SEMINOLES COMING TO THE BLUE IN 2020
Boise State's rapidly improving schedule now includes one of college football's heavyweight programs.
Florida State will host the Broncos on Sept. 7, 2019, in Tallahassee, and the two-time national champions will visit Boise on Sept. 12, 2020.
The Broncos now have a home game scheduled against a Bowl Championship Series-conference opponent in 2015 (Washington), 2016 (Washington State), 2017 (Virginia), 2020 (Florida State) and 2022 (Michigan State).
Boise State hasn't played a BCS team at home since 2010 (Oregon State). The drought will reach three seasons this year, but there's still hope for 2014 (two openings remain on the schedule).
Florida State, Virginia (announced last week) and Michigan State (announced in 2010) are the first BCS teams outside the Northwest to agree to play regular-season games at Bronco Stadium.
"Scheduling a home-and-home series against a perennial Top 25 program like Florida State is another step in growing our football program," Boise State Athletic Director Mark Coyle said in a statement. "Florida State is a team fans talk about when discussing the top collegiate programs in the country, and I know Bronco Nation will be excited about hosting a team like the Seminoles in Boise."
The schools will exchange a guarantee of $400,000.
"Adding the Broncos to our football schedule continues our commitment to bringing top quality opponents to Doak Campbell Stadium,'' Florida State Athletic Director Randy Spetman said. "We feel this will be an out-of-conference game that will be exciting for fans of both schools and appealing to TV networks.''
Chadd Cripe: 377-6398, Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat
SIX REASONS WHY BSU IS GETTING THESE GAMES
Why now? Why is Boise State able to land home-and-home football series with Michigan State, Virginia and, perhaps the biggest of all, Florida State now, when such series were beyond the Broncos' grasp in previous years?
Here are a few theories:
1. College football's new playoff structure dictates that teams improve their nonconference strength of schedule.
This is particularly important for schools that are not in the SEC. The ACC, in particular, suffers from a perception problem - that the league is not on par with other power leagues.
2. Attendance concerns.
Schools are worried about competing with "man caves" and giant HD television screens. They have seen attendance decline, especially for games against lower-level opponents. In order to keep the fans coming to games, schools are going to have to schedule better opponents.
3. Television partners.
ESPN (and Co.) are paying more than ever to televise college football games. Conferences and athletic departments need that revenue.
Well, who wants to televise (or watch) lopsided games?
The more compelling content you can provide to your TV partners, the more they'll be willing to pay. It's probably not a coincidence that the Mountain West and Boise State are negotiating a television contract for the Broncos' home games right now.
"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?" Boise State Athletic Director Mark Coyle told the Idaho Statesman last week.
4. Boise State's reputation.
The Broncos survived their first Kellen Moore-less season, went 11-2 and, once again, finished in the top 20. Coach Chris Petersen stuck around, too.
"We've proven ourselves (on the field)," Coyle said last week. "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."
5. One of the main reasons President Bob Kustra wanted to join the Big East was to expand the Boise State "brand" to big markets on the East Coast.
That plan fell apart - the Broncos changed their mind and are remaining in the Mountain West. But Boise State is still finding ways to get into those markets with nonconference football games.
"The thought process is how can we continue to build our brand - from a recruiting standpoint, more national exposure," Coyle said last week.
6. Kustra has long wanted the Broncos to increase the Broncos' strength of schedule.
He even tried to add bonuses into former Athletic Director Gene Bleymaier's contract to reward tough nonconference games. Now it appears the president - with a new athletic director - is getting his way.
Brian Murphy: 377-6444, Twitter: @MurphsTurph