Virginia football is on the brink of its most ambitious scheduling in the program’s history and it didn’t get any easier on Monday when the school announced a home-and-home series with Boise State.
The Cavaliers will host the Broncos on Sept. 26, 2015, then return the game to Boise’s famed “Blue Turf” Broncos Stadium on Sept. 23, 2017. It will be UVa’s second visit to Boise’s stadium, but its first game there against the Broncos. Virginia lost a 37-34 overtime game to Fresno State in the MPC Computers Bowl in 2004, in Boise.
“We’re excited to announce this series with a program that has been exceptional over the last decade,” said UVa executive associate athletics director Jon Oliver. “[Boise State] has done it with great coaching, solid recruiting and a fearless approach to competition. We are trying to do the same thing and this will be an incredible challenge for us as we continue to build our program.”
Boise State owns the nation’s highest overall winning percentage since 1997 with a record of 168-35 (.827), and since 2000, the Broncos boast the nation’s best home winning percentage of .952 (79-4).
Coached by Chris Petersen (84-8 over the last seven seasons), BSU finished 11-2 last season, including a bowl win over Washington. The Broncos were 7-1 and co-champions of the Mountain West Conference.
While Oregon and Southern Cal have gained considerable national recognition over the past decade for success on the gridiron, Boise State has actually won the most games of any West Coast program (since 2000) with 147, a whopping 20 more games than the Trojans and 25 more than the Ducks.
Still, the Boise State program has had difficulty raising its profile nationally because many FBS schools refuse to accept a home-and-home series with the Broncos. At this point, Virginia and Michigan State (2022) are the only BCS programs outside of the northwestern U.S. that have contracted to play regular season games in Boise.
The Broncos have finished in the BCS standings top 10 a total of six times since 2004: ’04, ’06, ’08, ’09, ’10, and ’11. Boise State has also finished in the Associated Press poll’s Top 20 nine times and won nine conference titles since 2002, including a 129-15 mark, and made 11 consecutive bowl appearances (winning seven).
“The 2015 and 2017 seasons could end up being two of the toughest schedules in the history of our football program and we hope they will excite and energize our fans, student-athletes and recruits,” Oliver said.
Currently, the Cavaliers host Boise State and travel to UCLA in 2015, while in 2017, Virginia hosts Stanford and UConn and travels to Boise State, in addition to other nonconference and ACC games.
Virginia has been very ambitious in nonconference scheduling for the future, opening the 2013 season with Brigham Young and national power Oregon, both coming to Scott Stadium in September. UCLA, Stanford and now Boise State also are on those future schedules along with at least one game with Notre Dame, which will play five games annually against ACC teams beginning in 2014.
The Cavaliers aren’t the only ones excited about the Boise State news. While BSU has a small stadium with 37,000 seats, the Broncos have a strong following.
“I think our fans will be extremely excited about the Broncos hosting an ACC school,” Boise State AD Mark Coyle said in a released statement. “We continue to work hard on scheduling home-and-home games against BCS opponents and a series like this with an East Coast team will help spread the Bronco brand.”
Boise State has made a strong attempt to upgrade its future schedule and has added games against BYU, Ole Miss, Washington, Washington State, Michigan State, Virginia and Oregon State.
Here are the updated future non-conference schedules for Virginia:
William & Mary
@ Boise State