Friday, January 21, 2011

LOI Details Announced

Bronco fans can go check out what could be Boise State's finest football recruiting class on LOI Day, Wednesday, February 2.  The official party with the coaches is set for the Stueckle Center in Bronco Stadium beginning at 5 p.m.  Tickets are $30 and can be obtained at  Get them now!

KTIK's Jeff Caves will once again host the LOI Day celebration that has become a tradition with Bronco fans.  I believe Jeff has been doing that for 13 years now and he does an excellent job interviewing the new recruits and interacting with the fans.  The KTIK show will again be at Buffalo Wild Wings on Eagle Road.  This year, in addition to the usual great show, KTIK will be broadcasting Coach Chris Petersen's live news conference announcing the new Boise State recruits at 1:30 p.m.

The schedules give Bronco fans a chance to attend both ceremonies.  They both are excellent and not to be missed!

Teams Keep Running Away From Boise State

The college football nation is beginning to see how schools react when they are faced with playing Boise State.  Bronco Athletic Director Gene Bleymaier has maintained for years that teams dodge Boise State and the evidence backs him up.

Last year, Boise State announced that it was making a long-desired move to the Mountain West Conference.  Simply put, the school could not achieve its goals in the Western Athletic Conference, and a conference schedule that included Utah, BYU, TCU, Air Force, San Diego State and others would finally give the football team the strength of schedule it desired.  In fact, it appeared to all that the Mountain West lineup would surely be given automatic qualification into a BCS (Bowl Championship Series) Bowl.  That schedule, plus an upgraded out-of-conference schedule, would be able to finally land the Broncos in the BCS Championship game.

However, within days of news that Boise State was joining the Mountain West, Utah announced it would leave the Mountain West.  A few weeks later, BYU announced that it too would leave the Mountain West.  But not before trying to sabotage Boise State's move by attempting a power play that the Cougars thought would make the Broncos come crawling back to the WAC.  That plan went awry and was publicly exposed, much to the embarrassment of BYU and fellow conspirator Utah State.  After their idea backfired, BYU announced it would leave the MWC and be an independent.  A few short months later, the third of the big three in the Mountain West, TCU, announced that it too was leaving.

Note that none of these three bolted before it was announced that Boise State would be joining the conference effective next year.  They bolted after the announcement--big difference.  If they really wanted to leave the Mountain West, they could have done so at any time, but did not decide to shop their wares until they learned Boise State would be joining them.  This is eerily similar to what Tulsa, Rice, SMU and UTEP did soon after Boise State joined the WAC, when those four took off for Conference USA. 

Even after Utah announced the decision to leave the Mountain West, they still had a standing three-game series with Boise State in football.  The Broncos had beaten Utah 36-3 in the first game of the scheduled four-game series.  Utah canceled the remaining three games of the schedule rather than play #8 Boise State.  The thought of playing the Broncos was so concerning to Utah that they paid $350,000 just to get out of the series. 

Now we hear word that Nevada is going to cancel its 2011 game with Boise State.  The game would have been penciled in anyway if Boise State were still in the WAC.  To make the transition to the Mountain West easy for both schools, they agreed to keep the game in 2011, with Boise State traveling to Reno when both schools were in the Mountain West.  Now, Nevada is apparently going to cancel their game with Boise State next year.  Why is that?

Combine all these eerie cancellations with the fact that in the past 16 months, Bleymaier has signed deals to play Virginia Tech, Georgia, Mississippi, Michigan State, Washington State and Washington, and it should be clear to even opposing fans that Bleymaier is indeed doing his level best to get Boise State's schedule upgraded.  When they made the move to the Mountain West, it was with the understanding that the top three teams would stay and that the conference would be an Automatic Qualifier.  And there can be no question that the out-of-conference schedule has gotten stronger by leaps and bounds, despite very few of those games mentioned above being in Bronco Stadium.

Which school is trying their damndest to get tougher games and which schools are walking away from them?

I will hear no more arguments against Boise State's strength of schedule.  You cannot on one hand watch high-quality teams back out of games against Boise State and then criticize Boise State because they don't have a tough schedule.  Any system (computer or otherwise) which attempts to downgrade the Broncos because of their schedule is a sham.  They would be penalizing a school because other schools don't want to play them.  This is wrong and flies in the face of basic fairness.  This isn't professional sports, but college, where the student-athlete is supposed to matter.  Penalizing one student because other teams run away from his team is not the proper course of action.