Idaho wants to go independent

BOISE, Idaho -- The University of Idaho is hoping to join the ranks of college football teams with independent status.

School officials on Friday will make their case to the Idaho State Board of Education that playing outside of a formal conference is in the best long-term interests of the Vandal football team.

Idaho athletic officials also are seeking permission to join the Big Sky Conference for non-football sports.

The Vandals now play in the Western Athletic Conference, but the league has been withering amid conference realignment.

Idaho is an original member of the Big Sky conference, and school officials say rejoining the league would re-establish historic rivalries with schools such as Montana, Montana State and Idaho State.

The state board is scheduled to vote on the proposal at a meeting Friday in Boise.