In terms of money, college football is an East Coast game. In the latest “College Football’s 20 Most Valuable Teams” list from Forbes, only one college west of the Continental Divide made it into the starting lineup. Twenty teams on the list, 18 of them from the Big 10, Big 12, or Southeastern conferences; another, Notre Dame, lives in Indiana; and one, USC, makes do in Los Angeles.
The money is huge. Number 1, Texas, is valued at $119 million and had a 2009 profit of $59 million. Number 2 is Notre Dame, valued at $108 million, profit of $38 million. Number 15 is USC, $68 million value, $33 million profit. I looked for San Diego State, but it’s not listed, probably due to the East Coast beach-haters who slimed their way onto Forbes’ payroll.
The point is, lots of money. Top of the heap is the 12-school SEC (Southeastern Conference). The SEC has won four BCS national titles in a row and is on the sunny side of an ESPN/CBS 15-year TV deal worth $3 billion, give or take.
Isn’t that what we all want?
Like everything else in college football, the way forward is to go gigantic. Rivals.com ran a story that says the Pac-10 plans to gut the Big 12 and invite Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Colorado to join them. This would make the Pac-10 a 16-team conference and a legitimate big boy with its own television network. Money, money, money.
And in the pursuit of money, it looks like Boise State may be invited to join the Mountain West Conference, which would be a step up for the conference, at least in terms of football. Here’s the ironic part — if Boise does come in, that enhances, considerably, the MWC chances of becoming an automatic-qualifying BCS conference when those greedy thugs shuffle the membership deck after the 2014 season.
Boise State won the Division I Big West Conference football title in 1999 and 2000, moved over to the Division I Western Athletic Conference and won that title in 2002, ’03, ’04, ’05, ’06, ’08, and ’09.
The Broncos made bowl appearances in 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 (January Fiesta Bowl), 2007 (December Hawaii Bowl), 2008, and 2010. That’s three Humanitarian Bowls, one MPC Bowl, one Liberty Bowl, one Fort Worth Bowl, two Fiesta Bowls, one Hawaii Bowl, and one Poinsettia Bowl. Not bad, considering the Broncos did not start playing Division I football until 1996.
San Diego State has been playing Division I football since 1969 and has been to four bowls: 1981 Mirage Bowl, 1986 Holiday Bowl, 1991 Freedom Bowl, and the 1998 Las Vegas Bowl.
And there’s an example of your media bias: The above forementioned list is what sports scribes always write, failing to mention SDSU’s first bowl appearance. The Aztecs weren’t Division I yet, but they did play in the 1947 Harbor Bowl, falling behind Hardin-Simmons University, the Hardin-Simmons University of Abilene, Texas, 53 to 0.
So, what’s the big deal with Boise State? Well, Boise State University can be found in Boise, Idaho. It opened for business in 1932, claims 19,000 students, plays its football in Bronco Stadium, a thoroughly modern facility seating 30,000 goofy-crazy fans. The average winter temperature in Boise is 29 degrees. Paradise!
Yes, I understand, you want to know why some of the best football players in America choose BSU rather than another college, like...I don’t know, let’s pick one...like San Diego State University.
Obviously, recruits flock to Boise because it’s the capital city of Idaho. It’s also Idaho’s biggest city. According to the U.S. Bureau of Census, 205,314 Idahoans lived in Boise on July 1, 2008, which makes “The City of Trees” 100,000 citizens smaller than the city of Aurora, Colorado. It is also smaller than Garland, Texas, and Lubbock, Texas, which is okay by me.
They’ve got a 20-story bank building in downtown Boise, plus six public high schools. And if you want college, they’ve got college. They’ve got University of Phoenix, the nation’s finest diploma mill, the aforementioned Boise State University, and Boise Bible College, the three complete a trifecta of higher education second to none.
Kidding aside, I like Boise. I could live in Boise — it’s a throwback to my Alaskan past. But, I am not an 18-year-old nationally ranked quarterback looking for TV exposure in order to get myself into the NFL. If I were that kid, I would as likely pick Boise State University as I would a surfing school in Mongolia.
On the other hand, that might change. The 2010 Lindy’s Football Preview ranks Boise State as the number 2 team in the nation.