BOISE — Boise State’s dream of joining the Big 12 Conference may not be dead just yet.
A report from Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com Friday afternoon said the Big 12 was considering a second round of expansion — and Boise State and Memphis are two of the teams being discussed.
The Big 12 officially announced the additions of BYU, Cincinnati, UCF and Houston on Friday morning. The league moved toward expansion once Texas and Oklahoma announced a move to the SEC.
According to CBSSports.com, “Boise State and Memphis are among the schools being discussed by the Big 12 as it considers a possible second round of expansion. ... It has long been known that Boise State is on the Big 12’s list of potential future additions.”
Boise State athletic director Jeramiah Dickey told a pair of reporters including one from the Idaho Press prior to kickoff Friday night that there’s been no recent communication between him and the Big 12, but he voiced optimism for the Broncos’ future.
“Our future is extremely bright,” Dickey said. “We’re in a great conference and we’re going to control and continue to control what we can. We need Bronco Nation, bottom line, and I’m excited about that.”
Asked what his message would be to Bronco Nation about not landing in the first wave of Big 12 expansion, Dickey said, “Hold your head high. We have a lot to be proud of and we’re going to continue to push forward.”
It’s unclear when Texas and Oklahoma will leave the Big 12, but the four new additions are expected to start play in the Big 12 in all sports in the fall of 2023 or 2024.
The Big 12 could have 14 teams — the four new additions and the current 10 teams — for a year or two before Texas and Oklahoma leave. When they do, the Big 12 could look to add two more teams to replace them.
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby hinted during a press conference Friday that the league might not be done expanding.
“I wouldn’t suggest this is the last move,” Bowlsby said. “I think we’ll look for situations of opportunity when they present themselves. I wouldn’t say we’re out looking to expand, but I wouldn’t foreclose on the possibility either.”
It would seemingly make sense for the Big 12 to add a team close to BYU geographically such as Boise State. That would allow teams from the East Coast such as UCF and West Virginia to have sports such as volleyball, soccer or softball make one trip out West to play road games at both Boise State and BYU.
“Expansion has been going on since the 90’s and I don’t see it ending nor does Dennis Dodd or anyone else,” Dickey said. “That gives me faith in our process and where we’re headed as a conference and as an institution and an athletic department.”
There’s one thing Dickey does know. If another round expansion comes to the Big 12 or any other conference, the Broncos should be among the candidates.
“Absolutely, I felt like many other schools, we deserve to be in the conversation now,” Dickey said. “I think when you put us side by side in terms of our athletic success and who we are as an institution and from an athletic and academic standpoint, I do believe we deserve a seat at the table and I’m going to continue to sing that from the mountain tops.”