The Big East on Tuesday announced the conference opponents and sites for the 2013 football season Boise States first in the league.
Dates and TV assignments will be determined later.
The Big East weighed competitive balance and travel considerations, but also tried to create attractive matchups for its TV partners.
The result: the best conference slate Bronco fans could have asked for, with games against the four highest-ranked teams in the 12-team league.
Home: Tennessee Martin (Sept. 7), Southern Miss (Sept. 28), Louisville*, Rutgers*, Houston*, Memphis*
Road: Washington (Aug. 31), BYU (Oct. 26), Cincinnati*, San Diego State*, SMU*, Temple*
* indicates Big East games (dates TBA)
Four of Boise States 12 opponents finished this season in the top 36 of the expanded BCS standings compiled by Jerry Palm of CBSSports.com Louisville (21), Rutgers (32), Cincinnati (34) and San Diego State (36). Non-conference road foes Washington (48) and BYU (55) also could push for Top 25 rankings.
TV WILL LOVE IT
Boise States three crossover games against the Big Easts East division feature the three returning co-champions with Louisville (10-2) and Rutgers (9-3) visiting Bronco Stadium and Boise State traveling to Cincinnati (9-3). The Broncos are the only team in the West to draw all three returning powers. Louisville (ACC) and Rutgers (Big Ten) are leaving the Big East in 2014. Like TCU in 2011, they were given trips to Boise as parting gifts. Those three high-profile games could figure prominently in the Big Easts ESPN schedule.
SHOWDOWN IN SAN DIEGO
Boise State (10-2) and San Diego State (9-3) were co-champs of the Mountain West this season (along with Fresno State) because the Aztecs won in Boise. The Broncos and Aztecs enter 2013 as the favorites in the Big Easts West division and theyll meet in San Diego. San Diego State also drew a difficult crossover schedule at Louisville, at Connecticut, vs. Cincinnati.
The Big East is guaranteed at least 19 appearances on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2 and another five on ESPNU. The conference made three Thursday and four Friday prime-time appearances this season. Games not chosen for national TV fall to a regional syndication package, ESPN3 (online) or ESPN Regional Television (local distribution).
Boise State only makes one trip to the East Coast, to play West division member Temple in Philadelphia. In fact, the Broncos will log fewer miles in 2013 than in 2012. They also will play in three of the nations most talent-rich states California, Texas and Ohio. The Broncos do not play either Florida school in their first year in the league.
West: Boise State, Houston, Memphis, San Diego State, SMU, Temple
East: UCF (Central Florida), Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Rutgers, USF (South Florida)
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