Boise State's days as the darling of the non-AQ conferences will soon be over.
As first reported by Brett McMurphy of CBSSports.com, Boise State is one of five teams that are going to be joining the Big East in 2013. Boise State and San Diego State will join as football-only members, with Houston, SMU and UCF joining as all-sports members.
Of the bunch, the Broncos are undoubtedly the prize. Boise State's football program has been producing nationally relevant teams for a decade now, and they have appeared in and won two BCS bowls. Many will argue that the Broncos have been unfairly denied shots at a BCS title, but there's no arguing that the Broncos have become a powerhouse.
As such, joining a BCS conference was the next logical step. Boise State is an odd geographic fit for the Big East (though not as odd as San Diego State), but the Broncos can be forgiven for taking what they could get.
Besides, the Big East gives Boise State exactly what it's always wanted: a chance to prove once and for all that it is capable of competing within a major conference. To boot, if and when the Broncos win the Big East, they will get an automatic BCS bid.
There are two ways this transition could work out. Playing in the Big East is either going to reveal Boise State to be one big fraud, or playing in the Big East is going to be Boise State's ticket to even greater national domination.
The latter possibility is far more likely. The Broncos have done enough in recent seasons to prove that they are capable of competing with the big boys, so there's no reason to think they won't be able to handle playing in the Big East.
It is by far the weakest of the six BCS conferences, so a program as strong as Boise State's should have little trouble establishing dominance.
Ideally, continued success within the confines in the Big East will allow Boise State to grow even stronger. It should be easier for Boise State to lure top-flight recruits now that it can sell the automatic BCS bid, and it will help that the Broncos are due for increased television exposure.
The doubters will continue to argue that Boise State is not capable of competing with the best of the best that the other major conferences have to offer. And indeed, the same is true of the Big East as a whole.
Boise State may be free of non-AQ territory, but the "Little Sisters of the Poor" label will stick. In order to ditch that label, Boise State will just have to keep winning.
Should be easy enough.
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