About a year ago, we profiled the Boise State Broncos and TCU Horned Frogs. These teams have been torch bearers for the non-automatic qualifying conferences, playing in four BCS bowl games combined in the last six seasons and winning three times -- the only exception being TCU's loss against Boise State in the 2010 Fiesta Bowl.
Their consistently dominant success in non-AQ leagues during most of the last decade helped Boise State and TCU ascend the conference ladder amid the reshuffling chaos of the last 24 months. TCU will join the Big 12 this fall, and Boise State will begin playing Big East football in 2013.
The Big East may not retain its "big six" status indefinitely, of course, so Boise State isn't all the way there yet. But it will certainly represent an upgrade for the Broncos, especially since the departure of TCU, Utah and BYU have weakened the Mountain West conference severely. Unfortunately for the Broncos, they will be haunted by strength-of-schedule naysayers once again in 2012, their final Mountain West season.