Boise St. has cleared its high hurdle and is on its way to the BCS Championship game that is of course if several things don’t happen like an upset at the hand of the mighty Aggies of New Mexico St., or something more realistic, a loss to Oregon St. It is conceivable that Blue Turf U could go undefeated and wind up playing in the Orange Bowl, Sugar Bowl or (gasp) The Rose Bowl (wouldn’t that be funny if Boise St played in a Rose Bowl before Arizona) and not even sniff a return trip to Glendale, and for what reason? Strength of schedule.
Boise St. has a schedule lined with “powerhouse” programs like New Mexico St, San Jose St., and Utah St. which are feared among the AQ schools for their ability to bring down their overall strength of schedule rather than their on the field exploits. So how does Boise St. fix next year’s schedule because they cannot fix it this year, and it is not as if that overall strength of schedule is better; with the likes of New Mexico, Colorado St. and UNLV on the docket.
I will submit a proposal to Boise St and to a BCS conference that is at risk for falling into obscurity; the Big XII. Okay hear me out; The Big-12 is a conference that needs to be forward thinking and this could be just the type of thinking needed to help the Big-XII. Say Dan Beebe approaches Boise St. and asks them to be an associate member of the Big 12 next year. As it is Colorado will have to remain in the Big-12 next year because they do not have the funds to buy out of the conference early, so the Big XII is at 11 which is not a good number for next year. Eleven is an odd number for scheduling and does not allow for a championship game, so you pick up Boise St. have them inherit Nebraska’s conference schedule, and place them in the Big-12 north. The Big 12 then “ponies” up four million of Nebraska’s five million dollars to the MWC to “rent” Boise St for a year; thereby maintaining the conference championship game for at least one more year. (The Big XII could recoup that money selling the game to ESPN which could feature Boise St.)
The Big-12 also has a footprint in the Rocky Mountains, albeit the western Rockies, but they are able to warm the coals for expansion westward. We know that the Big-XII needs to expand and may extend an invitation to BYU who may be willing to listen if the money is right, (although they may be enjoying independence), but again here is a really novel idea, let’s say that BYU speaks with Utah (off the record) and convinces them that though they are good alone, they would be great together, as in being members of the Big XII, they could be viable programs in the Big XII, we all know Texas runs the conference but if you have two programs that are not going to be bullied by the Burnt orange and would vote together could you see things return to normalcy in the Big-XII (at least until Texas, stomps its feet, folds its arms, holds its breath, takes its ball and goes independent, which is a story for another day)? Wouldn’t that be an interesting dynamic at Big 12 meetings?
Would Utah spurn the PAC-12 to join the Big-XII with BYU? Who knows but I digress. The Big XII after the year has an option to extend Boise St.’s contract as an associate member of the conference for football but Boise St is also able to terminate their association as well and go back to the Mountain West without penalty so it is a two way contract, if Boise has had its fill of traveling to Waco, College Station and Ames, it can leave and enjoy traveling to Albuquerque, Ft Collins and Laramie. Additionally the BCS numbers Boise would accumulate would help the MWC in 2012, so it becomes a win for the MWC. How much money would ESPN pay for the Big XII with Boise St. in the Big XII? Which helps the Big XII. The question I would pose would be, after Texas would Boise be the next most marketable program, some might argue Oklahoma, but if that is the case Boise St. is certainly close behind, and closing the gap.
The idea has many flaws but no more so than the BCS system that is in place currently, so who knows?