- Associated Press - Saturday, October 15, 2011

FORT COLLINS, COLO. (AP) - Boise State president Robert Kustra says the university’s responsibility is to get the Broncos as close as possible to an automatic qualifying status in the BCS.

The Big East is expected to invite Boise State’s football program to join a reconfigured conference as soon as next week, but that might not be the best move for the Broncos at this time.

“I don’t have any idea right now … of who’s going to be in, who’s going to be out” in the Big East, Kustra told The Associated Press. “And so if anybody asked me today, if anybody invited me today, I wouldn’t know what I was getting invited to.”

Kustra spoke to the AP prior to the fifth-ranked Broncos’ inaugural Mountain West Conference game at Colorado State on Saturday. The Broncos (5-0) bolted the Western Athletic Conference to join the MWC this year.


Joining the Big East in football would require Boise State to find a home for its other sports because MWC Commissioner Craig Thompson said Friday night that Boise State was either all in or all out.

The Big East is in flux and a conference official told the AP that conference leaders are slated to vote Monday on doubling its exit fee to $10 million, which will clear the way to invite six new members.

Along with Boise State, the league also wants to invite Air Force and Navy as football-only members and Conference USA members Central Florida, SMU and Houston to join in all sports.

“It’s really an unsettled time,” Kustra said. “We have a number of options, one of which is staying right where we are, working through this Conference-USA merger of sorts and finding ways of getting better TV coverage and perhaps even working toward an AQ conference status. … and while we love where we are, we’ll keep all the options on the table. I think that’s what my responsibility is as president.”

Staying in the Mountain West, which is teaming with C-USA to form an association stretching from the East Coast to Hawaii, until the dust settles from all this conference realignment might be the best route for Boise State.

“I’ve been very vocal about my thoughts regarding the BCS and when they organize in 2013, I hope there’s a way to deal with some of these inequities,” Kustra said. “But in the meantime, it seems like our responsibility is to get as close as we can to AQ status as we can.

“And that’s the reason why we’re not just shutting down any interests from others who ask us questions about what are your future plans? Our future plans are to do whatever we can to work out a better TV arrangement, get on more TVs in more living rooms and at the same time work toward AQ status.”

Kustra said another move would take time.

“We are not on any kind of urgent timetable,” he said. “We really enjoy where we are and it’s important for us to take advantage of the rest of this season. I mean, let’s face it, if we take care of the rest of this season, we’re going to a postseason bowl, a BCS bowl. And that’s not exactly too shabby an existence in the year 2011.”

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AP College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo contributed. Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton