Boise State Big East – Barely four months after officially joining the Mountain West Conference, Boise State University is now free to accept an “imminent” invitation from the Big East Conference in football and move its other sports programs to another league.
The Idaho State Board of Education voted, 7-1, on Thursday after a 30-minute discussion to give the schools President Bob Kustra that authority. “I would think that by next week we should have a resolution,” Kustra told the board via telephone.
Boise State had sought membership in the Mountain West, with its tight geographic footprint and close regional rivals. Since the Broncos accepted an invite to the league, however, Utah and BYU have left, and TCU announced it is leaving in 2012.
“It is simply not the same conference that we first agreed to join,” Kustra said. “My hope for a competitive and compact geographic conference has been dashed on the hard facts of media dollars and BCS membership.”
Now the Broncos are chasing those two goals with a move to the depleted Big East. Longtime members Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and West Virginia are leaving the league.
The Big East plans to invite Boise State, Air Force and Navy as football-only members and Central Florida, Houston and SMU as all-sport members. The Big East hopes that lineup will help preserve its BCS automatic-qualification status and land a lucrative new television contract.