The Big East was already a crap football conference before the 2011 season even began. Then Pittsburgh and Syracuse bailed for the ACC, and TCU decided they would rather stay closer to home in the Big XII than move into the Big East in 2012.
I didn’t know it was possible, but apparently the Big East could actually lose its place in the BCS if their football quality drops below a certain level. I’m pessimistic that the BCS cronies would drop one of their own charter members, however, but hey, it’s in the rules anyway, right? After all, it’s the appearance of fairness that matters more than actual fairness.
This is why Boise State should avoid the Big East at all costs. While it would be nice to see the Broncos in an automatic-bid conference, moving into the worst auto-bid conference doesn’t help their stature in any way. TCU saw this and bailed out before they ever even joined the Big East in the first place.
The Big East desperately needs Boise in order to maintain its BCS presence. Everyone knows this, including Boise, which means the Broncos can hold the Big East over the fire before they join. Or just not join at all since some in the Big East apparently have the balls to have “reservations” about Boise joining the conference.
Currently, Boise is a member of the Mountain West Conference and get to play Colorado State, Nevada, Air Force, UNLV, TCU (once), San Diego State, Wyoming, and New Mexico this year. Were they in the Big East, they would be playing Rutgers, West Virginia, Cincinnati, Louisville, South Florida, UConn, and some combination of Army, Navy, Air Force, East Carolina, Central Florida, Temple, and maybe even SMU. This is not what I would call a major improvement in terms of strength of schedule.
Also, Boise, Idaho is not, in fact, anywhere near the East, either. Every one of their road trips would be a long journey to a different time zone. God help them on those noon eastern starts because it almost never goes well for NFL teams going from west to east.
The biggest reason for them to avoid the Big East at all costs, however, is because there’s a decent chance the Big East won’t exist at all next year anyway, leaving Boise as the Anne of Cleves in all of the Big East’s debauched marriages. They would be alive, but what would be the point? They’d have sold out already.
There are no guarantees West Virginia and Louisville are in the conference at the beginning of 2012. If Missouri somehow manages to marry up into the SEC or, god forbid, the Big Ten, then there is a decent chance the Big XII grabs one or both of WVU and Louisville. I would imagine they would shoot for West Virginia first, meaning the Big East loses one more respectable football program. This means the Big East has to add yet one more school that is probably too weak to help it stay in the BCS.
Boise also shouldn’t join the Big East because it would mean they’ve sold out. The whole reason people outside of Boise back them now is because they are the undeniable insurgent campaign against the evil BCS. The BCS cannot ignore the Broncos because they have been so successful these last few years. And yet they cannot fully control Boise either because the Broncos are not part of the BCS.
While it would be nice for Boise, I’m sure, to not have their entire seasons ruined by one loss, leaving them with only a berth in the f-ing Las Vegas Bowl or something, they would lose their status as part of the Rebel Alliance against the BCS. They would just be another mouth grabbing at the scraps offered by the BCS honchos to the teams desperate enough to fight for it. Which is all of them, of course. Their seasons would mean nothing more than fighting and clawing to win the Big East no matter how crappy their record is or how bad it makes them look.
Boise in the Big East would be a major victory for the forces of evil in college football. Too many teams, pretty much all of them, actually, are doing nothing but chasing the money. Some one has to stand up against it, or at least pretend to be a symbol that fights against it. I’m not under the illusion that Boise State isn’t interested in more money like any other university. This is the real world, after all.
But there has to be a symbol for good in the fight against big-money crony-ism in college sports. Boise State is pretty much the only team powerful enough to be that symbol. TCU took the money twice and ran from the non-AQ revolution. I love Houston as much as the next guy, but their schedule is ridiculously easy and they’re toast without Case Keenum next year anyway. Even Utah bailed for the Pac-12’s money. There is no one left except Boise. And, guh, Notre Dame because they’re independent.
I guess all the reasons Boise shouldn’t join the Big East basically just add up to me being depressed if it happened, but that’s in keeping with college football as an inherently selfish endeavor anyway.
Nonetheless, it would be incredibly stupid for the Boise State Broncos to get suckered into the Big East’s warm but dangerous embrace. And I want to keep using the “Boise Revolution” tag on this site, damn it.