Latest from The Spokesman-Review
Dominique Blackman, Idaho's newly minted first-string quarterback, will not start Thursday's season opener with Eastern Washington, the Idaho student newspaper reported Tuesday. However, Vandals coach Robb Akey told a Boise radio station Tuesday that Blackman was UI's starter, and he referred to Blackman as such to the media on Monday.
We have more below.
Idaho has five practices left before Thursday's opener with Eastern Washington at the Kibbie Dome. And we have notes and a few position updates — as well as a look at the young Vandals' offensive line — below after talking to Robb Akey.
UPDATED 6:17 p.m.
The Idaho State Board of Education today approved the University of Idaho's request to become an FBS independent in football and “negotiate and accept” an invite to the Big Sky.
We have more below.
Two weeks ago, the Vandals started fall camp. And two weeks from Thursday, they’ll be opening the season at the Kibbie Dome against Eastern Washington. Where are the Vandals halfway through the preseason? The third scrimmage of fall camp gave some answers. Read more after the jump.
UPDATED: 6:20 p.m.
The University of Idaho will seek approval Friday from the Idaho State Board of Education to go independent in football and move to the Big Sky Conference in all other sports. According to the Idaho Statesman, UI presented to the board Wednesday in an executive session.
Friday's meeting will be public, and UI's conference reshuffling is the only agenda item. More after the jump.
What was evident Saturday in the Vandals’ scrimmage became reality today. Idaho coach Robb Akey said Dominique Blackman will start the season opener vs. Eastern Washington. Blackman beat out Taylor Davis, who started three games last year but is now in a battle for the No. 2 job with senior Logan Bushnell.
Read more below.
After two scrimmages and 10 days of fall camp, things are coming into focus for the Idaho Vandals. Most notably, the quarterback competition — which heated up in the spring — seems to have titled in Dominique Blackman's favor. That was abundantly clear today at the Kibbie Dome. More after the jump.
For the last couple of years, the Idaho defense has typically been the dominant unit during scrimmages. Not so this afternoon in the Kibbie Dome. The offense rolled up nine touchdowns and four field goals, and UI's group of quarterbacks had eight TDs with one interception.
Read more below.
So I've seen the Vandals' new gold-speckled black helmets up close now, and I can tell you they look good. They'll look even better with a decal on the side (which apparently will be the I-Vandals' logo). That's all for today's fashion report. Let's talk football.
Robb Akey was his typical talkative self today in a conference call with reporters. The Idaho coach ran through a string of topics in advance of the Vandals' fall camp opening on Thursday afternoon.
Read on for our story and notes.
In preseason polls released today at the WAC football preview in Las Vegas, the Idaho football team was tabbed to finish fifth by the league's coaches and fourth by the media. Louisiana Tech was the overwhelming favorite in both polls to win the league in what is likely to be the final year of WAC football.
Interim WAC commissioner Jeff Hurd said today it's “much more likely” that Idaho and New Mexico will go the independent route than the league being able to reconstitute itself after mass defections.
For more on Idaho's perspective, click below.
The Beavers won, 34-6.
A GRIP ON SPORTS • ADDITION: 9:25 A.M.
Really, could there have been better weather to celebrate Mother's Day? The sun was shining, the temperature rose into the high 70s and the weeds seemed to almost pull themselves. OK, I was exaggerating a bit on that last part, but it was nearly perfect. And if you live outside of the Inland Northwest and your day was cloudy and blah, I'm sorry for gloating. Read on.
University of Idaho wide receiver Ken McRoyal was shot and killed at around 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning at a Los Angeles party, according to a Los Angeles TV station. UI confirmed McRoyal's death, but provided no details.
McRoyal, a senior-to-be and former walk-on from the Los Angeles area, posted on his Facebook page that he was in LA to visit his 2-year-old daughter. “It’s a devastating loss,” coach Robb Akey said. “We’ve lost a brother, a teammate, a family member. But, more importantly, a momma lost her son today.”
More details to follow.
With Utah State and San Jose State's move to the Mountain West official — and other WAC schools off to Conference USA and the Sun Belt — Idaho athletic director Rob Spear spoke with reporters for 25 minutes this afternoon. He laid out four options for the Vandals, with an emphasis on retaining FBS status.
Read on for more.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
There was a lot of response yesterday to my thoughts on remaining a Mariner fan. To be honest, I appreciate the advice, but have yet to make up my mind. It isn't a results-based analysis, so the fact the M's lost again yesterday isn't really a factor. It's more about the process, which starts at the top and filters down to the field. Read on.
It's been a wild past few days for conference realignment. All signs point to the WAC losing Utah State, San Jose State, Louisiana Tech and soon-to-be members Texas State and Texas-San Antonio. That would leave just Idaho and New Mexico State as football-playing members.
In response, UI released a statement this evening in which it said it was “disappointed in the recent changes that are driven not by tradition, academic quality, competitiveness, or the student experience, but by money.”
Read on for the full statement.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
It just may be time. Time to sell my allegiance. Time to give up being a Seattle Mariner fan and start rooting for another team. Time to root for a team with an ownership that wants to win consistently and is willing to do what it takes to make that happen. Or is it the wrong thing to do? Read on.
FROM PULLMAN — The Battle of the Palouse will continue in 2013. The official Twitter account of University of Idaho athletics confirmed what athletic director Rob Spear told Scout.com — Idaho and Washington State will face each other at Martin Stadium in 2013, the first meeting between the schools since 2007.
So it appears WSU's 2013 non-conference schedule is set. Bill Moos has said previously that the Cougars will travel to Auburn in 2013, and Brigham Young will play a return game at Martin Stadium as part of their home-and-home deal (though official schedules have not been released yet.)
Texas-San Antonio was set to join the WAC this summer. But the Roadrunners now appear headed to the Conference USA in 2013 — along with current WAC member Louisiana Tech. And the WAC's losses might not end there. CBSsports.com reported Saturday morning that Utah State and San Jose State are expected to move to the Mountain West Conference in 2013 as well.
Read on for more on what this means for Idaho and the WAC.