Boise State Athletic Director Mark Coyle hopes to make Monday's announcement more business-as-usual than oddity.
The Broncos announced they will play a home-and-home football series against Virginia, with games in 2015 in Charlottesville, Va., and 2017 at Bronco Stadium.
Virginia and Michigan State (2022) are the only Bowl Championship Series-conference schools from outside the Northwest that have agreed to play regular-season games at Boise State.
"We've proven ourselves (on the field)," Coyle said. "We need to convince some of these BCS teams to come and play on our field. That's what has us excited about Virginia - it does show other schools out there that you can come play in Boise and (the Broncos) will do a return game."
The Cavaliers, who compete in the Atlantic Coast Conference, fit into an improving set of nonconference football schedules for the Broncos.
In 2015, 2016 and 2017, the Broncos are scheduled to face two BCS-conference opponents and BYU with one game each year still to schedule.
In 2014, they have games against Ole Miss in Atlanta and BYU in Boise with two openings.
Since Chris Petersen became head coach in 2006, the Broncos have played two BCS opponents in a regular season just once (2010).
Coyle's options expanded when the Broncos decided to stay in the Mountain West. Instead of scheduling non-conference games in the West to limit travel, he's interested in taking the football program on the road.
"The thought process is how can we continue to build our brand - from a recruiting standpoint, more national exposure," he said. "What gives us the best opportunity to have a game that's attractive to TV and has a chance to be attractive to our fans at home so we get a sold-out stadium?"
Coyle has run into two significant challenges.
BCS teams often schedule many years in advance - that's why Virginia and Michigan State won't be coming to Boise for a while.
And, as Coyle's predecessor Gene Bleymaier often lamented, many schools don't want to send their teams to Boise, where the Broncos have four losses in the past 14 seasons.
Bleymaier dealt with the lack of home-and-homes in part by landing neutral-site games with marquee opponents - Virginia Tech (2010), Georgia (2011) and Ole Miss (2014).
Coyle would like to shift to home-and-homes. He expects to announce more future games in the next month.
"We've had so much success that people are anxious about playing us," he said, "but then you try to get them to come out here - the blue (turf), the fan base - you throw those things into the mix and it's not like traveling to another program that is not in the top five conferences. It's been a challenge, but people have been receptive."
For Virginia, the games against Boise State represent a chance to generate exposure for its program.
"They've (succeeded) with great coaching, solid recruiting and a fearless approach to competition," Virginia Executive Associate Athletics Director Jon Oliver said in a statement. "We are trying to do the same thing and this will be an incredible challenge for us as we continue to build our program. The 2015 and 2017 seasons could end up being two of the toughest schedules in the history of our football program and we hope they will excite and energize our fans, student-athletes and recruits."
NOTES: Coyle and coach Chris Petersen haven't discussed shortening the 12-year series with BYU, Coyle said. Petersen and BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall expressed concern about the length of the series in September. "We're committed," Coyle said. The Broncos open spring ball March 11.
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