Boise State's Chris Petersen on TCU-less Mountain West: 'Better than the conference we’re in'

By Brian Murphy

Boise State reaction

Amid reports that TCU is leaving the Mountain West for the Big East in all sports, Boise State coach Chris Petersen said he still supports the move for the Broncos.

"I still think it’s a good conference, better than the conference we’re in right now," Petersen said.

From Boise State president Bob Kustra:

"It is disappointing that TCU has opted to leave the conference, but not entirely surprising given the stakes of automatic qualification in the BCS bowl system and relative lack of access for non-AQ conferences. But even with this change, the Mountain West remains a good fit for Boise State academically as a research university, athletically for our student-athletes in competition in all sports, and geographically for its reasonable travel schedule. We look forward to a new era of competition with the current Mountain West member schools and continuing great rivalries with Fresno State and Nevada, as they move to the Mountain West."

MWC announcement

MWC Official Statement on TCU Departure

November 29, 2010 – COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.

“Today’s intercollegiate athletics environment is very fluid,” said Mountain West Conference Commissioner Craig Thompson. “Our Board of Directors and Directors of Athletics, as they have throughout the history of the MWC and with even more focus recently, will continue to analyze the landscape and chart our course in the context of ongoing changes. That includes conversations already underway with potential future members, as well as related discussions with our television and bowl partners.

“We appreciate the many contributions TCU has made to the growth and development of the Mountain West over the past six years. We look forward to shaping the future of the Conference in the coming months.”

Big East announcement

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Texas Christian University has accepted an invitation for full membership into The BIG EAST Conference, it was announced today. The BIG EAST, by a vote of its Presidents and Chancellors, extended the invitation for membership.

TCU will become the 17th conference member on July 1, 2012. Its athletic teams will begin competing in the BIG EAST in the 2012-13 academic year.

With an enrollment of 9,142 in Fort Worth, Texas, TCU competes in 20 sports. The university’s Chancellor is Dr. Victor J. Boschini, Jr. and the Athletics Director is Chris Del Conte. The university was founded in 1873.

“Our membership is genuinely excited to add an institution of the caliber of TCU to our Conference,” stated BIG EAST Conference Commissioner John Marinatto. “Chancellor Boschini and athletic director Chris Del Conte clearly share the same academic and athletic aspirations of our current members and are similarly committed to sponsoring a very highly competitive athletic program. Located in one of the top five media markets in the country, TCU also enables the BIG EAST to extend its media footprint, which already encompasses more than a quarter of the country.”

“The addition of TCU ensures that the BIG EAST will continue to remain one of the nation’s premier athletic conferences well into the future,” stated John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., President of Notre Dame and Chairman of the BIG EAST CEO Executive Committee. “With TCU, the BIG EAST adds an excellent academic institution that combines outstanding athletic achievement with a commitment to NCAA compliance and educational success of its student-athletes.”

Original post

TCU, expected to be Boise State's biggest football rival in the new-look Mountain West Conference, has accepted an offer to join the Big East in all sports in 2012-13, AOL Fanhouse and other media outlets are reporting.

TCU has scheduled a press conference for later today to announce the move.

Since Boise State accepted an invitation to the Mountain West in June, the league has lost its top three football programs — Utah (to Pac-12), BYU (to football independence) and now TCU (to Big East). The Mountain West has since added Boise State's WAC rivals Fresno State and Nevada to the league.

TCU's move could trigger an official invitation to Hawaii, which has been in discussions with the Mountain West about a "football-only" membership in the league. It is also possible the league could attempt to expand to 12 teams.

Without TCU and Hawaii, the league has nine teams beginning with the 2012 football season: Boise State, Fresno State, Nevada, Air Force, Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State, UNLV, Wyoming.

TCU is currently No. 3 in the BCS Standings and all but assured of, at least, a trip to the Rose Bowl. If No. 1 Auburn or No. 2 Oregon lose this week, the Horned Frogs could be headed to the BCS National Championship Game.

Boise State was competing with the TCU for the top non-AQ spot before its 34-31 overtime loss to Nevada on Friday night.

The programs have played in bowl games the last two years and were expected to battle each other for MWC supremacy after the departures of Utah and BYU.

Bowl Championship Series executive director Bill Hancock is quoted in the AOL Fanhouse story as saying that the Horned Frogs will take "all of their data to their new league" for automatic qualification criteria.

The BCS's own rules state that "conference's membership on Dec. 4, 2011" shall be the cutoff date for evaluating automatic qualification status for the next four-year cycle of the BCS.

The biggest motivation for TCU is joining a league that sends its champion to the BCS — no matter what its record is. Four-loss Connecticut currently controls its own destiny for claiming this year's berth in the BCS from the Big East. With that AQ status comes additional money. Plus, the Big East has a large television contract for men's basketball.

While some speculate that the departure of Utah, TCU and, to a lesser degree, BYU from the non-AQ ranks could make it easier for Boise State to get to the BCS each year, there is no certainty that the BCS rules will remain the same after this conference realignment.

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1291071511 Boise State's Chris Petersen on TCU-less Mountain West: 'Better than the conference we’re in' Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

You Can't Blame Them

They want access to an AQ conference just as we do. MWC is now WAC version 2.0. We have exchanged the WAC bottom feeders for the MWC bottom feeders plus a pukey TV contract. Even San Diego State's coach is likely going to bail for greener pastures. Who is captain of this boat? I think we are moving in just after the Russian army moved out. (For you U of I fans that means we are inheriting a pig sty.) I hope I am wrong.

They find a new home in an

They find a new home in an AQ conference that they can dominate PLUS they'll eventually getting a share of the Big East's March Madness pie. Not a bad gig.

That's precisely been my concern

since Utah and BYU bolted. Next, if the conference decides to swell in size then Air Force will probably go independent so they can maintain their rivalries outside the conference. My biggest concern is the TV package because the MWC will be competing head-to-head with the PAC 12 and at the end of the day the MWC will NOT be able to compete for PAC 12 viewers.


beet the geeks next year

what grade you in weisberg

Hey weisberg, what grade are you in , 2nd, 3rd or 4th.

my pleasure

to be the second comment.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. $20 says bsu, fres, and nv stay in the wac. Better tv contract and equal competition.

TV contract isn't really better.

each school gets more $$ from the MWC's current contract than the WAC schools from ESPN.

The exposure certainly hasn't hurt tcu. 3rd in all the polls and BCS on "less exposure".

But the MWC's contract with The Mtn is going to get blown up regardless. So you'll probably see the MWC on espn more in the future.


The lack of exposure did hurt TCU, but they made up for it by coming out of Texas, having won NC in the past, and playing Utah and BYU every year. Boise State has none of those things. It's a poor school from an unpopular state with a weak schedule.

i guess we'll have to

agree to disagree on that point. And, really, having won their last NC back in... 1938?? I don't think anyone is really giving them credit on that point. but being from texas doesn't hurt.

no kidding

1938 good grief. maybe they should go back to leather helmets to identify with their past greatness. even lee corso & lou holtz were born after 1938.


I wholeheartedly agree that it's absurd, but absurdity has never been a problem for CFB pollsters. Remember that Alabama's strength comes from Bear Bryant and USC's comes from OJ Simpson. "BJC" would not be a popular insult if Boise State hadn't just recently (relatively speaking) become a University.

We may be singing a different tune in 20 years when Boise State has more history.


TCU and SMU blew up the Southwest conference by getting themselves on probation for paying players. No TV games for probation teams lowered the TV money to where Arkansas left and few years later Texas and A&M had had enough. UT and A&M thought so highly of TCU that they picked Baylor and Tech over TCU to be their new playmates in the Big12. I'll take goofy blue turf over that storied history any day.


crybabies nation coach petey opening in mn you want to go there or join the wac

Worse case scenario:

We lose the bottom feeders that are left in the WAC, right now! Losing espn is great! Now we won't be getting bad mouthed nightly, by a bunch of loser wannabe announcers(i.e. Mark May)!

Here we go again.

BSU just needs to continue to dominate, schedule better teams, and move on.


Well TCU will DOMINATE the Big lEast! Too Bad. I was hoping to add Houston and Hawai'i and get an Auto-Bid for the conference.

Hawaii, yes

they will still come. And why not, with travel all the way to Fort Worth, Texas out? Houston, however, is looking for a BCS league so they might stay put in CUSA for now. But SMU and UTEP have shown enterest and would make good additions to the MWC, bringing us to 12 good teams.

That sorry MWC TV deal will HAVE to go. If it did, perhaps BYU could be lured back. I would hope that BSU and MWC teams that are left can do what BYU was unable to do, and that is to force Thompson's hand and stop his determination to hold onto a media contract that has short term monetary gains at the expense of longterm goals.


while i do agree, the MWC's contract does have to go, i don't think that just because BSU is coming that it's going to be strong enough to change. BYU and Utah with the SLC market (and the prestige of the schools) couldn't get anything better worked out. what difference does BSU and the relative small market make?

Well thats the point

Those markets are gone, and they're getting boise instead. The value of this contract is going to drop significantly i'm sure, and as a result the conference may switch to espn. At least thats some of the speculation that i've read


I agree with that (and that's what i'm hoping for).

so. i guess we're in agreement?

BYU has

to many grievances to come back to the MWC. Thompson totally mismanaged that situation and it appears he's mismanaging Air Forces desire for a smaller conference.

BCS Sucks!

The BCS has completely screwed up College Football. Rivalries in many conferences are being trashed in a chase for the almighty dollar. Please, God, may this farce/sham/scam end soon!

not only rivalries

But the BCS is destroying what SHOULD be the entire point of sports, which is competition. The goal of every team in the country should be to be the best, but Boise State and Utah have proven over the last five years that any team from the non-AQs have no reason to try. All anyone can hope for is to get invited to the big boys' table, at which point they're a part of the problem.

This sucks

Craig Thompson has burned his bridges with ESPN. In no way is ESPN gonna work with the MTN. ESPN will work with individual teams (BSU v Georgia) on out of conference away games, but we are most likely stuck with the MTN.

Utah was ranked pretty high this year when they played San Jose St. and the MTN wouldn't let them or even any of the local channels televise the game. Instead they had to listen to the game on the radio. Is this what we have to look forward to?

TCU and Utah did the right thing. BYU on the other hand, did they know this was coming. TCU coach Patterson said earlier when interviewed about BYU going independent he said " I know a lot more than you do " was that a hint and BYU knew before hand? I think we need to stay in the WAC.

Stay in the wac???

Why stay in the wac with the bottom feeders like Idawho, San Juan State and the likes of the two Mexico teams? Yeah, that would be progress!(sarc.)

Why would the rules change?

Weren't the rules the exact same before all of these non-aq teams were as dominant as they are now? Its not like this rule was specifically targeting tcu, bsu, and utah.

MWC still better

The MWC still offers big advantages over the WAC:

(1) Better bowl tie-ins
(2) More television revenue, with the likely prospect of renegotiating the Mtn./Versus contract in the near future
(3) Better geographic footprint
(4) Mid and low-range teams like Air Force, San Diego State, and Colorado State are much better than San Jose State, New Mexico State, and Idaho.
(5) Add to the better low-range talent the fact that we're bringing along #17 Nevada, #25 Hawaii, and Fresno State--the only remaining talent in the WAC.

Are you sure?

Bowl tie-ins - Boise carries the Hum Bowl with them. Unless Hawaii follows along, you lose the Hawaii bowl. Only other swap is the Las Vegas and Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. Looks like a toss-up to me.

TV revenue - Would have been much greater for the WAC is Nevada and Fresno had not jumped ship prematurely to the MWC. BYU coming to the WAC as almost occured this summer would have boosted the WAC TV revenue and exposure tremendously above what the MWC is getting. As it is, the money may be greater, but the exposure sucks as long as the Mtn. is involved.

Geographic footprint is a wash. MWC is a tighter footprint, but that is not necessarily better for football. Football travel expenses don't change drastically with geography. And since all of this conference jumping is driven by football, let's ignore the impact on other sports.

Average Sagarin ratings of remaining MWC (AF-39, SDSU-44, Wyoming-110, UNLV-129, CSU-132, New Mex-168) is 104. Average Sagarin rating of remaining WAC (Hawaii-32, Idaho-81, La Tech-83, UT State-114, San Jose-155, New Mex State-165) is 105. I don't think that is "much better". In the last 2 years, Idaho has beaten UNLV, SDSU, and split with CSU. NMSU beat New Mexico.

So, don't get on your high horse. You thought you were making a jump to the big time. And in June, you were. Now BSU will get a little bit more money, much less exposure, and a no more easier road to a BCS game, because just like now, a single loss ends all hopes.

BCS auto

Since the current BCS rules provide for a so-called non-qualifier conference team to be given a slot if they are BCS ranked 12 or higher, it appears BSU will be in every year?

With one loss in 2010, BSU is 11th in the BCS right now.

How often would the Broncos not be top 12 given the path in the Mt. West without TCU, Utah, BYU?

Without those 3 to compete with for a non-qualifier slot, why would we need to schedule more than one good out-of-conference opponent per year?

The only downside would be if Super Conferences develop over the next decade which would probably change the non-auto-qualifier rule.

Perhaps BYU as an Independent would compete with us for a slot, but I think they will have a tough time getting opponents.

I believe that

according to the rules, aside from Notre Dame, the non-AQ auto rule only apples to Conference Champions. Just because BYU is indy, they don't have that same leverage and "prestige" as ND. Unless some concessions were made that I am unaware of, BYU actually has a tougher road to go to get a BCS bowl.

BYU scheduling

I just looked at BYUs future schedule. Seems like they aren't having a problem scheduling thus far.

2011 - Ole Miss, Texas, Utah Central Florida and Orgon State along with the remaining WAC
2012 - BSU, Utah, Georgia Tech, Oregon State, Notre Dame and the remaining WAC
2013 - BSU, Utah, Georgia Tech, Texas, Notre Dame

Seems like they're not stuggling to schedule opponents to me. Perhaps maybe we can work something out as an indy. (Doubtful) but here's to hoping.

While that would be fun

bsu just doesn't have the support for that. not yet.

This is great news

Now BSU will be easily favored in all the conference games. We can schedule who ever we want OOC. We will be 12-0 and get into a BCS bowl game ever year. We can rack up huge paydays from the idiots at the BCS (because they are so stupid to give millions to teams) and put it toward our stadium expansion. Then we can schedule teams like LSU, Wisconson, Stanford and beat the snot out of them. HAHAHA. This is so awesome, thanks you TCU for the millions each and every year. HAHAHA, thanks for being so stupid BCS.

the only thing that sucks though.

is it might hurt any credibility to getting into the National Title. Sure, getting BCS bowls, and the money, are nice but BSU isn't playing for consolation bowls. hopefully they can translate them to better bowls.


But if BSU won most of those bcs bowls, then i think the credibility would go way up. That and scheduling better non conference will probably be better than simply having tcu on your schedule

I'm tired of being optimistic

Good to see so many supportive comments about this news. I don't have enough energy. BCS knew it was just a matter of time before they could sap Bronco fans' spirits and I guess I'll be the first to go.

Boise State started #3, went undefeated, and were still locked out of the title game after multiple #1 and #2 teams lost. They had a marquee game to finish the season, which was pushed into the middle of the night to make space for a non-game between Oregon and Arizona, and winning wouldn't have meant much progress for the Broncos program anyway. Now there's not much future motivator either. The lack of national exposure will destroy Boise State's recruiting ability, as will new recruits knowing that BSU is indefinitely locked out of the national title.

It was a good fifteen minutes of fame. Next year should be a great final hurrah, but I've got other hobbies that aren't guaranteed to end in disappointment.

Bonwell is right on...

What team returns almost all its starters from an undefeated season a year ago and a bowl win and is ranked THIRD? Only Boise State.

What team goes cross-country and wins against a ranked opponent and then blows everyone else out and still can't get higher than third, in fact drops spots throughout the season? Only Boise State.

What team plummets out of site after a ROAD overtime loss to a RANKED team? Only Boise State.

The BCS got exactly what it wanted. Unless Oregon or Auburn loses. Then watch Wisconsin or Stanford jump TCU, too.

True Blue and Orange Bronco...

As a fan of BSU I would like to wish you a not so good bye. We lost one game and you are ready to bail out on the whole team. So we didn't get to play for a NC. Who cares really, they are still the same team that distroyed so many good teams this year. You, my friend, are exactly the kind of fans that BSU can live without. We are still a very good team and we still are very strong at every possition. It was only a matter of team before we lost.

"The only way to see the true heart of a program is to see how they react to both good times and bad." my highschool football coach. We are going to see now what our team is really about. Let's look at some high lights they young men have given us.

1) NCAA Gameday for the first time came live from Boise State University. Are you kidding me? That alone is something to be excited about. No one in their wildest dreams thought that would ever happen even two years ago.

2) We had a very exciting and entertaining opening game against Virginia Tec and pulled it out by a feild goal in the final moments. One of the best games I've ever watched. Kind of funny that we lost to Nevada the same way. At least we didn't loss to Neveda the same way Cal did.

3) We DIDN'T loss the WAC title. We have a chance to share it three ways. Which is better than lossing it out and out.

I could go on but the long and short is this. Lossing one game should not distroy a fan base. As Bronco fans we have been spoiled to think that we are going to roll over every team we face. That is never the case. The whole reason to watch sports is the chance to see something truely unbelieveable happen. It's a game and it's not scripted. It's great to see two teams that really want to win play each other. I want everyone reading this to think about this. We beat Fresno by 52 in our house. The average points we scored this year was 34. We are a really good team. Last friday just wasn't our night. If that means that your going to stop following BSU. Then good bye, enjoy the favor of the month.

BTW, I believe that the limited coverage is going to do one thing for BSU. Force us to buy tickets to the games and fill the stadium for every game. The limited coverage is going to make people want to see more of us and when we do get coverage for our game more people will tune in to see us. We are a known product now and the MWC knows this. To all you people looking for the next flavor... I heard the Akron Zip are looking for fair weather fans

Losing out

The one loss to Nevada didn't bother me in the slightest. Actually, it was cathartic, because I actually felt like Boise State got to play a real team for once.

What bothered me was watching the Ducks, just off a 2-0 series against the Broncos, going to the National Championship, while the Broncos, who hadn't lost for two years, hoping that they could get a spot in the BCS at all, even if they were undefeated. While every other team was enjoying football games, the most important day of the week for Broncos was Mondays, when we check to see if we could get any respect from another talking head at Sports Ill'strated or Bleacher Report. And don't forget that even if Boise State had won the Rose Bowl this year, they would have gotten $2 million while Wisconsin got $12 million, and the Badgers would be contending for the national championship next year while Boise State beats up on New Mexico and Colorado State.

I'm not a fairweather fan of Boise State. I'm a fairweather fan of college football. I'll probably just join a flag football league next year. I'll probably lose, but at least I don't have to put my hopes and dreams in the hands of Gordon Gee.

on last thought

"You, my friend, are exactly the kind of fans that BSU can live without."

No they can't. That's the whole problem. Schools whose only fans are the students and boosters play for Division II. Boise State can't afford to be a top FBS team if nobody believes they're full members.

New definition of "fair weather fan"

Holy cats, dude, your team loses two games in three years and you're dropping off the bandwagon? Dang!

like I said

Exactly the opposite. I never was "on the bandwagon" when Boise State was hot. The whole point of competitive sport is that you play up, and I just can't follow a sport where all that matters is opinion. Boise State is literally too good for college football.

Seriously, look at us. As fans, our entire hopes are resting on whether a team in Texas plays for a different conference. This week, I was forced to root for Alabama. Alabama! An undefeated team in the Northwest should not have to stake everything on an intrastate matchup in the Bible Belt.

Boise State is literally too good for college football?

Haha. Seriously? Then what does that make Nevada?

Get a clue, you homer. BSU is beatable, as proven by Nevada.

Some of you people are truly delusional.

"too good"

I meant "too good" in the sense that they put it on the field instead of making it all about money and politics. They're above what college football has become.

And I wish to holy God that this TCU announcement had happened on some other week than when Boise State lost to Nevada. As I keep saying, I LIKE that Nevada can beat Boise State. It has nothing to do with my bitterness over the MWC being gutted.

Which brings me back to the stupid politics. I'm trying to talk about Boise State getting to play MORE teams that it can lose to (TCU) and everyone is OBSESSED with the Nevada loss, as if one loss invalidates everything Boise State has ever accomplished and more. It. Doesn't. Matter. Boise State doesn't lose enough, because the football gods continue to keep good teams away from the Broncos. THAT'S what I'm angry about.

i think i know what he's getting at.

this whole year, BSU and the fans have been taking a beating about whether or not they (we) belong in the national title discussion. it's a non-stop, constant thing. after all that work: splat. it's frustrating, but what can you do?

and, you're right, this team has only lost two games in three years, but it wouldn't seem that way with all the talking heads and haters.


It does not automatically make someone a hater just because they have enough brains to not down the blue kool-aid.


I've been a big supporter of the ESPN contract. However I am starting to have second thoughts. Chord is right in his comment that the MWC TV contract has not hurt TCU and I think there will be some big and better changes coming to the TV contracts.

Plus I'm getting sick of the late, late night games just to make it on ESPN. No one other than the fans of the teams are playing staying up that late to watch the games anyway.

All we can do is carry on and do the best we can, just like we always do. As for the haters, a one loss game in overtime does not make a team bad. Most teams would love to have that record.

Go BSU!!!

This is great news because.....

BSU will be the only strong non-AQ. We will no longer have to compete with Utah and TCU for the non-AQ spot in the (flawed) BCS bowl equation. Thanks TCU.


Great point, thanks, I feel better about this already

We'll see...

To Burnanators' points.

1) Better bowl tie-in's:
Las Vegas
Armed Forces
New Mexico

New Mexico
Kraft Fight Hunger.

Looks pretty even to me. Two overlap (Poinsettia, New Mexico), Hawaii, Hunger, and Humanitarian even or close to LV, AF and Independence. This changes every couple of years, so who knows what it will look like in a couple years.

2) "More television revenue, with the likely prospect of renegotiating the Mtn./Versus contract in the near future." This is all contingent on Mtn./Vs increasing money for a deal with a conference that has less football viewership than old MWC (lost Dallas/Fort Worth, BYU, and Utah area's, gained Reno, Boise, and Fresno). Not sure you'd gain much, and it has to be split more ways than WAC's ESPN agreement.

3) "Better geographic footprint." WAC went from Ruston, LA to Hawaii. If TCU had stayed, would have been the same (with HA coming over for football). With TCU leaving, now lost recruiting base in TX. Looks like a push at best.

4)"Mid and low-range teams like Air Force, San Diego State, and Colorado State are much better than San Jose State, New Mexico State, and Idaho." Idaho beat SDSU and CSU last year, lost to CSU on last second FG this year. NMSU, Idaho, USU, SJSU would all beat or play as well as UNM, CSU, SDSU on any given year. NMSU and USU's basketball programs are a lot better than the MWC's bottom.

5)"Add to the better low-range talent the fact that we're bringing along #17 Nevada, #25 Hawaii, and Fresno State--the only remaining talent in the WAC." Had you stayed in the WAC, they would have too. "better low-range talent", are you really arguing about which conference's worst teams are better?!? So you lost TCU (#3) Utah (#20) and BYU (perenially ranked), and gained Hawaii (inconsistent at best), UNR (not going to be ranked after Koepernick, Taua (sp), et. al.) and FSU (who UI should have beat at FSU). Not much of an upgrade there.

All-in-all, I think BSU got a worse deal than they had before. Just go back a while ago when everyone in "BroncoNation" was complaining about not getting the Mtn/Vs on their cable list. Half of your fan base won't be able to watch your away games, and ESPN's not going to pick up your non-conference games with Toledo, and other "Little Sister's of the Poor".

A couple years from now, you'll either be in a conference that's just a WAC/MWC merger, or wishing you were back in the WAC.