When it rains in Boise, it pours.
As if it couldn’t get any worse for Boise State after the crushing overtime loss to Nevada, TCU has accepted an invitation to become part of the Big East.
The Broncos must feel further outside than a Kyle Brotzman field goal.
Of the three non-automatic qualifying powerhouses, Utah and TCU went from crawling to sprinting as Boise State is still taking baby steps.
For starters, hats off to the Utes and Horned Frogs. Next year Utah will be playing in the Pac-12 South and in 2012 TCU will be competing in the Big East where they will have a legitimate shot at the title in their inaugural season.
These two teams will finally be able to prove themselves as they go up against quality teams week in and week out, not to mention a conference championship which would land them in a BCS bowl.
Boise State is now a lone horse in a field of ponies, essentially becoming the only non-AQ powerhouse.
The Broncos need to find a way into an automatic qualifying conference faster than you can say Colin Kaepernick.
For a team that has been competing at a high, dare I say BCS, level for a few years now, the move to the MWC was somewhat greeted with skepticism. While taking on some tougher competition, Boise State still was not going to be guaranteed a spot in a BCS bowl with a MWC Championship.
With the possibility of power conferences or at least some reconstruction of conferences, it would have made more sense to hold out another year. Moving to the Mountain West as it was wouldn’t have given the Broncos a huge advantage either so I wouldn’t consider the decision to be pressing. In fact, if all the MWC teams had stayed, they could have all knocked each other out of BCS bowl contention.
But now that Utah and TCU have moved onto bigger and better things, this could mean a possible collapse for the Broncos.
One would think recruiting could take a hit. If a recruit were bouncing between those three schools, wouldn’t it make more sense for him to go to a team that can offer a shot at a BCS game? Of course other factors abound but the possibility of a conference title with a guaranteed BCS bowl game attached surely makes Utah and TCU a little more glamorous.
What if Utah and TCU falter in their new conferences, will the Broncos take a hit in the votes because of their former non-AQ foes not being able to perform? What if Utah and TCU run their new conferences, will the Broncos be a laughing stock for not finding their way into an AQ conference?
Surely the only way for the Broncos to end up in a BCS game would be through an undefeated season, even one loss seems to put them into the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.
An even more concerning question is what conference could Boise State tag onto? The Big 12 is in an odd situation and it wouldn’t be surprising to see it fall apart in the next couple of years. The Pac-10 will become the Pac-12 next season and who knows if it would be willing to add two more teams.
Another option would be to follow the tracks of their southern neighbors, BYU and declare independence from a conference, in essence being able to hand pick a schedule which would have to be filled with big name schools. However, that option also does not guarantee a BCS bowl come the end of the season.
There are a number of questions without answer for the Broncos, but one surefire answer is that Boise State needs to find a new conference to call home, and fast.