I've been thinking of the advantages of Boise State leaving the Mountain West Conference and joining the Big East. Our inclusion is a long shot and at first I was all against it, but now I am saying, hummmm. Maybe Boise State and the desperate Big East teams that are all looking to bail at the first opportunity have more in common than I first considered.
I mean, you don't see it right off---the commonality of it all---and how the Broncos would fit in with all those Eastern dudes. Bright lights and big cities; the tater farmers and big school aristocrats with the blue-haired Elvis bronco fan ringing his cowbell along side the Big East sophisticated, cultured university professor; me sitting there belching and making a fool out of myself with mustard and coke dribbling down the front of my shirt.
But then I got to thinking. Sure, the University of Connecticut:
is 3,854 miles round trip from Boise, Idaho to Storrs, Conn.., but that actually makes it the second closest school to the Boise State campus. Here is the uncanny part: Boise is known as the "City of Trees" while the visual symbol
of the University of Connecticut is the oak tree. That's why you see the oak leaf symbol on the university letterhead, next to the word UConn.
But here is the real coincidence: UConn's main campus is approximately 28 miles east of Hartford, Conn., which is the state's capital, while Boise State's main campus is in the state capital, but about 28 miles east of Middleton, Idaho. I know its hard to believe, but there it is.
And then there is the University of Louisville
: At 3,760 miles RT, this is the closest campus to Boise State in the Big East Conference. Almost like a sister city half way around the world. In fact, not many people have noticed that Boise State and Louisville both have 10 letters in their name. And the Kentucky university has something in common with Boise State that the Bronco fans will be wild about: we both have blue grass. The only difference is ours is fake, and they have real Kentucky blue grass. But that's close enough to make most fans happy.
I know, the Cardinals might not even be in the Big East then. Just imagine: it would almost be like meeting up with an old bud, going down to Louisville. Like old home week and after all, it has only been a little over a decade since the 34-31 victory over Louisville back in the 1999 Humanitarian Bowl in Boise. Of course, most of today's players were barely out of diapers for that one.
Then there is the Cincinnati Bearcats
(3,854 miles RT from Boise). Right now, we would be right at home in Nippert Stadium, all cozy like. It is one of the smallest football stadiums in the Big East with a capacity of 35,097. Since they seldom sell out, they don't need one any bigger right now. Completed in 1924, it is also one of the oldest and most historical. Once we get on board, ours will be the smallest in the conference until those expansion plans are finished and we have room for the crowds of thousands and thousands of eager UConn Huskies and Mountaineer fans who will be traveling all the way out from the East coast enmass for the Idaho games.
Back to Cincinnati, like Boise there is a lot to do in Cincy. You just don't want to wander off too far doing it. In 2005, Cincinnati was ranked as the 20th most dangerous city
in America. I'm sure in today's economic downturn that has changed. Keep in mind that the one thing we might share is history. The University of Cincinnati was established in 1819, and Boise State soon after, in 1932.
The University of South Florida
has several things in common with Boise State as well. For one thing, its kind of an outlier, really. And, like Boise State, it does have two school colors (green and gold while Boise State's are blue and orange). One other thing we will share is that 5,258 miles round trip back and forth between games. After all, it's just as far up to Boise as it is down to Tampa. What's impressive is that the Bulls have been playing football for 15 years now, and with 6 of those years under their belt in the Big East, it makes them one of the conference old timers.
Then there is West Virginia University
at Morgantown, if they are still in the Big East when we get there. That will be a 4,416 mile RT from Boise. WVU itself has a lot in common with Boise because it was established in 1867, when four-year-old Boise City was still trying to build the false front stores along Main Street. Did you know that West Virginia hast the most wins in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) to have never won a national championship? I mean, they are a great team, but what is that all about? At least Boise State can lay claim to two national titles: the 1958 JC National Championship, and the 1980 D-I FCS Championship.
But you can bet Rutgers University
and Boise State will fit right in together. You see, Rutgers is referred to as the "Birthplace of College Football" because the first intercollegiate football game was held nearby in 1869. In October 1969, exactly one hundred years later, Boise State was accepted into the NCAA and joined the Big Sky Conference. Talk about a coincidence!
And Rutgers home city, Piscataway, N.J., is only 45 minutes southwest of New York City and about an hour northeast of Philadelphia. Of course, first you have to get back and forth from Boise to Philly which is 4,882 miles RT. One of the things Boise and Piscataway also have in common is that Piscataway community, established in 1666 is the fifth oldest municipality in New Jersey, while the Boise community, established in 1863, can share that same distinction as one of the oldest communities in Idaho.
Pis-cat-away. Say it slow. It even sounds like an Idaho name.
Oh, I didn't tell you how Rutgers University broke the 2008 Guinness World Record for the "Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Ninja Turtles." Boise fans will have fun coming up with something unique that could compete with that in the Guiness Records.
Hey, I got one: How about the largest gathering of Airline Travel Rewards cards and Frequent Flyer miles ever recorded by a college fan base?