Hope you wrote your future Bronco schedules in pencil, everybody.
The University of Utah announced today that it has canceled its four-game series with Boise State that included remaining games in 2011, 2012, and 2013. The series began in 2006 with a Boise State victory in Salt Lake. The cost of ducking the Broncos: $350,000 total.
What are your thoughts on Utah skipping out on Boise State? Frustrated? Resigned? Future Bronco schedules and some instant reaction to this story after the jump.
Updated as of 3:00 p.m. with BYU information and Idaho scheduling information.
Boise State's updated future schedule
Here are the teams that have kept their word.
2011: @ Toledo, vs. Tulsa, @ Ole Miss
2012: vs. Miami (OH), @ Oregon State, vs. BYU
2013: @ BYU
2014: vs. BYU
2015: @ BYU
2016: vs. Washington State
2017: @ Washington State
As noted by Chadd Cripe, Boise State's schedule would be full in 2011 and 2012 if the Mountain West Conference stays at 10 teams and adopts a nine-game conference schedule, as expected.
The winners here: Utah's future loss column and Boise State men's basketball
Utah will be moving to the Pac-10 next year, so you had better believe they would prefer not to have such difficult nonconference competition anymore. The Utes announced that they will be maintaining their future games against BYU, but rather than play Boise State (or Iowa State which canceled its game against Utah), they have decided to go in more of a Big Sky direction.
The Utes filled the ISU vacancy with a home game against Montana State on Sept. 1.
That's the way to do it, BCS conference style!
But it's not all bad news for Boise State University. The Utah press release also mentions a four game home-and-home series with Boise State's men's basketball team. So I guess that's a thing now.
Reasons why Utah might have canceled the series
They do not have enough room on their non-conference schedule. With the Pac-10 move imminent, the University of Utah has some scheduling matters to work out, including how to handle a new conference calendar and fit in an annual rivalry with BYU.
There is no longer a need to schedule difficult nonconference games. Exhibit A: Montana State.
Boise State is really good. This kind of goes along with the point above. Why play Boise State if you don't have to? The Utes obviously could have kept the Broncos on the 2011 schedule rather than book a date with Montana State. And their future schedule is not even available to look at, so you have to assume there are some open spots there. Utah simply didn't want to play Boise State anymore. And can you blame them? Neither do most other BCS conference schools.
Update: There is a fourth reason, and like most things in college football, it ends with BYU being the bad guy.
If Utah doesn’t cancel Boise State series and doesn’t schedule Montana State and schedules BYU, then their 2011 non-conference schedule is at Pitt, at Boise State and at BYU. Brutal non-conference schedule with 7 road games, and 5 home games in their first Pac-12 season.
Utah had to cancel Boise State because BYU refused to play at Utah in 2011 (playing at Utah in 2010). In order to schedule BYU and to have 6 home games, Boise State was dropped.
So long strength of schedule argument, we hardly knew ye
Boise State had a rare SOS treat this year with two Top 25 teams, VaTech and OSU, on its schedule. In future years? Not so much. 2011 looks rather depressing with Toledo, Tulsa, and Ole Miss. 2012 is a little better with BYU and Oregon State. If the MWC schedule holds, Gene Bleymaier won't get a chance to flex his scheduling muscles until 2013. I say, flip that $350,000 prize over and give it to Tulsa to get out of next year's noncon game. Everybody's doing it! And I guess that makes it right.
Update: Scheduling Idaho is going to be a story
Now that there is one less team on Boise State's future schedule, the immediate question becomes: What's Idaho got going on? Well, as you might see in the comments below, some people want to play the Vandals and some don't but what really matters here is what happens with the Mountain West Conference beginning next season.
If Nevada and Fresno join next fall, Boise State has no room to add Idaho until 2013 at the earliest.
If Nevada and Fresno don't join until 2012, Boise State has two open non-conference spots in 2011.
So there you have it. Debate away.
Thoughts on Utah canceling its Boise State series are welcome. Are there other factors in play here that I'm not seeing? Excited about Boise State's men's basketball schedule now? Worried about where BSU goes to fill the Utah void? Share your thoughts in the comments.