Boise State joins Big East in football, WAC in other sports

By Brian Murphy

Statement from Idaho AD Rob Spear

"It is certainly good for the WAC and ensures Idaho and BSU will be competing annually in all sports other than football. That is a positive for the State of Idaho."

Statements from Mountain West

Statement from Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson: "The Mountain West Conference Board of Directors has been conducting frequent meetings and conference calls over the last 45 days in anticipation of continuing conference realignment transpiring nationally. The Board has a regularly-scheduled winter meeting which begins this weekend during which it will continue discussion of membership options in-person."

Statement from Chair of the MW Board of Directors and UNLV President Neal Smatresk: “I have been in constant communication with my fellow Mountain West presidents over the past several weeks as the landscape of intercollegiate athletics continues to evolve. Those conversations are ongoing as we finalize our strategic plan, and the respective presidents are encouraged by the possibilities.

“The previously announced cooperative arrangement with Conference USA maintains great relevance today and the presidents of each institution have been engaged in a thorough exploration of the scope of that relationship going forward. The individual members in both leagues are seriously discussing the formation of a new conference. We remain confident in a future which will provide long-term stability for our member institutions and a platform upon which to continue the success which has become our collective trademark.”

Statement from Air Force Lt. Gen. Mike Gould: “The Air Force Academy will remain in the Mountain West Conference, where we have been since 1998-99 when we were a co-founding member of the conference. I made this decision based on what’s best for our cadet-athletes and the institution as a whole. This decision was made based on things like regional rivalries (like just playing our 50th football game against Colorado State Univ.), loyalties to the conference, travel time for our cadet athletes and fans, school time missed, and travel costs. I feel the Academy is a key and pivotal member of the Mountain West, and think we can do a lot to help this conference continue its tradition of excellence. We of course continue to watch the changes happening not only in the Mountain West, but within NCAA sports around the country. As for now, ‘We’re ALL IN’ the Mountain West Conference.”

Statement from Conference USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky: "Given the underlying commercial elements and the current BCS structure, moving conferences seems to be a regular occurrence in this present culture. We have developed some great relationships with those leaving us and appreciate the contributions they have made to our conference. We trust they made their decision after careful and thoughtful analysis and with the necessary assurances and wish them well.”

“We are excited about the progress we are making with our friends from the Mountain West and look forward to completing our future membership initiatives together. Ultimately, our institutions will seek to align with other institutions that share our values for excellence in higher education and intercollegiate athletics, and possess the greatest potential for future growth and success. There is no timetable for this process, but we have a solid group of presidents that will be focused on maximizing this opportunity in a thoughtful and expedient manner.”

Boise State joins Big East in football, WAC in other sports

Boise State’s highly ranked football program officially accepted an invitation from the Big East on Wednesday, ending months of speculation about the Broncos’ future conference plans. The rest of Boise State’s programs are going to the Western Athletic Conference, which was the Broncos’ home from 2001 to 2011.

The conference moves will take effect July 1, 2013.

“Today’s announcement represents another significant step forward in the evolution of the Bronco football program and in the incredible growth of Boise State University. The move to the Big East Conference makes a powerful statement about our vision for the future of the football program, and more than ever will showcase the Broncos in the national spotlight. We also look forward to rekindling some outstanding rivalries in the WAC, and continuing the development of our basketball programs and other sports," Boise State President Bob Kustra said.

Said football coach Chris Petersen: “Growing our football program is something that we are always working on, and joining the Big East Conference will help us do just that. We will be facing outstanding competition from around the country and it will expand our national brand into new regions. Our fans will get to see new and exciting teams visit Bronco Stadium and it also will allow them to travel to new destinations. This move is going to be great for our program.”

Boise State joined the Mountain West in July but the league lost Utah, BYU and TCU in quick succession, giving the Broncos reason to again search for a new conference, particularly for its football program.

Boise State and San Diego State are joining the Big East for football-only and Houston, SMU and Central Florida (UCF) are joining as all-sport members, the league announced during a Wednesday afternoon teleconference.

The rebuilding Big East hopes the addition of five new members allows it to remain a Bowl Championship Series automatic-qualifying conference and attract a large television contract next year. Big East members Pittsburgh and Syracuse have accepted invitations to join the ACC and West Virginia is headed to the Big 12. TCU, which joined the Big East but never played in the league, is going to the Big 12 as well.

“Over the last 32 years, the Big East Conference has constantly evolved along with the landscape of college athletics,” said Big East Commissioner John Marinatto. “The inclusion of these five great Universities, which bring a unique blend of premier academics, top markets, strong athletics brands and outstanding competitive quality, marks the beginning of a new chapter in that evolution. We are proud to welcome these schools to the Big East family.

“Much like the conference as a whole, the Big East name — though derived 32 years ago based on the geography of our founding members — has evolved into a highly respected brand that transcends borders, boundaries or regions. It’s national. Our membership makeup is now reflective of that.”

Marinatto has been working for several months to push membership to 12 teams for football, designed to give the conference an East-West division split and allow the league to stage a conference championship game.

The remaining Big East members are Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Rutgers and South Florida.

Once the Big East football membership reaches 12 schools, the conference will divide into two divisions, with the division champions playing in a conference championship game.

“I think what John Marinatto just did, he should get a substantial raise for what he just accomplished. Getting Boise State. Getting Houston, SMU,” Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino said. “I think that is as good of a job for a commissioner with his back against the wall as I’ve seen since I’ve been in athletics. The teams you lost aren’t as good in football as the teams you’re bringing in.”

Boise State went 11-1 and finished No. 7 in the final BCS standings. The Broncos have been to two BCS bowl games in the last six seasons. Houston (12-1) nearly made its first BCS bowl appearance this season, but a loss in the Conference USA title game derailed the Cougars’ chances.

Boise State and San Diego State are leaving the Mountain West. Houston, SMU and Central Florida are leaving Conference USA. Neither league is a BCS AQ league.

“We would be OK with anything that allows us to get into a BCS conference,” San Diego State football coach Rocky Long said Tuesday. “It gives your football program an advantage. It gives your whole athletic department an advantage — more resources, added national exposure. It benefits everybody in the department.”

The other benefit is increased television revenue. The Mountain West will distribute roughly $1.2 million to its members next season. The Big East’s new television contract could be worth more than $6 million per year for each football member — and, perhaps, a lot more.

"Our new conference affiliations are about opportunities to expand our national outreach, develop new rivalries and destinations, and take our programs to a higher level. We are genuinely excited for our student-athletes and coaches to compete in the Big East and WAC beginning in 2013," new Athletic Director Mark Coyle said.

Said Interim Athletic Director Curt Apsey: "After a substantial amount of due diligence and extensive discussions with a wide variety of stakeholders, we have achieved the primary objectives that were laid out at the beginning of this process. Today’s announcement is the end result of a great deal of hard work and planning by many people at Boise State, and we are very excited about the opportunities that these affiliations will provide."

The Idaho State Board of Education gave Boise State President Bob Kustra authority to make the move in early November, but obstacles have delayed the move.

The Big East first approached Air Force about joining as Boise State’s Western partner. The Falcons have not made a final decision, but are reportedly leaning toward remaining in the Mountain West. The Big East also negotiated with BYU to join the revamped league, but those discussions broke down two weeks ago.

The conference then turned to San Diego State.

Kustra and the state board indicated that a western partner was essential to Boise State joining the league.

Kustra told the state board that joining the Big East in football would cost an additional $200,000 to $300,000 in travel expenses.

Western Athletic Conference membership for 2013 is expected to include Idaho, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State, San Jose State and Utah State, plus newcomers Denver, Seattle, Texas State, UT-Arlington and UT-San Antonio.

The Big East Conference has agreed to facilitate discussions regarding the scheduling of non-conference basketball games with current Big East schools.

“Conference realignment is continuously changing the landscape of college athletics, but it doesn’t change what we are trying to accomplish," men's basketball coach Leon Rice said. "We’re excited about the progress we’re making with this team, and we will continue to work toward building a program that can be competitive on a national level."

Said women's basketball coach Gordy Presnell:“We saw great success in the Western Athletic Conference, winning two conference championships in our last six years. We also developed rivalries with programs in the league, and it will be nice to restore them.”

Boise State’s wrestling team will continue to compete in the Pac-12 Conference.

Original post

The Big East will host a media teleconference at 3 p.m. (Mountain time) to address conference membership, the league announced Wednesday morning. Boise State President Bob Kustra is among the participants listed on the call.

Also on the call: Big East Commissioner John Marinatto, South Florida President and CEO of the Big East Executive Committee Judy Genshaft and the presidents/chancellors of Central Florida, Houston, San Diego State and SMU.

The Western Athletic Conference will hold a teleconference at 4:30 p.m. Mountain to address conference realignment.

Boise State will hold a press conference after the Big East teleconference, the school announced.

We will have complete coverage throughout the day at and in Thursday's editions of the Idaho Statesman.

Boise State and San Diego State will join as football-only members, while Houston, SMU and Central Florida will become full members as the rebuilding Big East looks to create stability in its membership and enhance its profile in advance of next year's television negotiations.

• We should get some answers today to these questions about Boise State's move to the Big East, including where the Broncos' other sports teams will end up. The Western Athletic Conference is the most likely destination.

But the ultimate verdict on Boise State's move will come next year when the BCS's new contract is written and the Big East's new television contract is negotiated.

You can follow Murph's Turf on Twitter.

You can find links to stories, photos and video by being a fan of Brian Murphy on Facebook.

Bosie State?

Who dat? (You're welcome)

Now sit back and watch as the AQ status disappears.

Who cares...

If the AQ disappears, TV $ will be 5x times what it is now, and Being in the top ten will actually mean something.


And what do you suppose the net is going to be after all that travel? How many fans are going to travel now?

It's worth it

The travel costs will increase by $200-300k while the TV revenue increases by at least $4.8M, if the media consultants are correct in their estimates. So the net will be around $4.5M, seems like a good deal to me.

As far as fans traveling, most fans don't go to non-destination games (those not in Las Vegas, San Diego, Fiesta bowl, DC, Atlanta, Hawaii)or anything over a 6-hour drive now. I once attended a game in Las Cruces and counted 114 Bronco fans in the stands. There were only maybe 300 from Boise at the Toledo game, the rest of the Bronco fans there were living in the mid-west. The attendance of, and impact on, traveling fans is an overrated issue. Is it really a big deal if only 1,000 fans go to Louisville instead of the 1500-2000 that go to Laramie or Fort Collins?



Everybody wants to hue the knurled

Nailed it!

Great post! Couldn't have been said any better!

The only fans complaining about travel are fans who don't travel

Just curious, but has anyone here read or heard any comments from a travelling Bronco fan saying that they can't or won't continue to join the Broncos on the road because they joined the Big East? I sure haven't. I've heard nothing but positive feedback.


and with Bronco "Nation" there should be at least 5,000-6,000 BSU fans in or near each city BSU will play in that will show up to make up for those that can't or won't travel.

So when do they show up on over the air TV?

You can't win this argument.


Everybody wants to hue the knurled

How many fans went to

How many fans went to Georgia.. the schedule is a massive upgrade.. how about a houston game in the texans stadium that wouldnt be horrible.. how about Cincinati.. games will be way better.. how about getting our stadium control back rather than with those lame MTN West Rules..

travel cost are miniscule because football charters.. you guys need to stop crying and grow.

It's been awhile....

since I took economics, so just how many dollars are there in a "miniscule"?

A miniscule is alittle more than a

tad-bit....but alot more than a smidgen....


for the clarification, much appreciated.

BSU is not a bystander with regards to AQ status

AQ status depends on the success of the conference members. It's not as if BSU will sit on the sidelines and watch it disappear. If they continue their success and high rankings, and Houston keeps theirs up, that will be enough to maintain AQ status.

As far as travel, need I remind people that Hawaii was 3200 miles away? Let's face it- we live in Idaho, so it's a long way to anywhere. I can get to Orlando faster than you can get to Moscow. I've found that travel cost does not equate with distance, but rather with whether the airport is a hub and the average costs of hotels.

Where is the AQ status going

Where is the AQ status going to go?


you gotta be kidding me? The power brokers give up? Come on...I'm just waiting to see what's up their sleeves...then...I'll go after them.

Fire Benson

Why would you let BSU back in Benson... So they can slap your face again in a few years. They haven't got a lick of loyalty.

One simple reason

Even without football, BSU will be the best institution in the league.

Wake up b43

Without football you have no institution.


of the uninformed........

BozoStbeater is Wise - you should listen to him

Without football Bsu is realy insignificant on the national college landscape - regardless of whether or not they have high or low academic standards. People in South Carolina do not watch TV to see how Bsu is doing academically - they watch TV to see the Bronco Footbal Team and Kellen Moore and the Muscle Hampster.

Academics or the quality of academics at Bsu is not the point or the issue or the reason for the existence of Bsu, to begin with; and we all know it. You do too, down deep.

Academics is a product that is consumed, at varying amounts/levels by consumers. These consumers must have money to pay for the consumption of the product. Without money there can be no product (in this case clas$es, professors, and such). Fotball revenue basically subsidizes the manufacturing of that product at Bsu. Without football you have no Bsu academic product. Or if you get a product, it is at such a high price that very few will attempt to consume it.

The football team and the success fo the Bronco Football Team is the glue that binds Bsu and is the reason for Bsu having Bronco Stadium, to begin with. The Blue Turf is the trademark of Bsu and President Kustra has made it abundantly clear that he wants to market the Blue Turf Brand at a national level. Without Bsu football why have a Bronco Stadium; why have a bookstore selling Bronco Gear; why have a SUB with a bookstore; why have a campus with a SUB, so on and so on and so forth.

President Kustra has not said he wants to market the Psychology 101 cla$ses at Bsu or the Community Education Fly Tieing cla$ses in the evenings and on weekends.

Actually, to be totally fair about it, how do you measure whether or not Bsu academics is very poor, marginal, or just average? It is easy to measure the quality of the Bronco Football Team, just by looking at the won-loss seasonal recrds of the team over the years. Bsu football is exceptional while Bsu academics remains unmeasurable and unquantifiable.

President Kustra has recently said that most students prefer to go to Bsu because of the winning Bronco Footbal Team and an opportunity to see them in action on the Blue Turf (hence his emphasis for Blue Turf Branding). He is correct, that is what most of the Bsu students go there for. To say otherwise is to disagree with his synopsis and evaluation and all good Broncos always agree with President Kustra - right? I am sure you would not want to go on record as hving disagreed with President Kustra, hmmmm?

We simply need the Bsu Bronco Football team to perform well and at a high level nationally. If they do not, Bsu will slip into a No-Man's Land where people in Gloversville, New York will not know where Boise, Idaho is - or care.

The City of Boise needs Bsu as a Regional Destination Institution (as does President Kustra with that moniker he has christend Bsu with).

As it turns out, BozoStbeater is correct and you are incorrect.

Go 2012 Broncos.

BAA Member #63799

bozostbeater is an idiot

If coast to coast, all universities and colleges dumped their athletic programs and turned them over to semi-pro franchises, those universities and colleges would continue to provide educations. People in the Treasure Valley and the surrounding NW region would continue to enroll at BSU, as well as all other universities and colleges across the country.

It's not as if other schools come to the Blue Turf to play the Broncos inside Micron Stadium or anything, yet a tad bit down the street from the stadium sits BSU's Micron Engineering Center, and not far from that, sits the Nocro Arena, oops, did I say arena? Sorry anout that. I meant the Norco Building, which houses BSU's Nursing department as well as the university's health services center.

I know that you know that I know that you know that I know you're just blowing smoke up our butts with all this crap you post, which is why most people on here have started to ignore just about everything you post. I'm only responding to your post in an attempt to hopefully get you back on track. You're a really smart guy with a wealth of knowledge and I miss reading your insightful take on things, but you've gotten to the point to where all you do anymore is post crap like this. Why?


Very well put and why I commented that "bozostbeater" was just another of the uninformed. It is with-out a doubt that BSU football has aided a great deal in the "national" exposure of Boise State, the University. In reality though BSU football is but a small part of the whole university. One only needs to spent a few hours reviewing BSU financial statements to realize that "football", while very important, it but only a small piece to a much larger picture. The fact is, BSU brings in operating revenues of somewhere north of $150M a year. If I'm not mistaken, in 2010 BSU football brought in about $14M in revenue, while at the same time the academic "side" was bringing in $50M in research grants alone. The idea that financing for the new football facilities is something abnormal is ludicrous, BSU carries anywhere from 8 to 15 "bonds" at any given time (last I looked the total dollar amount was around $225M). I must say that have not compared BSU's financials to other universities, but there is no doubt BSU has built a very nice financial base.

Anyway, that's probably way too much information.

BSU4342....Not too much information, but

too much mis-information?

BSU football in 2010 grossed about $22M, not $14M, including revenues from student fees and merchandise....

So you say BSU has $225M stored in bonds alone? wow! Why doesnt BSU just give Broncos the $22M they are asking for Stadium Expansion....

and on $50M in grants, big deal! these days if you can spell 'carbon' it is worth at least $25M, just ask Idaho or WSU....

You said, '....BSU football is just small potatoes compared to the well-known BSU University....'

How ridiculous! Boise State is only known for its football....BSU football put the University on the map....

Boy, am I ever glad I am a Vandal....


I like you man, I use to have problems with your whole "3rd person" thing, but thank god you have pretty much dropped that.

So here's some education for ya

* Your $22M figure is the total athletic revenue......

* "Bonds" are not "stored", they are borrowing devices.

* "Grants" it is true that $50M is miniscule to actual "research" institutions such as Idaho. But I wasn't comparing Idaho to BSU was I?

* I never said "BSU football is just small potatoes compared to the well-known BSU University" and with your education you should know better than fabricate a quote.

* Boise State is known for football to "you" because that is what you follow. That is understandable, really it is. I suppose that's why i give you a pass on this stuff. You could fit your knowledge of BSU in a shot glass.

I'm OK with you being a vandal. And you have far more knowledge of the Vandals than I do. But why don't you ever post about the Vandals? I mean you post about BSU band expenses, but never post a single thing about Idaho spending $500K to study a new out-door stadium.

To be honest ugly, most of what you and your little pal write here in your little public e-mails is nonsense. I've tried to give you good advice but you just don't want to take it.

Carry on though, and when ask question of me. I will answer



On quote, forgot to put paraphrase and emphasis Ugly's....not fabricated quote, I watch that journalism all the time on MSNBC....

Yes, Idaho has done a lot of dumb spending....that is why I havent donated in awhile....

and this is a blog, not private emails....I dont email much....I still use snail mail....

BSU in an east coast conference...

just doesn't make sense.

I know it's part of the business, but the whole super conference/AQ chase is making a mess of the college football landscape.

Even if AQ status were to go away in a couple years, it would still be about TV contract money, so strange bed fellows (like west coast teams in east coast conferences) will likely remain the norm. Anticipate big shcools with big exposure and TV markets banding together not for AQ status but billion dollar TV packages. Small schools will scrape together rickety conferences in hopes of just barely surviving. In essence, they will be relagated to FCS-level obscurity. The money/talent gaps between the big and small schools will just continue to increase. It would not shock me to eventually see a TV contract driven college football system where there are literally 20-30 big programs with plentiful of exposure and 90-100 others marginalized.

It will be just as bad/uneven/corrupt as the BCS, just in a different way. Some deserving teams will be shut out all the same. Mark my words.

Call me simple, but I miss the days of historic/geographic rivalries and conference affiliations.

Keep chasing those dollars...

Some guy

A lot of good stuff in both your posts.

I too wish conferences were built geographically so thousands of fans can travel together. Real rivalries are built that way. Some of the best games Ive ever attended were Road games within 5-6 hours. Thats lost now, and probably forever.

As corrupt as the BCS is, you cant blame BSU for chasing dollars. Most of us do it all day long. The direction college football is headed in will begin to limit the "common fan" and their abilities to fully support and cheer for their team. Corporations will be the only ones able to buy tickets and games will be less exciting and more busines-like. Pretty depressing.

JL....GTlad you finally agreed on

your travels posts of 5-6 hours....

5-6 hrs? you talkin Idaho again?

Ya those were fun...

So were the Utah St. games, the Utah and BYU ROAD games. A little fa-r-t-her..WSU, Oregon, Oregon State, and the game in Seattle a few years ago. Just fun to round up a bunch of friends and go...

JLandon, the dollars comment...

goes for all programs involved in the super conference/AQ quest, not just BSU. It's a system-wide problem. That being said, I do understand that it's what you've got to do to survive. Don't play the game and you get left behind.

Some guy

Good Post!


...your freaking me out!

Hey, what's in a name?

If the Steelheads can play in the east coast hockey league, then the Broncos can play in the Big East. It wasn't as if a lot of people were driving to Mountain West games. An extra hour on the plane is all it takes.

Dear Idaho Statesman, this

Dear Idaho Statesman, this is why you have the reputation that you do. "Mistakesman".



What are you two mad about now? Do you actually know?



Hey Some_guy... Why don't you

march into the PAC 12 offices and demand BSU gets a place in the conference?

Uh, no thanks...

First, I'm not a BSU fan. Secondly, BSU has about the same shot of qualifying as a PAC-12 school as the College of Southern Idaho. Sorry, but it's true.

This issue is larger than BSU (although BSU fans like to think it's always all about them). Other top 10 teams were shut-out of BCS bowls too. The system is a mess, but the non-AQ future (should it pan out that way), will be just as messy. It will be driven by TV contracts and money, just like the BCS.

Honestly, there's no perfect solution, but if the NCAA took over the post-season, we'd probably see a more reasonable approach based on rewarding teams for achievement. As it is now, the post-season is simply about selling plane tickets, hotel rooms, meals in restaurants, etc.

Other top ten teams may have been shut out of the games...

But they will still get the money that flows to all schools that belong to the AQ conferences. Kansas St. will still get their BCS share from Ok. State's Fiesta Bowl appearance. Arkansas will still get 2x that share from the LSU vs. Alabama game. Michigan St. will still get their double share from Wisconsin & Michigan BCS bowl bids.

The non AQ schools...get for a few crumbs thrown their way.

good point

New name for Big East?

C2C Conference

New name for Big East?

Far West?

New name for Big East?

C2C Conference


Is what the nation thinks.


It's a step up from the MWC for football, and a step back for the other sports. I think the AQ issue will go away soon but it stands to reason that the Big East will still have better TV money and bowl alignments than the MWC.

I would say it's an open question in terms of how the Big East is regarded when the AQ distinction goes away. My guess: the best bowls will align with the Pac 12, Big 10, Big 12, SEC and ACC and those will be regarded as your 5 major conferences until even bigger changes come down the pike in the form of further consolidation.


Isn't that pretty much how the bowls were aligned before the BCS?

I also believe that the AQ issue will go away - and good riddance. That will significantly ease the conference chaos. Eventually I think that even Jim Delany's lame excuses for why the BCS is a Good Thing will fall and some sort of playoff will emerge.

A bigger problem is getting the bowls to buy into such a thing. The biggest stumbling block to the formation of the BCS was the Rose Bowl and they got to keep their conference tie-ins and New Year's Day schedule. Imagine what sort of complaints they'll have if there's another change in the status quo.

No way IDA... I cant believe it....(SARC)

Your guess is that the Broncos are irrelevant? Sounds more like a wish. And its a wish written every time you post on the Broncos...

No new material? Still smarting?

You've told us countless times you think "the best bowls will align with the Pac 12, Big 10, Big 12, SEC and ACC". Isnt it funny you leave out the Big East? I wonder if the NCAA BBALL tourny will start leaving out teams like Gonzaga and Butler? No? Why not? Because "cinderellas" is what makes the tourny awesome. No way the Broncos get left out of any little inclusion or consolidation you're talking about. Theres outcry over a Sugar Bowl by tens of thousands of non Bronco fans. Imagine if your homies Scott, Delaney "Et al'' decide to "take their ball and go home"?

Big East Basketball

is irrelevant to a football discussion. And I was speculating about Big East football, not BSU specifically. Right now it looks like the six AQ conferences will no longer have the AQ distinction in the near future. I don't think losing that status will matter at all to the stronger conferences, but the Big East was marginal even before the departures so I don't think you or anybody else can say Big East football will still be a major player a few years from now.

But by then BSU may have moved onto someplace else - they've certainly shown a willingness to move around a lot the last 10 or 15 years.

One thing is for certain

BSU sure moves up and down the field on the DUCKS. Play the Broncos every year and your quackers are assured no BCS title, year after year.