCLA (5) CAL (2) (WSU never)
Last 17 pac 10 Swimming champions, Stanford (WSU 1950)
Last 8 PAC 10 Tennis champions, UCLA (5) (WSU never)
Last 5 PAC 10 Track & Field champions, Oregon (4) (WSU 1991)
Last 10 PAC 10 Wrestling champions, Boise State (6) (WSU 1963)

I could go into the Woman's sports but it's more of the same.

Fact is, before the shared PAC 10 football title with USC in 2002, you have to go all the way back to 1991 for a WSU PAC 10 champion (Track & Field)

Overall strength of athletic programs? really? Let's factor in Athletic budgets and compare. Give BSU that PAC 10 check and within 3 years lets talk.

Since when did students count? there are 3 dozen 1AA schools that have more students than WSU. BSU has as many undergrads as OSU. The thing you should be concerned about is that WSU has 6,000 more students but only outdrew this lowly WAC football team by 2,000 a game.

At the end of the day I hope BSU does not become a part of the PAC 10, because when the dust settles, the PAC 10 won't be worth much.

Hello, it's reality calling.

The PAC-10 has standards beyond athletics. That's where BSU would get slapped down.

BSU has an astonishingly FOUR doctoral level programs. That's really pathetic, but not as pathetic as having one of the worst graduation rates in the country. Then there are issues related to research dollars, facilities, etc.

Some people around here would be better equiped to discuss such matters as conference moves if they knew there was more to a university than a football team and a piece of blue turf...

BOISE STATE LEFT OUT?

WOW! THAT WOULD BE A TRAVESTY!!!!!!!

Not Sure

Not sure why you all are getting worked up over something that hasn't even happened and may never happen. Go back to work. Got to love the Idaho fans that have to manufacture ways to bash BSU football.