Boise State president issues statement on potential conference realignment

By Brian Murphy
bmurphy@idahostatesman.com

Monday afternoon

Boise State President Bob Kustra released a statement Monday afternoon on potential conference realignment:

“Boise State is excited about playing its first football game in the Mountain West Conference this weekend, and is looking forward to an outstanding inaugural conference season in all sports. The university is pleased to be affiliated with such high-quality institutions, and has great confidence in the future direction of the Mountain West.

“While we are certainly flattered to be mentioned in connection with other conferences, and we hold those leagues in high regard, our current focus is on continuing to build the outstanding athletic programs that have helped make Boise State a popular and compelling national brand.

“The landscape of college athletics is exceptionally fluid, and we are continuing to monitor the situation. We are confident that Boise State will be well positioned for future success, and we will evaluate our status with the best interests of the entire university in mind. Boise State’s athletic achievements, academic and research successes, popularity, and vision for future growth make the university an extremely valuable conference partner.”

• Boise State football coach Chris Petersen said Monday that playing in the Big East for football would be "doable."

"Who is going to be in the league? If the money thing all makes sense, that's been the big issue with all this stuff, then I think you take the next step," Petersen said.

As for the travel: "For us, that’s not that big of a deal. You're on the plane four hours instead of two. All that’s doable," he said.

• More links: The Newark Star-Ledger is reporting that Boise State, Air Force, SMU and Houston are in play for Big East expansion.

But Pete Thamel of the New York Times tweeted this afternoon: "While Big East football ADs are still pushing for Boise, was told "no steam for Boise" today on BE call. Still a LONG shot."

Monday morning

The Big East Conference could soon be in the market for a half dozen football-playing schools. The conference, which has six football-playing schools moving forward after the recent defections of Syracuse, Pittsburgh and TCU, wants to get to 12 teams.

"On a teleconference earlier today, our Presidents and Chancellors authorized the BIG EAST Conference to engage in formal discussions with additional institutions and are considering moving to a model that includes 12 football playing schools," the Big East said in a statement.

Boise State was mentioned in two separate reports Sunday as a potential candidate for Big East expansion. (See below)

CBS Sports.com reports that Air Force, Army and Navy are the prime football-only targets for the Big East. Here is ESPN.com's report on the Big East's next moves.

• More expansion news:

— TCU is expected to accept its invitation to the Big 12 Monday night.

— The Southeastern Conference released a statement Monday after its presidents met. “The Presidents and Chancellors of the Southeastern Conference met on Monday for its regularly-scheduled fall meeting. While they discussed a wide range of issues dealing with the changing landscape of intercollegiate athletics, no actions were taken with regards to expansion," the SEC said.

Much of the college football world seems to be waiting on Missouri to make a decision on its future — remain committed to the Big 12 or head to the SEC — before the next dominoes fall.

Sunday

The Boston Globe and the (Newark, N.J.) Star Ledger reported Sunday that the Big East is considering adding Boise State — along with Air Force and Navy — as football-only members of the conference, which is dealing with the recent defections of Syracuse, Pittsburgh and TCU.

The Denver Post reported Sunday morning that Air Force was preparing to leave the Mountain West for the Big East in football and put its other programs in the WAC or the Missouri Valley Conference.

"Our interest is high in the Big East. That's fair to say," Air Force athletic director Hans Mueh told Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post on Saturday. "This stuff is moving fast."

Boise State would need a place for its other sports to play as the Mountain West is unlikely to allow the Broncos to stay in the league without its highly ranked football team.

WAC commissioner Karl Benson told the Idaho Statesman that he has had preliminary conversations with Air Force about housing its other teams. Benson has not spoken with Boise State officials, but is willing to talk with the Broncos.

Boise State was a member of the WAC from 2001 through July, when the Broncos joined the Mountain West. The Broncos play their first Mountain West football game Saturday against Colorado State.

"If there’s a non-football playing school that makes sense geographically for the WAC, we would certainly entertain that, whether it’s Air Force or Boise State or anyone else in our footprint," Benson told the Idaho Statesman.

"If I were an athletic director in the Mountain West, I would consider all options. If I were a president in the Mountain West, at this juncture, I would consider all options."

It was about a year ago that BYU — then a member of the Mountain West — considered moving its non-football programs to the WAC. The Cougars ended up moving their other teams to the West Coast Conference, which includes Gonzaga.

Benson said it would be difficult for the Big East to extend invitations until the Big 12, SEC and ACC complete their expansion plans.

Benson also said that he doubted a discussed football-only alliance between the Mountain West and Conference USA would result in BCS AQ status.

Big East members (football) that aren't leaving: Cincinnati, Louisville, South Florida, Rutgers, Connecticut and West Virginia

Potential Big East football additions: Boise State, Air Force, Navy

Potential all-sport Big East additions: Central Florida, Temple and Villanova.

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I don't know about

that........

Have to think about it

It's tricky

First off, the invite has not officially happened yet. If it does then I say play 2 cards.

Card 1 - Call the Big 12 and ask them stright u, "Do you want us?" Their answer will determine a lot.

Card 2 - Talk to Craig Thompson and ask him what the MWC is planning on doing. The C-USA merger is crap. It's not going to lead to anything. I would "maybe" rather be in a MWC if it included a BYU, Houston, SMU, UTEP, etc.

Air Force will probably go to the Big East regardless of what Boise State does. At that point, we are stuck in a conference with ONE (let's all say it together) ONE competitive football team......San Diego State. After they lost to a rebuilding/restocking TCU, I can see they are not ready to step up.

New Mexico and UNLV are the worst two programs on Earth. Heck, UNLV was beat 37-0 by a mistake prone Nevada Saturday night. The only reason New Mexico didn't lose is they didn't play.

Colorado State lost to San Jose State and Wyoming lost 63-19 to Utah State......Utah freaking State!

Dare I say I almost miss the WAC.

Make sure the Big East retains AQ status and their members IF their is going to be an exit fee. If so then I say join.

vandals are the worst

There is no worse team in college football than the vandals, they couldn't even " Throw the V" against LaTech. Instead they " Hurled the V" and played like puke.

thinking about it.....

Don't even think about it. It is a crazy idea! Thinking about it may generate positive energy and this idea doesn't deserve any!

Why not, the MWC is turning

Why not, the MWC is turning to crap.

Record for League Championships

BSU could set a record for "most different leagues a university wins football championships in during a two decade span."

Other sports

Think beyond football for a minute! We finally have a great basketball conference and schedule. Do you really want to go back to playing WAC teams?

Come on???

We might as well join Kobe in Italy...... a travel schedule like that will not work!

I agree...

The MWC surely isnt what we thought going in, but the Big East will only survive if it raids Conference USA. And then it still will not keep its AQ status.

I would think hard if the hoops team would also be invited. We would be a cellar dweller but the Big East tourney would be an awesome event to attend. Never ever happen tho.

Edit: Props to IdaDuck...he thought this was a possible scenario.

First thing I thought

Basketball back in the WAC.....deal breaker

basketball

does not make a dime if football can make 4 mill more a year and make another step keep moving forward.. stay in the mwc conf.. never get another offer from a big or pac 12 when they go to 16

big12

let's hope this is leverage to get into the big 12, a better geographic fit and stronger conference. But I guess the Big East is still better than any non-BCS conference.

No different than our WAC schedule - Ruston, LA and Honolulu, HI

BSU's nonconference schedule could include our regional rivalries (BYU, Nevada, Oregon State, etc.)...I think having fresh new Big East teams would be great! Who doesn't want to see West Virginia play on the blue?? Better competition than the WAC leftovers the MWC has been left with (especially with TCU and Air Force leaving)...not to mention the AQ status thing. I love the Big East idea!

Its different

under the BigEast scenario- we would be Hawaii. You would have to ask Hawaii what its like to fly to mainland every road game.

West Virginia? Not especially ...

If we, as a fan base, are building our support for the Big East around "hey, we'll get to see West Virginia on the blue," we need to just stay where we are. We haven't even had a chance to really meet all of our new MWC foes, let alone build rivalries with them.

Big East is an AQ...the MWC is not...any questions?

The MWC will never become an AQ conference, every team that could have made that possible has or is leaving. The MWC is now the WAC 2.0...we need to get away from the MWC sinking ship while the getting is good. If our program needs one thing it is money, the Big East would dramatically increase our revenue. We need to increase the size of our stadium...34K seats for a top 5 program is embarrassing.

It's all selfish crap and you know it. Don't destabilize BSU.

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I've just failed miserably trying to be incognito.

Selfish? I don't follow...

We agreed to go to the MWC when Utah, BYU, TCU, and Air Force were part of the conference. Would we have ever accepted the MWC invite with the current state of the conference? BSU needs to protect itself or we will always be on the outside looking in!

Staying in the MWC is currently destabilizing BSU

Run from the MWC...RUN!!

Oh HUSH and take your Cream Of Wheat, LUMPS AND ALL.

Are we not men? Don't DEVO it.

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I've just failed miserably trying to be incognito.

In a vacuum, maybe

What does it do to costs?

Also, all of this seems to be predicated on the assumption that the Big East that BSU would potentially join would remain in tact. With all that has gone on over the past several months, can anyone tell me they have confidence that ANY conference BSU is rumored to join - Big East or Big 12 - will even EXIST (let alone remain an AQ) two years from now? We seem to be using perceptions of the past to fuel our future. The Big East is wobbling. Vultures continue to cirle the Big 12, waiting for their chance to pick at the carcas. I, for one, don't want to jump from one sinking ship to another.

Money!

That's it! Let's do it for the money! Everybody else is. When is someone going to stop this madness! We need a College Football Commissioner. The inmates are running the asylum!

yes, the biggest question....

How long will the Big East be an AQ? If they are looking to import teams to stay in existence, those teams will only come from non-AQ conferences. This means the score for AQ status goes down the crapper, they lose AQ status in 2014, then we're left playing all away games on the east coast. No one will travel, no one will watch. No regional rivalries unless you take up limited non-conference games, thus leaving no openings for marquee AQ teams. Our travel budget goes through the roof and we never sniff a BCS bowl game again. Absolutely not!

It's a bad idea

Too far for the team to travel.
Bronco Nation will not be able to travel in as large of numbers.
No reason for BSU to recruit in that area.

It's a good idea - for a while

How much fun to play Rutgers, West Virginia, Syracuse, U Conn. We do this for two -four years for 3 reasons: 1)Automatice AQ, 2)More interest in program, read more attendance and even better recruits, and 3) Use it as a stepping stone to Big 12 or Pac-XX. Meanwhile we build on to stadium and improve academically.

Pilgrims shouldn't be having wet dreams. Havest thou no shame?

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I've just failed miserably trying to be incognito.

This is all a big joke....build a big

stadium and go Indy....The Treasure Valley would support 80,000 fans with schedules of Notre Dame, USC, Oregon, etc....

Southeast of Kuna is the spot.....

Oh Ugly...

you really made me lmao this time. Thanks!

ugly-ugly

have another beer.

Marriage advice

Sounds like a desperate situation. Boise State is finally being asked down aisle. If I'm the father of the bride I would advise the following:

1) Take your time deciding. Don't rush into a marriage of convenience. Weight your options. Look at the costs. Make sure a long distance marriage is going to make you happy three years from now, five years from now, because the once the BigEast slips the ring on your finger, they are going to demand a huge alimony payment if you decide it isn't love after all.
Once the BigEast is gets the teams locked in, there is going to be a gigantic exit fee initiated this time.

2) Make sure your fiancé has stability. The BigEast seems a little shaky right now. The Big12 is still unsettled, the SEC is still unsettled, and you don't know if the ACC is done yet. Every move is going to roll downhill to the BigEast. Boise, look at the marriage you're in now. It looked a lot different on your wedding night. Then Utah left, BYU left, and then TCU walked out. Learn from past mistakes, and try to avoid them this time.

3) Play the field a while, drag your feet, the BigEast doesn't need an answer right away. They're down on their knees and want an answer, but let them wait a while. See if the Big12 develops any kind of interest once they see your being wooed by someone else. Maybe they'll wake up and see it's not as much about how many tv's you bring, but more the product you put on the screen. Maybe they'll wake up and realize you are a very polarizing program nationwide. People love, or hate you nationwide, and will tune in to root you on, or watch you fail.
Maybe your current husband will wake and appreciate you more too and stop telling you how to dress. Let's see what the MW can really offer when they're desperate for you keep the marriage going.

Just be careful Boise St. Make sure your marrying for the right reasons, and getting the long term relationship you deserve.

tdinid....that is problem....Boise

has been top tiered team since 2004....then 2006, they proved it....and have done so since....however, not playing the tops all time is starting to hurt, except if at BCS bowl....

Going slow has been their fwoicking strategy allalong....how long does it take to build 10,000 fweakin seats? Take lawn chairs....

Where does Boise really want to go?

Good question

They need to make sure this move will get them to where they want to go. The BigEast has AQ status for only two years. Adding BSU, Air Force, and Army doesn't lock them in to the next round. I would hate to see Boise in an eastern conference, after the top three existing programs bolt, with no AQ status, and a 20 million exit penalty. That scenario works against all their future plans.

Put conditions on exit penalty

Even if for only two years, having AQ status will give BSU the needed sense of urgency to improve facilities and academics. Put this condition on the exit penalty: 20 million exit penalty goes away if Big East AQ status goes away.

Football only

The money will be huge. Simply huge. It would make sense for BSU to accept any football only invitation to a BCS conference.

The other sports would not survive with the travel so they would have to go to a more regional conference.

The only I worry about is basketball. It would be good to get them into a better conference then the WAC.

Hey kids! Paul McCartney's new marriage will last longer!

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I've just failed miserably trying to be incognito.

Who cares?

Big East is just a stepping stone. Leagues are no longer "until death do we part." I suppose you wish we were still married to the Big Sky. We break this engagement off with the Big East as soon as we get the new car.

When the crap did posters on the Statesman site run BSU?

All you wet dreamers kindly take a shower and join us on planet Earth.

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I've just failed miserably trying to be incognito.

What makes you think

the money will be huge? or simply huge?

Hope we remember 1 thing

Dont really care where we go after this move to MWC conference (didnt like it to start). But I do hope we remember when hiring a new AD that what probably got us where we're at is the practice of hiring football coaches from within. Always matches recruits and keeps things stable. Hope we look for that from a new AD.
About only thing I agreed with Gene on of late.

BCS

With BSU the Big East would retain their BCS status.

This is like a religion. You have to have FAITH in ANONS

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I've just failed miserably trying to be incognito.

Create a Big East-West Division

If BYU, Houston, Air Force and Boise State join the Big East that could be the start of a decent Big East-Western Division. Add in Army and Navy to round things out. Who cares if Army and Navy aren't in the west? Geography obviously no longer matters in sports.

Stash Boise's Olympic sports in the WAC, along with Air Force. The Eastern Division can be whoever is left after the Big 12 is done expanding.

Not the ideal scenario, but probably decent enough to keep AQ status and bring in a few more bucks for the Broncos.

http://www.planetbyu.com/2011/10/byu-to-the-big-east-air-force-may-be-opening-the-door/

Too Late?

We seem to be a day late & a dollar short in these conference moves....BUT....
all things considered, I would seriously consider a football only BIG EAST move.
The non-defecting Big East schools are still a considerably more attractive bunch
than the remaining MWC group + the AQ factor is a huge factor.

If BSU can dominate in the Big East, within 4 years they will have an invite to an
even bigger conference closer to home.

Bottom line.....DO IT if the opportunity presents itself.

Don't believe the hype! Yo Chuck we ain't going down like that!

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I've just failed miserably trying to be incognito.

I want BSU in an AQ conference as bas as anyone else, but...

Not bad enough to join the impotent Big East. The Big East seems destined to implode faster than the Big 12. And, Boise State joining may not be enough to keep that ship upright. The money may not be as good in the long run.

So, I think Boise State should sit tight and continue in the MWC until something better comes along. At this time, I don't think that "something better" will be the Big East.

Don't accept dumb rules

No one should tell us what we can and cannot wear on our own field.

Turn the knife a little more, Brutus

Now that BSU has talked Fresno and Nevada in joining the Mountain West it's looking to jump to the Big East!

If I were an AD at Fresno or Nevada I would put BSU on my blackball list.

Fresno and Nevada

would have left a BSU-less WAC all on their own. Don't kid yourself, BSU didn't need to talk them into leaving.

They've done it before...

Fresno and Nevada both left the Big West for the WAC leaving BSU behind.

Yep, That Makes Sense..

Slap one of the hands that helps feeds you..

Good thing we don't have to worry bout you being an AD...