Boise State to Big East: Broncos Key To Conference Retaining AQ Bid in BCS

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IDecember 6, 2011

As questions mount about the strength of the Big East, the conference is doing everything it can to prove it is worthy of an automatic qualifying bid in the BCS.

That includes adding Boise State and San Diego State as football-only members and Houston, Central Florida and SMU for all sports.

According to, these programs could be added as soon as Wednesday.

It certainly isn't the end of the rainbow for this troubled conference. No. 23 West Virginia captured a spot in the Orange Bowl this season despite losing to unranked Syracuse and unranked Louisville. Connecticut made a trip to the Fiesta Bowl last season as an unranked team, but then lost to Oklahoma, 48-20.

It's going to take more than one team to sway public opinion about the overall strength of this conference.

Chris Petersen's Broncos have proven to be a threat nearly every season he's led them. Despite playing in a poor conference, the Broncos have proven throughout the years that they can beat top teams. Even with the eventual departure of star quarterback Kellen Moore, Boise State is a viable superpower under Petersen's guidance.

The biggest thing Boise State does for the Big East is give the conference instant national attention. The Broncos have been a Cinderella team and a fan favorite for many years and there's a chance they could help the nation warm up to the Big East by their presence alone.

West Virginia, along with Syracuse and Pittsburgh, are expected to be gone in two seasons or less and the Big East needs to fill the void. Many would say replacing West Virginia with Boise State isn't half bad. Now the Big East must ensure it becomes a 12-team conference as planned.

But, given the circumstances, the Big East has scored a touchdown with Boise State.


Follow <span class=