MOSCOW, Idaho (AP) — Idaho will drop to the Football Championship Subdivision beginning in 2018 and intends to join the Big Sky Conference.

Idaho President Chuck Staben made the announcement Thursday. The Vandals will remain at the Football Bowl Subdivision level for the next two seasons as part of the transition to the lower division. The move is pending approval from the Idaho State Board of Education.

Staben says "our relevance will be complemented by our football program, not defined by it."

Idaho first made the jump to the FBS in 1996 along with fellow in-state member Boise State. But the Vandals struggled at the higher level with conference stability and the increased expenditures. Idaho's decision came after the Sun Belt announced in March that it would go with 10 teams and drop the Vandals as a football member.