Boise State Football: Why the Broncos Should Stay in the Mountain West
In the 2013 football season, the Boise State Broncos will make the leap from the Mountain West Conference to the Big East Conference. While it seems certain that the caliber of competition will go up, and BSU stands to see more money generated by its football program with the change, there are many who wonder about the move.
Is it really in the best interests of the Broncos football program? Does BSU start to look a little wishy-washy when it comes to being a stable conference member and conference team player?
There are any number of proponents and opponents for the change. Certainly the Mountain West can’t be happy with losing one of its more notable members, but is the Big East gaining a lot with the addition of Boise State? Some questions will only be answered with time; in the interim, for the sake of stirring the pot a little more, here are some reasons why the Broncos should stay in the MWC…
No AQ Starting in 2014
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If the Broncos hoped to put the BCS/premier bowl game debate in the rear-view mirror, the NCAA and those that power the direction of Division I football derailed that notion. Automatic qualifying for a BCS bowl game is gone. It’s no longer a matter of being in the right conference and winning it.
Nope, it comes down to a selection committee which will determine who will be in the four-team national title series, and the rest comes down to bowl selection committees. While Boise State can certainly get into a good bowl game, it may actually be harder to get into the four-team playoff for the national title.
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While there were occasional trips to the East Coast (like Virginia Tech or Georgia in recent years) or Hawaii for games, most of the Broncos' travel was confined to the western portion of the United States. OK, the Big East is not exactly what the name implies, but there are still a fair number of conference members located on the other side of the country, and that means some long trips to play a game.
The Broncos’ cut from playing those games will certainly offset the cost of the travel, but there is the toll on the players who have to make those trips. That could affect play, and if the Broncos make early trips out to avoid jet lag, that could affect classroom work.
Wait for Something Better to Come Along
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Boise State was not academically eligible for consideration for the Pac-10 when it was looking for members to boost it up to the Pac-12. Certainly the brand of football is much better than what the Broncos would experience in the Big East (that is not a shot at the Big East).
Given more time to get its academic house in order, who’s to say that Boise State would not be considered when the Pac-12 becomes the Pac-14 or Pac-16? With so many conferences scrambling to get quality members, and schools conference-hopping for better conferences, this might not have been a great time to join the migration, but rather to sit back and wait for the dust to settle, and then make a move.
Boise State has been criticized for strength of schedule. That would not have changed staying in the MWC, considering that the WAC is shot and what is left may merge into the MWC, and the Big East has some better schools that will improve the schedule marginally. The criticisms will doubtless still be there.
Keep Other Programs Under One Conference Roof
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Boise State is going to the Big East for football only meaning that BSU was tasked with finding a conference home for its other athletic programs. Certainly basketball would not have fared well with a Big East schedule, so it makes sense for the Big East to not want to pull in the hoops program.
But Boise State is also losing continuity, and the chance to develop some truly outstanding rivalries across multiple sports. It can also be confusing and may hamper both the football program as well as other sports when it comes to recruiting.