In 1996 I visited Boise for the first time and fell in love with a great city. A year later it became a place I now call home. My first exposure to Boise State football came that year and the relationship has grown right along side the program. The Broncos were dominating in the Big West and then the WAC. I watched the community embrace a program, it’s players and coaches. I’ve watched with admiration and pride the impact Boise State has had on our community.
Yesterday, we began a new chapter with our first game in the Mountain West Conference. A victory over Colorado State by an enormous margin. This milestone was overshadowed with talk of another change, a potential move to the Big East Conference. There is talk of a move to a conference with status – The AQ kind. A talk of more revenue for the program, a talk of more seats in a stadium that touts the Blue Turf. I can remember when the only conversation was a potential invite to a more regional fit with The Mountain West and it’s members.
It’s interesting that in my Sunday morning reading the sixty point margin of victory is a sub-thought to whether or not we will accept an invite to the Big East Conference. There has been no official invite and insiders are saying that an offer is forthcoming. In Fort Collins yesterday, Dr. Bob Kustra did not shy away from a microphone on the subject. This is the same man who told me just a few weeks ago that when it was all said and done the Mountain West would be our home.
There was an announcement from the Mountain West of an alliance with Conference USA forming a new conference of between 20-24 teams stretching from Coast to Coast. The formalities of this union are yet to be announced. In a few months the BCS will be revisiting it’s structure and there will most likely be changes to what we now know and love (or hate). At this point the only thing certain is more uncertainty.
I have traveled to road games as a fan, attending games in Utah, Oregon, Washington and Arizona. I must admit that I was looking forward to visiting Wyoming, Colorado, Nevada and Southern California. There is one common theme in all of this: The proximity to Idaho.
The last time I checked the Broncos and their fans are from Boise, Idaho a unique community with a great sense of pride and passion. Boise is a great place to raise a family, known for its abundance in outdoor activities, a place we love to call home. Boise’s strong blue collar work ethic has crossed over into our football program. However because of the success Boise State had gained over the years we are now considered a National Powerhouse.
As a fan I have to ask myself would I travel to the eastern part of the nation on a regular basis? Would I feel the same in creating new non-regional rivalries? Coach Pete mentioned that a few more hours on a plane would not make a difference to the team but, would it make a difference to our fan base? Most likely not I suppose. Is the Big East the right thing to do in light of it’s uncertainty? These are decisions that are in very capable hands.
Let’s celebrate the great victory against our first Mountain West opponent and look forward to more of the same. It’ll be an interesting few weeks ahead as these decisions unfold. It’s good to have options, maybe more will present themselves. For me, it’s time to enjoy another cup of coffee and the sound of rain as I ponder the future.