It's become an annual tradition for Boise State to travel a great distance in its non-conference schedule and meet a Big Ten, SEC, or ACC team in a hostile atmosphere in order to gain some credit with the BCS and pollsters. Those games have tended to come with no promise of a return, so Bronco Stadium was left to cupcakes, Mountain West rivals, and the occasional Beaver or Duck.
BSU's 37,000-seat stadium doesn't pull in the revenue it would typically take to draw a college football power, which can make far more money hosting an FCS school. But with the backing of a new ESPN deal that promises to televise all Boise State home games, the Broncos can attract BCS foes into Idaho.
The biggest of those names to commit to playing on the blue turf thus far is Florida State, which agreed to a home-and-home arrangement to be played in 2019 and 2020 earlier this month.
Before the Seminoles come to town, the Broncos will also host Washington in 2015, Washington State in 2016 and Virginia in 2017. The agreement with the Cavaliers came just over a month ago, making two ACC schools agreeing to travel to Boise in the span of two weeks. Wednesday also brought an announcement of a UConn home-and-home in 2014 and 2018. And while Wednesday's announced 2014-2016 home-and-home with Louisiana-Lafayette isn't a game-changer, it's another recent bowl program signing up for a long trek to a nationally televised game in Idaho.
That's a much more tantalizing schedule for fans than 2013's slate of UT-Martin and Southern Mississippi.
In the past, to work out a deal for a major-conference team to come into Boise, the school had to use creative scheduling. In order to lure Michigan State for 2022, BSU had to promise games in Lansing in 2012 and 2023, according to ESPN. Now, the Broncos can do traditional home-and-home arrangements.
With this new television deal, Boise State is a little bit closer to a level playing field with the programs it contends with nationally on a yearly basis.