Editor note: The following is a post written by Zach Covert.
All the talk in the current college football landscape seems to go back to realignment. With that being said, how successful wins-wise have many of the programs that have realigned been? Programs have been jumping and making lateral moves to other conferences for decades now; but I am just going to focus on a few programs and their time before moving to a power 5 conference from another power 5 conference and a few programs that have made the jump from the group of 5 to power 5. Now before you read below, I just want to say that I do not think Boise State moving up to a power five conference is a bad thing; in fact it could be a great thing! I just don’t believe that a move to another conference means more success.
First up, the Miami Hurricanes. In 1992 the Hurricanes joined the Big East Conference.
Before leaving for the more highly regarded ACC conference, they rattled off 8 BCS bowl appearances with, including three National Title appearances and two title victories. Since their time in the ACC began, they have one appearance in a NY6 bowl game and have only won their division once. Before joining the ACC, the Miami Hurricanes were one of the premiere programs in the country, with six top ten finishes in their 12 years in the Big East. Since joining the ACC they have had zero. Was the move successful? Winning wise, I think the answer is obvious.
Second up let’s look at another fellow current ACC and former Big East foe Virginia Tech. The Hookies who joined the Big East in 1991 and joined the ACC in 2004 appeared in 3 BCS games during their time in the Big East and one title game. They, unlike Miami however, have fared relatively well in the ACC. Since making the jump in 04, they have appeared in 5 BCS games and have 5 ACC titles. The argument that the transition to the ACC has done well for their program but did it take it to the next level many fans expected it to?
Thirdly, we have the Utah Utes of the Pac-12. Members of the Mountain West conference from 1999 until 2010 the Utes found themselves with five ten win seasons and two BCS wins. When they jumped to the Pac-12 in 2011 it was assumed by most fans that growing pains would ensue and that same success couldn’t be expected immediately. In their eleven years as a member of the Pac-12 they have appeared in three Pac-12 title games and one NY6 bowl. While they have accomplished a great deal since joining the P5 they also find themselves in a conference that could cease to exist by 2025 are they any better off than Boise State at the end of the day?
At the end of the day, I believe that most programs who have realigned since 2000 have not had the success the envisioned when they made the move. The list of teams who have done so is in the dozens and incudes West Virginia, Colorado, Louisville, Nebraska, Maryland, Rutgers, Syracuse, TCU, Missouri, and Texas A&M. How many of those programs are closer to a title now than they were before they made the move? Sure a couple of those programs have gotten close but are their brands any bigger than they were before? Was TCU more popular in the MW when they played in a Rose Bowl or are they more popular now? Louisville and West Virginia were contending for BCS bowls for years before they made the jump; what state are those programs in now?
At the end of the day, I truly understand the want by BSU fans for the program to be in one of the P5 conferences and I do truly think the program belongs there. With that being said, the program has basically two options. Firstly, you have a sinking Pac-12 who is losing it’s flagship program (USC) and could see others such as Washington and Oregon leave anytime. Would that move be worth it? You also have the potential of joining the Big 12 a conference replacing two of the biggest brands in college football with UCF, Cincinnati, BYU, and Houston.
So Bronco fans do you still think making the jump to another conference is the answer? Do you think BSU will fare better than the programs I mentioned above? Or do you think staying put is the best move going forward? The best part about all of this? Time will tell.