So here we are. A place we all figured Boise State would be at some point. Involved in one of college football’s grandest of all things: conference expansion. To that end one very important thing has been answered: Just how hard is Boise State trying to get into the Big 12?
Well, in a word: very.
Today it was confirmed that just a few schools would be vying for the Big 12’s spots to finally make the conference membership match the name.
Big 12’s 17 school expansion list: ArkState Boise BYU Cincinnati CSU UConn ECU Houston Memphis NIU NM SDSU SMU Temple Tulane UCF USF— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) August 12, 2016
Oh. 17? Well that certainly seems like a lot of schools interested in filling two spots.
What? You mean there is another school that wants in on the game?
Now up to 18 on Big 12’s expansion list: AF ArkSt Boise BYU Cincinnati CSU UConn ECU Houston Memphis NIU NM SDSU SMU Temple Tulane UCF USF— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) August 12, 2016
Air Force? Makes sense. That would make five Mountain West Conference schools trying to win the Power 5 lottery.
Each school gets a chance to “show all their cards” in terms of what they have to offer the Big 12. Each school submitted a packet of information about why they are the best and, at a determined date, each school will have the opportunity to videoconference with the Big 12 and sell themselves.
For its part, Boise State has put together quite the packet of information. Here is the original story by the Idaho Statesman. Here is the cover letter from Dr. Bob Kustra to the commissioner of the Big 12 Bob Bowlsby. And last, but certainly not least, here is the pitch that Boise State has put together to tout their success, improvements, and just downright awesomeness.
So how does Boise State look?
Well, not too shabby.
Just the cover letter alone is simple, informative, and highlights some of the better parts of the Boise State experience.
But, as with all the schools, there are some smart people who work at Boise State. And those people know how to accentuate the good. And there are some pretty smart people that reside both in the graphics design department (DID YOU SEE ALL THOSE COOL NUMBERS AND STATS?!) and who know how to sell (YES I AM STILL TALKING ABOUT ALL THE NUMBERS AND PERCENTAGES AND STUFF).
And they know how to sell the football team. On more than one occasion did the football team get front and center. But that was not all. The student achievement made an appearance (3.64 swimming & diving team GPA was the highest in Division I during the 2015 fall semester). The research (the partnerships with Micron). And, well, the football team (DID YOU GUYS SEE THIS COOL RENDERING OF THE STADIUM?!). Or, you know, Fiesta Bowls.
I'm sure this includes a mention of a certain Fiesta Bowl... https://t.co/NVb9Ny51XU— Kevin McGuire (@KevinOnCFB) August 12, 2016
So how will this story end for Boise State? Will they get the prize they have been pining for for some time? Or will Boise State not “get a rose?”
“Boise, I had a really great time on our date but I just feel you’re a little distant when we talk.” #Big12Bachelor— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) August 12, 2016
That is not the outcome I find most favorable.
The honest truth: Boise State is the longest of shots to get into the Big 12. If this were about football success only, then Boise State has a Group of 5 résumé second to none. If it were about marketability and growth, Boise State could compete with anyone. But it is not just about those things. It is those things and more which include (but are not limited to): TV market, academics, donors, endowment, athletic budget, facilities, distance to other competitors, and the list goes on.
Boise State has an opportunity to have access to that which we have only dreamed about. Easier access to the College Football Playoff, more Saturday day games, money, better schedule, bigger stadium. You name it. But it will be up to the university, and Dr. Kustra, to sell the positive and convince those in power that Boise State is worth the investment.
How do you think the presentation looked? Did you like it? Think it could have been better? Does this make you more, or less, confident in Boise State’s chances?