Boise State did not have the best odds in the Big 12 expansion derby, and now it is out of the race.
The school has been eliminated from consideration for the conference, President Bob Kustra announced Thursday morning via a statement.
“We will always explore opportunities to put our university and our students in the best position for success,” Kustra said. “In this case, we believe we provided the necessary information for the beginning stages of the process, but the conversations didn’t get far enough to spark a deep analysis on what the partnership could have meant to either Boise State or the Big 12. We remain confident that our membership in the Mountain West Conference provides tremendous opportunities for our student-athletes in all sports. We wish the best to the Big 12 as they move forward.”
Boise State also released a follow-up letter that it sent to the Big 12. Read it here.
ESPN reported late Wednesday night that at least 12 schools — including BYU, an independent, and Air Force and Colorado State from the Mountain West Conference — are still in the running for possible Big 12 expansion. Other schools being considered are UCF, Cincinnati, UConn, Houston, Rice, South Florida, SMU, Temple and Tulane, according to the report.
All are ranked in U.S. News & World Report’s top 200 universities or national liberal arts colleges. Boise State is not ranked.
Kustra spoke with Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby sometime in the second week of August, according to a letter obtained by The Idaho Statesman. Among the topics Kustra mentioned in the follow-up letter were that “our brand and reputation are far bigger than our immediate market,” and “Boise State’s performance, specifically in football, warrants further discussion.”
Last month, Boise State confirmed that it made a pitch to Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby regarding joining the league. Click here for the school’s letter to the Big 12 and here for Boise State’s presentation materials.