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Boise State deserved better than third-rate bowl

Quarterback Kellen Moore has led Boise State to 49 wins while throwing 140 touchdown passes. (Associated Press)
Quarterback Kellen Moore has led Boise State to 49 wins while throwing 140 touchdown passes. (Associated Press)

Kellen Moore deserves a better send off.

The Boise State quarterback, who has more victories as a starter than any college quarterback in history, will conclude his brilliant career Thursday night at the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas against Arizona State, a 6-6 team that has already had its coach fired.

What a waste.

In many ways there is no more damning indictment of the Bowl Championship Series and college football’s bloated bowl postseason than Moore and this group of Boise State seniors being relegated to a third-tier game.

Even mild-mannered coach Chris Petersen finally snapped at the BCS after his team’s latest snub. The Broncos were No. 8 in the final AP Top 25 for the regular season.

“Everybody is just very tired of the BCS,” Petersen told reporters in Idaho earlier this month. “I think that’s the bottom line. Everybody is frustrated. Everybody doesn’t really know what to do anymore. It doesn’t make sense to anybody. I don’t think anybody is happy anywhere.

“The whole thing needs to be changed, there’s no question about it,” he said. “ … I think (change) is coming, I really do.”

Too late for this band of Broncos, though.

In four seasons as a starter, Moore has led Boise State to 49 victories and thrown 140 touchdown passes, second on the NCAA career list.

Of course, it’s not just Moore.

Fellow seniors such as second-team All-American tackle Nate Potter, third-team All-American safety George Iloka, defensive tackles Billy Winn and Chase Baker, and running back Doug Martin have formed the foundation of team that has lost twice the last two seasons. Both times they were a last-second field goal away from earning BCS bids.

Instead, it’s been two straight postseason trips to Las Vegas.

There’s no denying Boise State’s gaudy record has been inflated by playing in conferences – the Western Athletic Conference, before coming to the Mountain West this season – with more than a few soft spots.

There is also no denying the Broncos have proved capable of beating good teams from power conferences. Just ask Oregon, Georgia and Virginia Tech.

The bowl seasons should have been another chance to see Boise State take on the heavyweights, to find out if the Broncos were truly worthy of being labeled national championship contenders.

Maybe Moore would have been buried by a good SEC defense. Maybe Winn and company would have been shredded by a Big 12 offense. The haters could have happily dismissed Boise State as a fraud.

Or maybe the Broncos would have cut a couple of more of the so-called college football elite down to size and stuck it to the doubters.

Come to think of it, it’s not just Moore who deserved better, it’s all college football fans.

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