As unwise as some saw the move by Texas Christian University, TCU's president actually got the message.
With their program riding high on another perfect regular season, it was time to make a move to a BCS automatic qualifying conference. Odd that they went to the Big East, due to all of the travel that will be involved, but starting in 2012 they'll have a shot at getting to the BCS Championship as an automatic qualifier.
As TCU's president indicated, "the current system is imperfect, but it's the one we have to work with."
Now let's look at Boise State and their move to the Mountain West Conference. It appears that the Broncos may have jumped the gun on trying to move to a conference that is perceived as better than the Western Athletic Conference
When Boise State made the decision to move to the MWC, only Utah was leaving to join the PAC-10 (now the PAC-12). It appeared, that with TCU and BYU in the conference, the strength of the MWC would remain making the move a logical choice. Now both of these programs will be gone by 2012, with Nevada and Fresno State replacing them.
Hopefully, based on the formula used by the BCS, the MWC will become an automatic qualifier in 2012 via exception. Unfortunately, having seven automatic qualifying conferences is not guaranteed and with the loss of TCU to the Big East not very likely. So in 2012, we'll basically see what some had noted earlier, the arrival of the WAC version 2.0.
When will Boise State be invited to a BCS AQ conference?
Boise State is committed at this point to the MWC for at least the 2011 and 2012 seasons. With TCU still in the Mountain West in 2011, the Broncos will have a better conference to play in for at least one year. Then it's, well, back to playing in the WAC just by a different name.
What if the Broncos had waited awhile and not been so eager to join the MWC? Let's take a look at what might have been and still may be.
With the loss of Nebraska and Colorado, the Big-12 is in need of two new programs for conference championship purposes. Would they have approached Boise State to replace one of these programs? Will they in the future? No one can answer that question right now, but with the current visibility and success of Boise State it would be a good fit for the Big-12.
For the Broncos, this would be a major upgrade for their program. Their recruiting opportunities would be expanded; thus adding to their already successful recruitment from California. With the success of their program and being able to play for a winning coach like Chris Petersen, recruiting from traditional Big-12 states would likely generate successful results.
Boise State is continuing to invest in their football program by increasing seating, eventually to 53,000, and improving the training facilities. With Coach Petersen staying as Broncos head coach, the program should have continued success, and quality athletes will continue to make Boise State their school of choice.
All of this will improve their prospects of being invited to a BCS automatic qualifying conference. For all the Bronco Nation Maniacs out there, hopefully this will occur sooner than later.
Which conference is most likely to invite the Broncos to join?
So will the Big-12 or some other conference (PAC-12) come knocking?
Will they ask a team that plays on a smurf colored field to join their storied conference—a program that is seen by many as representing David v. Goliath?
Boise State can only wait and see.
But with their national exposure and winning ways, some one is going to ask them to the "Big Dance" soon.
The Broncos have earned it, and are deserving of an invitation.