For all those ready to cast the Big East into football oblivion, hold your horses. Here comes Boise State to the rescue!
The Idaho State Board of Education voted 7-1 to give university president Bob Kustra authority to leave the Mountain West Conference and head east (way, way east) to join the Big East.
The decision game down Thursday afternoon and may trigger several more acceptances from the schools believed to have received Big East invitations: Southern Methodist, Houston and Central Florida for all sports and Navy and Air Force for football only.
Boise State was also invited exclusively for football, meaning the rest of its athletic teams will need to find a different conference home.
“We are currently working on this day-by-day and I would think that by next week we should have a resolution,” Kustra told the board.
Click here for a full copy of the agenda item from the State Board of Education meeting (via the Idaho Statesman).
The Broncos instantly bolster the league’s much-maligned football clout with their reputation as a BCS buster. Consider this: Boise has played in two BCS games over the past five seasons, winning the Fiesta Bowl twice (including one of the best bowl games ever).
During that same span only two Big East teams have won BCS bowl games (Louisville in the 2006 Orange Bowl and West Virginia in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl).
It’s time for Rutgers, Cincinnati and UConn. (until it bolts) to buckle up for those scenic flights out to Boise in late November.
Although perhaps not until 2013. According to Conference USA bylaws, UCF, SMU and Houston would not be able to compete in the Big East until 2013 and also must pay a $500,000 exit fee and relinquish their chunks of the league’s hefty TV deal. Boise State could face similar constraints in the MWC.
Big East commissioner John Marinatto has said the league plans to enforce its 27-month notification period to hold Pittsburgh, Syracuse and West Virginia in the conference until July 2014. And while the ACC seems content to accept that timetable, the Big 12 is hopeful West Virginia can make the jump next season when Missouri bolts for the Southeastern Conference.