There are many reasons to hate a team in sports. There are teams that one generally hates as a sports fan, there are teams one hates because of past injustices, or proximity, or because their coach whines constantly, or because a player wronged you in the past. There is virtually no end of the reasons to hate teams, but despite all that... I don't really hate Boise State. In some ways it would be easy to hate them- their shades of orange and blue are painful together, they've beaten us twice- in two of our best seasons. They don't have a long history of playing football, but what history they do have is a heck of a lot better than some universities have accomplished in 90 years of playing, and all that success can certainly grate on one. However, though their fans can be obn(ug)oxious, they're also pretty funny, are good sports and are usually humble in a way that a lot of other obnoxious fanbases can't pull off. Besides it's not like TCU is really bereft of obnoxious fans either. Instead of an object of my enmity, what I see in Boise is somewhat akin to looking in a mirror. We've both had a wildly successful head coach leave us right before a bowl game for what they assumed were greener pastures (Colorado and Alabama) only to wash out, while the coordinators they left behind took the programs to new heights (and beatings of top ten ranked Oklahoma teams). Both schools have broken through the BCS ceiling, only to be rebuffed when it was suggested that they deserved more, and both school parlayed their success into being the most western schools invited to the Big East conference. Boise State is pretty much the same team as we are (though they're clearly the evil one), and though they've won two of our three games (and may very well win this fourth game) every game in the series could have gone the other way if just one play had gone differently- that's unreal for a series. They even have an annoying, trashy rival that is only close to even in the lifetime series due to one streak of competence which has long since passed, and I think there's a mutual feeling that if each team couldn't have their own present coach, the other teams coach is high on the list of candidates they'd want. A lot of TCU fans were excited for the Boise move because of the chance of getting to see excellent football every year, and both fanbases were eager to embrace this potential rivalry... and only after Boise was in talks to join the Big East with TCU did the key difference between the universities really rear its head. History. With the Big 12 extending an invitation, suddenly the TCU fans weren't as excited for Boise any more. They were excited to be back together with their old enemies, the ones forged over a hundred years of animosity, proximity and real or imagined slights. The university jumped at the chance, deciding that our historical ties, geographical proximity and the increased money that the Big 12 schools would give trumped the continued dominance of the football program. TCU and BSU would likely have lorded over the Big East (especially if Louisville and West Virginia were indeed grabbed by the Big 12 to get back to ten), earning BCS bid after BCS bid, and increase their chances for a title shot. That's certainly not to say TCU won't compete for BCS bids (or national title bids) in the Big 12- I think that in 2012 TCU has a chance to field its best and most successful team in history, but the odds of the Frogs winning the Big 12 every other year? When Texas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are all in golden days for their programs? It's foolishly optimistic to say that. TCU took the opportunity to "Join a real conference!" as the detractors to both TCU and BSU cry, and so the prospective rivalry between our two schools will likely not be played again (outside of a BCS or bowl setting). And in some ways, that may be a good thing. There are so few teams like TCU, I'd hate to have to hate the other one every year. Good luck in the Big East, Broncos, and good luck making your own history.
Feel free to all choke and die tomorrow though.