It's a business. We all know it. That's why schools like Nebraska, Colorado and Utah will all be playing in different conferences in the upcoming year.
Other teams also changed conferences in hopes of getting more attention, such as Hawaii (who will be playing football in the Mountain West Conference, but play in the Big West for all other sports), Nevada and most notably, Boise State who is finally leaving the underachieving Western Athletic Conference to compete with schools like Air Force, Colorado State and San Diego State.
Here's the problem for Boise State. Last year, TCU, BYU and Utah were all part of the conference. They combined for a 20-4 conference record, and won two bowl games. Now they are gone (TCU will remain in the MWC this year).
A 12-0 record with wins over TCU and Utah would look a lot better on Boise State's resume then wins over Nevada and Air Force, no disrespect to to either of those schools, but they don't compare with the likes of TCU and Utah.
The Mountain West will still be a competitive conference picking up Fresno State, Nevada, Hawaii (football only) and of course Boise State. It will be interesting to see what happens to Boise State if they finish with a perfect record.
The Big 12? Nebraska left. Colorado is gone. Texas A&M likely leaving. Missouri leaving? Will the Big 12 have to look at schools like SMU or Houston?
It's been noted that they have interest in BYU, but BYU has moved Independent for football, and it appears that they will be staying put.
Conferences like the Big 10, SEC and Pac-12 are compiling powerhouse conferences, leaving smaller conferences in the dust. And that just doesn't seem fair, does it?
I understand why it happens, schools in smaller conferences work their program to the point where they are respected, or at least discussed at a national level, Boise State is a perfect example. They get a bid from a major conference.
If a school like Air Force was to pull a Boise State, they would get an invite to a major conference like the Big 12, as they should. However, then that would leave the Mountain West in the dust.
If a conference picks up a school, they should have to drop a school. That way it doesn't get to the point where 16 great athletic schools make up conferences. I don't want to see the day where Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, Alabama and LSU all play each other every year.
Now I am not saying that wouldn't be exciting, because it would be spectacular to see. But it would also mean that smaller conferences wouldn't matter anymore. And that's bad for the game.
I am a student at Colorado State University, and have to admit that I am very excited for the football season. CSU's first conference home game is against Boise State. I know that BSU is far superior to CSU, but that doesn't mean I'm not excited for the game.
I'm also excited to see Nevada, Hawaii and Fresno State in 2012. But if BYU, Utah and TCU were to have stayed in the conference, the Mountain West Conference could turn into a legitimate conference, and that would have been exciting for every member of the conference, knowing that a few good seasons could put them on the map, as well as a chance at an automatic bid.
However, it's business, and that's really too bad.