Boise State-Michigan State set series

Boise State and Michigan State will open the 2012 season on Friday, Aug., 31, in Spartan Stadium as both teams got the marquee non-conference matchup they wanted.

The Broncos once again will hit the road for a Labor Day showdown to be televised on ESPN. They played Virginia Tech this year on Labor Day night at FedEx Field and won 33-30. Next season, they open at Ole Miss on Sept. 3.

Much has been made about the non-conference schedule Boise State plays, and whether it is enough to make up for its weak WAC schedule. Next season, Boise State joins the Mountain West and will automatically have a schedule upgrade in league play. But even non-conference games Boise State plays get criticized. So do attempts at scheduling non-conference games. Headlines were made this year when Boise State turned down the chance to play Nebraska in a two-for-one deal.

This is a two-for-1 deal between Boise State and Michigan State. The two will also play a home-and-home in 2022 and 2023. The Broncos will receive a payday of $1.2 million for 2012, and the teams will exchange $300,000 for the 2022 and 2023 games.

Of course, there is the possibility the two could meet in the Rose Bowl this year. If Michigan State wins the Big Ten and the Pac-10 champion plays in the national championship game, the Rose Bowl would be required to take the top qualifier from the non-AQ schools. That could be Boise State.

For Michigan State, the news is also good in terms of schedule upgrade.

The Spartans recently announced a home-and-home series with Miami and also will play Alabama and West Virginia in future years. The Spartans have extended their rivalry series with Notre Dame through 2031 with two-year breaks in 2014-15, 2020-21 and 2026-27.

The Broncos have future games set with BYU, but just had a series against Utah canceled because the Utes are joining the Pac-12 and will have a nine-game league schedule.