Boise State accepted a Football only invitation to join the Big East Conference for the 2013 season on Wednesday. The Broncos will join the new Big East along with four other schools, San Diego State University, University of Houston, Southern Methodist, and Central Florida. Boise State's other sports, including their surging Men's Basketball Team will return to the Western Athletic Conference.
For the second time in as many years, the Boise State Powerhouse Football Program is on the move.
This time to a BCS Automatic Qualifying Conference in the Big East.
The Big East invited 5 new teams on Wednesday to move to 10 Football playing schools, and will eventually move to invite 2 more before league play begins for the Broncos.. moving to a 12 team East/West Division format.
The Big East announced that Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, SMU and Central Florida would all join the conference, effective 2013.
The new Big East will span four time zones, 3,000 miles from coast to coast and provide the possibility of uninterrupted Football Games for an entire Saturday's viewing.
Boise State President hailed the move as,"(A) significant step forward in the evolution of Boise State University and our football program." And also released a statement that said, in part, "(t)he move to the BIG EAST Conference makes a powerful statement about our vision for the future of the football program, and more than ever will showcase the Broncos in the national spotlight."
Head Coach Chris Petersen released a statement through Boise State, saying that, “(g)rowing our football program is something that we are always working on, and joining the BIG EAST Conference will help us do just that. We will be facing outstanding competition from around the country and it will expand our national brand into new regions. Our fans will get to see new and exciting teams visit Bronco Stadium and it also will allow them to travel to new destinations. This move is going to be great for our program.”
Meanwhile, Boise State's other sports are also on the move, this time back to the Western Athletic Conference, where the Broncos spent the past 10 years.
“Conference realignment is continuously changing the landscape of college athletics", said Boise State Head Men's Basketball Coach Leon Rice, "(B)ut it doesn’t change what we are trying to accomplish. We’re excited about the progress we’re making with this team, and we will continue to work toward building a program that can be competitive on a national level.”
WAC Commissioner Karl Benson was happy to have the Broncos return to the WAC after only 1 season away, "(T)o see Boise State under the WAC umbrella, that just adds to our overall value. More than value, we are establishing stability", he told the AP Wednesday evening.
Speculation still exists as to who will take those last 2 spots for the Big East. Navy and the Air Force Academy had been rumored to be the leading candidates, but news out of Colorado today has the AFA standing pat with the Mountain West, rather than follow SDSU and Boise State into the Big East.
Who ultimately ends up filling those last 2 Big East spots will be a point of interest for Bronco fans and coaches going forward, as they prepare for their newest challenge of Big East league play in 2013.