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Boise State holds on to beat Idaho

The Idaho Vandals thundered back from 23 points down in the second half to make Boise State sweat, but the Broncos outlasted UI 98-89 at CenturyLink Arena in Boise on Wednesday night.

The Vandals (3-4) closed within five points, 94-89, with 43 seconds remaining on a Mike Scott layup to cap a 37-19 tear over seven-plus minutes. But BSU — and Derrick Marks specifically — was masterful from the free-throw line in the final minutes. Marks finished with a career-high 39 points. He was 21 of 23 from the foul line and scored the Broncos' final 15 points, all but two of which came from the line.

Stephen Madison poured in a season-high 26 points and eight rebounds. Glen Dean had 15 points and Scott contributed 14 off the bench. Still, tthe Vandals gave up 28 points in the paint in the first half, when BSU shot over 60 percent.

“I have to grow this team up, and I thought they grew up a little tonight,” coach Don Verlin said. “We got better. I’m not going to let them have a moral victory. You can’t accept that when you’re the coach of the Vandals, but you also have to build this team and I thought we got a little better tonight.”

This was the fifth straight win for BSU (5-0) in a rivalry that's turned into a once-a-season affair in Boise. Idaho's last win over the Broncos came on Feb. 6, 2010.

More below.

Boise State Can’t Play In UI’s League

Memo to Don Soltman, President, Idaho Board of Education:

With all due respect allow me to bring to your attention the most recent ranking of universities and colleges in the United States put out annually by U.S. News and World Report. Please note that Idaho’s land grant university, the University of Idaho, despite the reduced rations the board and legislature have had it on, still is ranked 161list of national universities. The faculty, the administration, boosters, alumni and students are all to be congratulated on this accomplishment for it comes despite your and Governor Otter’s systematic starving of its budget and your increasingly burdening students with more fees and charges. … Boise State is listed as #65 on the list of best REGIONAL universities in the west. Idaho State made the list of “also rans” (somewhere between 200 and 300) among NATIONAL universities. Spokane’s Gonzaga University is listed as #4 on that list of best western regional universities/Chris Carlson, Carlson Chronicles. More here.

Question: Would you rather have a nationally ranked football team (which Boise State currently doesn't) than a college known for quality academics?

UI Grads Earn More Than BSU’s

The 2013-14 PayScale College Salary report offers an interesting factoid — University of Idaho graduates start with higher salaries and are still earning more at mid-career that their Boise State University counterparts. The report shows that University of Idaho graduates average a beginning salary of $45,300 and are earning an average of $82,700 by mid-career. By contrast, Boise State graduates average a starting salary of $43,100 and are earning $67,000 by mid-career. UIdaho is tied for 242nd among USA's colleges, while Boise State ranks 648th. Maybe there's more to Idaho secondary education than a natonal college football ranking? You can see the entire report here.

Question: What do you make of this report?

Panhandle Prefers Ducks To Broncos

Just how popular are the Broncos in the Gem State and elsewhere? The folks at social media giant Facebook have an answer — sort of. Late last week, Facebook released its first NCAA college football fan map, similar to maps it has done in recent years showing the allegiances of its users to specific NFL and MLB teams. Using the AP's Top 25 preseason rankings, Facebook analyzed how many “likes” each Top 25 team's official Facebook page had in every county in every state. Boise State, which was 19th in the preseason rankings before dropping out altogether this week after being throttled by Washington in the season opener, won the popularity contest in the majority of Idaho counties. But it wasn't a Gem State shutout. Oregon, which dominates much of the West Coast in the Facebook popularity map, also stole some Idaho counties — Camas and Blaine in central Idaho as well as Lewis County and every county north of it/Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP photo: Oregon's Chance Allen (20) celebrates his touchdown run against Nicholls State Saturday)

Question: Are you surprised that the Oregon Ducks are more popular than the Boise State Broncos in the Idaho Panhandle?

Vandals falter late in loss to Boise State

Idaho led by as many as 11 points Thursday night against rival Boise State at CenturyLink Arena in Boise. But the Vandals' most glaring weakness this season — an inability to lock down defensively late in games — was their undoing again. The Broncos shot 61 percent in the second half to pull away late for a 78-68 win.

Boise State's explosive offense came alive in the second half. After missing all seven of their 3-point attempts in the first half, the Broncos were 5 of 8 from outside after halftime. They outscored Idaho 49-31 in the second half.

Idaho finished nonconference play at 4-6. Boise State moved to 8-2.

More below.

Civil War Event Set At Boise State

Leading Civil War scholars from around the nation will gather at Boise State University on Oct. 25 for a day-long conference entitled, “Why The Civil War Still Matters.” The conference is sponsored y the Andrus Center for Public Policy, the Idaho Humanities Council and the Idaho Council for History Education. Advance registration is required; the $25 registration fee, which includes lunch, will be waived for any current high school or college student. Marc Johnson, president of the Andrus Center, said the conference marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Are you interested in the Civil War?

Boise State In Chick-fil-A Quandary

Fast food restaurant Chick-fil-A is the target of protests and boycotts across the country. The company’s CEO recently angered gay rights activists with statements opposed to same sex marriage and his financial support for anti-gay marriage groups. Chick-fil-A is a privately owned company but what happens when that private company meets a public institution? The Chick-fil-A in the Boise State University Student Union Building is doing brisk business these days. It’s one of the few things open during the summer. But Ryan Gregg won’t eat there and he’ll ask his friends not to. That’s as far as Boise State’s student body president is willing to go right now. Gregg says that’s got him some criticism from other gay students. “Students say how can you be the first openly gay president and not rail against this.” Gregg answers, the Chick-fil-A in the SUB is there because students chose it in a survey. He says students must decide what comes next/Adam Cotterell, Boise State Radio. More here. (AP photo: Same-sex couples kiss during national kiss-in protest, outside a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Fresno, Calif., Friday.)

Question: Should Boise State keep the Chick-fil-A restaurant open?

Boise State Joins Crusade For Kramer

Boise State president Bob Kustra is joining the rush of support to get former Idaho Vandals All-American and Green Bay Packers legend Jerry Kramer into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Boise State announced Thursday it is urging “Bronco Nation” to participate in a letter writing campaign. “In addition to being one of the greatest football players of all time, Kramer also is an outstanding citizen of Boise and a true ambassador of Idaho,” wrote Kustra in his June 15 letter to the Senior Selection Committee. “His commitment, volunteerism, and loyalty to our community are values shared by Boise State University and qualities we feel are equally important as his athletic accomplishments.” … In 1969, Kramer was named the ‘Outstanding Guard of the First 50 Years of Football’ by the NFL, but he is the only player on that list who is not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame/Idaho Press Tribune. (IPT photo by Charlie Litchfield)

Sho-Con: Boise State Superfluous

Shoshone Conservative: BSU, on the other hand, was an entirely unnecessary additional State University built solely for the purpose to spare Treasure Valley denizens from having to dirty themselves by leaving the Great State of Ada for their higher education. Then, after turning their community college into a 4-year university, they stick their own taxpayers with the expense of building a new community college to replace it (CWI). I suppose it also serves the purpose of giving Boise the next best thing to an NFL team: A pretty good college team, with the mascot, logo, and colors of an NFL team (I’m really surprised, actually, that Denver hasn’t sued them, or sent one of those “cease and desist” letters). Then they put a big-mouthed Chicago politician in charge so they can use every Machiavellian tactic they can to take money away from the other universities.

Question: Sho-Con argues that the state Bored of Education is trying to create a fiction that the state's universities are on equal footing (re: “flagship” flap). In reality, he sez, Idaho is the main land grant college, enshrined in the state's Constitution. Should UIdaho remain the first among equals?

Carlson: Kustra Ambushed ‘Flagship’

Idaho media recently carried reports that the State Board of Education had unanimously voted to strip the word “flagship” from the University of Idaho’s mission statement. President Duane Nellis appeared stunned by the move. He should not have been – even this scribe pointed out a year ago in several columns that shang-haing the title of flagship away from the land grant university was part of BSU President Bob Kustra’s five-year game plan to have the Boise State campus be perceived by the public and politicians as the real flagship in Idaho’s university system. The apparent ease with which President Kustra pulled off the move not only is a testament to his political and p.r. skills, it also says much about President Nellis’ passive nature. Vandal partisans should ask pointedly why their president, despite all the obvious signs, failed to see this coming and did nothing to block it/Chris Carlson, The Carlson Chronicles. More here.

Question: Do you credit BSU President Bob Kustra's Machavellian skill or UI President Duane Nellis's passivity for the Bored of Education's decision to remove “flagship” from UI's mission statement?

Why Did Ed Board Sink ‘Flagship’?

In a clumsy, method-to-madness way, the State Board of Education spiced up what could have been a dull discussion about mission statements. Just remove the word “flagship” from the University of Idaho’s mission statement, and it’s like football season all over again. Vandal haters went online to talk smack and share a few virtual fist bumps. Vandal faithful, stunned and blindsided, looked around for a referee to boo. A role played happily by the State Board, which started rewording the universities’ mission statements Wednesday, one day before pointing a torpedo at the U of I’s flagship. The board’s idea was to remove wording that gives one university preeminence over the others — to level the proverbial playing field/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Did this level the playing field for all Idaho colleges? Or simply set up a situation — like BSU President Bob Kustra's dig at UI fans — that'll be remembered for years?

Read more here: http://voices.idahostatesman.com/2012/02/17/krichert/idaho_politics_why_did_state_board_sink_u_is_flagship#storylink=twt#storylink=cpy

AM: Is Petersen Worth $2M Salary?

Boise State head coach Chris Petersen walks the sidelines during NCAA college football game against Utah in Boise Dec. 4. Petersen is poised to join the ranks of college coaches making more than $2 million per year. The State Board of Education is expected to vote today on a $375,000 raise in Petersen's 2012 salary. The board will also consider a new five-year deal next month in hopes of keeping Petersen from looking for other lucrative and challenging opportunities elsewhere. See story below. (AP Photo/Matt Cilley, File)

Idaho falls flat late again

The new year, and a new month, will be a welcome sight for the Idaho Vandals. They dropped their third straight game and fourth in December — each coming by no more than three points — with a 76-73 loss to Boise State at the Idaho Center in Nampa. Idaho stands at 7-7 heading into WAC play, and it has lost three straight to Leon Rice's BSU club.

Read on.

Different feel for Idaho-Boise St. hoops

The Idaho and Boise State men's basketball teams have met every year since 1971, and off and on for many years before that. But this time it's different.

Read on for the reasons why, and a preview of the nonconference showdown set for 11 a.m. PST on Saturday.

Boise State To Join Big East

Boise State’s highly ranked football program officially accepted an invitation from the Big East on Wednesday, ending months of speculation about the Broncos’ future conference plans. The rest of Boise State’s programs are going to the Western Athletic Conference, which was the Broncos’ home from 2001 to 2011. The conference moves will take effect July 1, 2013. “Today’s announcement represents another significant step forward in the evolution of the Bronco football program and in the incredible growth of Boise State University. The move to the Big East Conference makes a powerful statement about our vision for the future of the football program, and more than ever will showcase the Broncos in the national spotlight,” Boise State President Bob Kustra said/Brian Murphy, Statesman. More here. (Joe Jaszewski Statesman photo: Boise State is stiff-arming the Mountain West and bringing its powerhouse football program to the Big East in 2013)

Question: What do you think about the Boise State sports programs beyond football returning to the Western Athletic Conference?

BSU’s Petersen Rips BCS System

Boise State football coach Chris Petersen said Monday it’s time to scrap the Bowl Championship Series system that left Nos. 6 Arkansas, 7 Boise State, 8 Kansas State and 9 South Carolina out of the elite bowls in favor of four teams ranked outside the Top 10. “The whole thing needs to be changed, there’s no question about it,” he said. “… I think (change) is coming, I really do.” The Broncos (11-1) were left out of a BCS game with a Top 10 ranking for the fourth time in eight years. This time, they were passed over for a Sugar Bowl matchup that features No. 11 Virginia Tech (11-2) and No. 13 Michigan (10-2). Virginia Tech lost by 28 points Saturday and hasn’t beaten anyone currently ranked. “Everybody is just very tired of the BCS,” Petersen said. “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”/Chadd Cripe, Idaho Statesman. More here. (Joe Jaszewski Statesman/AP photo: QB Kellen Moore takes the field against New Mexico Sunday)

Question: Do you agree with BSU football coach Chris Petersen that everyone's tired of BCS bowl system? And/or: Do you want to see LSU & Alabama face each other for second time, in championship game?

ESPN Analyst James Ranks BSU 24th

ESPN analyst Craig James has drawn the ire of Boise State football fans again this week with his ballot in The Associated Press Top 25. James ranked the Broncos 24th — seven spots lower than any of the other 59 panelists. And those seven points were costly. If James had voted the Broncos 17th, they’d be tied for No. 6 instead of tied for No. 9. Earlier this year, James railed against the Broncos as national title contenders on ESPN’s “BCS Countdown” show. James had the Broncos ranked No. 8 before their loss to TCU, tied for the lowest among AP voters. He dropped them to No. 25 after that one-point loss/Dan Popkey, Statesman. More here. H/T: Orbusmax.

Question: Is it fair that one person with voting privileges can pull once-defeated Boise State down in the polls as a result of his ridiculous balloting?

UCLA Wants Boise State’s Petersen

Boise State's Chris Petersen will be the first coach UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero will approach about the Bruins' football job, according to influential people with knowledge of the situation who are not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. Guerrero, who on Monday announced the firing of Rick Neuheisel, is expected to make a trip to Boise to meet with Petersen. UCLA is believed to be able to offer a contract worth more than $3 million annually that includes donations from boosters. Plans to refurbish the Bruins’ practice facility and a commitment of about $2 million for assistant coaches are expected to be part of the package, accord to one person close to the situation/Los Angeles Times. More here. (Charlie Litchfield's Idaho Press-Tribune photo: Boise State head coach Chris Petersen and Kellen Moore (11) talk with an official during the TCU game.)

Question: Can Boise State keep winning without Petersen?

Poll: Return Vandals To Big Sky

  • Weekend Poll: A supermajority wants to see the Idaho Vandals return to the lower-division Big Sky Conference and re-form national rivalries with Montana, Montana State, & Eastern Washington. 85 of 120 respondents (70.83%) wants Idaho to quit trying to keep up with Boise State in Division I football and return to the Big Sky. Only 29 of 120 (24.17%) wants the Vandals to stay in Division I football at all costs. 6 (5%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Which of the anti-Bloem administration challengers will win Coeur d'Alene City Council seats Tuesday?

BSU: College Football’s Kardashians

Boise State to the Big East Conference. Really, that’s all we need to read to understand that when it comes to the shuffle of college football’s backstabbers and soul-sellers from conference to conference, it’s not a matter of getting our arms around it but of applying palm to forehead. To the genre of one-word disaster/doom movies – “Twister,” “Outbreak,” and “Armageddon” – let us add a new entry: “Realignment.” Not all precincts have reported, but the latest count reveals that 24 college football programs have divorced and remarried in the last, oh, 20 months, or will within the next week if you believe the drumbeat. Two of them – TCU and Boise State – will have done so twice, a Kardashian pace/John Blanchette, SR. More here.

Question: Would Boise State find happiness in the Big East?

State Board gives Boise OK; Vandals exploring options

The Idaho State Board of Education today gave Boise State the OK to pursue membership in the Big East as a football-only member, a move that could have major implications for the Western Athletic Conference and the University of Idaho. If Boise State moves to the Big East, its other sports could move to the WAC, West Coast Conference or another conference that makes geographic sense. BSU president Bob Kustra said he's in discussions with one conference in particular to house the Broncos' Olympic sports.

Kustra also told the State Board that Conference USA could grab current WAC members New Mexico State and Louisiana Tech if the Big East adds Houston, SMU and Central Florida in its expansion, while the Mountain West could take Utah State. San Jose State has also been rumored to the MWC.

With all this conference movement still in flux, Idaho AD Rob Spear declined to comment when reached by The Spokesman-Review. “As you can imagine, we are exploring mutiple scenarios,” Spear said in an email.

Ex-Bronco Kicker Puts Past Behind Him

There is at least one Boise State fan who hasn’t spent time worrying about the end of last year’s 34-31 overtime loss to Nevada. The man at the center of the action in Reno. Kicker Kyle Brotzman missed a game-winning 26-yard field goal attempt at the end of regulation and a 29-yard attempt just moments later in overtime. But Brotzman, who is back in the Treasure Valley after kicking for the Utah Blaze of the Arena Football League this summer, isn’t dwelling on the misses as Nevada makes a trip to Bronco Stadium — the first meeting between the teams since that fateful night in November. Brotzman, the all-time leading scorer among kickers in FBS, is coaching kickers at Rocky Mountain High, refereeing high school soccer games and planning to return to the Blaze next season. Brotzman made 41-of-48 extra-point attempts and 1-of-2 field goal tries in six games with Utah/Brian Murphy, Idaho Statesman. More here. (Cathleen Allison's AP file photo —  Kyle Brotzman reacts after missing a 29 yard field goal attempt during overtime against Nevada last Nov. 26, 2010.)

Question: What was the worst flub by a player from a team that you root for?

Boise State Throttles Toledo 40-15

Toledo wide receiver Eric Page, center, is tackled by Boise State linebacker (and former Lake City Timberwolf) Byron Hout, left, and cornerback Jerrell Gavins, right, in the second quarter of an NCAA college football game in Toledo, Ohio, Friday. Visiting No. 4-ranked Boise State throttled Toledo 40-15. ESPN/AP story & scoreboard here. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)

Question: Any diehard fans of the Idaho Vandals out there think Boise State isn't worthy of a No. 4 ranking?

BP: Idaho Bests BSU In Academics

re: Uidaho tops WAC in U.S. News & World Report rankings

In a WAC forum re: the disparity of U.S. News & World Report rankings of UIdaho (No. 160 nationally) and Boise State (No. 67 regionally), a poster asked: “Do you mean to say the Boise State Football Team fields a college?” A Berry Picker emails additional insight to Huckleberries: “The difference in academic programs between Idaho and Boise St. is somewhat in inverse proportion to the difference in their football teams.  I guess people need to decide which is most important but I think it's important to remember that leadership in football does not necessarily go hand-in-hand with academic prowess.  The other 'national university' in Idaho (in terms of the USNWR rankings) is Idaho State which was unranked.  While it would be nice to see Idaho higher than 160 I think the taxpayers and their children are getting a pretty good return on a declining investment.”

Question: Which is more important — a nationally ranked football team or superior academics?

PM: ‘Won’t Happen Again’ — Kustra

Boise State President Bob Kustra talks with an Associated Press reporter about the NCAA violations imposed on them today at his office in Boise. The NCAA placed Boise State on probation for three years and imposed other sanctions Tuesday for major violations by the football program and other sports. The sanctions included a public reprimand, a one-year postseason ban for women's tennis and recruiting restrictions and scholarship reductions. Some of the penalties had previously been self-imposed by the university. Story here. (AP Photo/Matt Cilley)

NCAA Hits Boise State w/Sanctions

The NCAA found that Boise State lacked institutional control within its athletic department and added additional sanctions, including more football scholarship and practice reductions, to the school’s self-imposed penalties. In a 73-page report release Tuesday, the NCAA Committee on Infractions outlined its findings in Boise State’s first major infractions case. The committee met with Boise State and several officials for 13 hours on June 10 and concluded “that the scope and nature of the violations in five sports over a lengthy period of time, five years, in combination with a continuous pattern of violations in the men’s and women’s tennis programs demonstrate a lack of institutional control.” The Broncos’ highly ranked football team will face scholarship reductions from 85 to 82 in 2011, 2012 and 2013/Brian Murphy, Statesman. More here. (AP file photo, of BSU coach Chris Petersen)

Question: How will the NCAA penalties affect Boise State's reputation?

Popkey: UI, BSU Racist Claims Wrong

Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman columnizes this morning that the respected Southern Poverty Law Center missed the target when it sounded the alarm about Boise State and University of Idaho. Seems Boise State and UI  have two of the 10 “active” chapters of the racist Youth for Western Civilization. But Popkey discovered “active” might be a stretch re: what he found on the two Idaho campuses. Popkey: “The BSU chapter was founded in March 2010 and vanished by fall term. … At the U of I, YWC is not recognized as a student group. Last school year, a single U of I student, Alexander Rowson, worked with an official chapter at Washington State University, erecting a chain-link fence to protest illegal immigration and selling “Straight Pride” T-shirts to counter Gay and Lesbian Pride month. At the U of I, four people protested the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s visit. More here.

Question: What do you make of the SPLC claim that Idahoans should be alarmed at Youth for Western Civilization activity at UI and Boise State?

Boise State On SI’s Western Cover

Kellen Moore will appear on the new issue of Sports Illustrated that will hit newsstands tomorrow, according to the Idaho Press-Tribune & Idaho Statesman.

Sports Illustrated is going with two covers this week — and one features Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore. Click on the thumbnails for larger images. The national cover features LSU. Boise State's cover will be distributed throughout the West — to Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado. The Boise State headline is, “It’s Go Time: Boise State is BCS Busting (Again).” Boise State also has a small headline on the LSU cover/Chadd Cripe, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Does the success of the Boise State Broncos football team affect the national perception of Idaho in a positive way?

Noon: Blueless At Boise State

File this one under “Y” for “You’ve got to be kidding.” The Mountain West conference, the new home to Boise State University’s athletic program, has told the football team it can’t wear its traditional all-blue uniforms for home games anymore. Seriously. If you follow the Broncos football program, you’ve probably heard some interesting theories revolving around BSU’s trademark blue playing field. One myth is that birds are always crash-diving into it, mistaking it for a large body of water. That one has led to some pretty clever T-shirts. Another theory is that the Broncos have an unfair advantage wearing all-blue uniforms at home because, since that is the same color as their field, they blend in and are harder for opposing players to see/Idaho Press-Tribune Editorial Board. More here. (AP file photo: action in 2010 game between Boise State and Oregon State in Boise)

Question: Do you think Boise State has an unfair advantage when it wears blue on its blue-turf football field?

Boise State Leaves WAC Today

(Today) marks Boise State’s final day as a member of the Western Athletic Conference — a welcome milestone for many around the Broncos, who have long chased the Mountain West membership that begins Friday. But before the balloons rise and the confetti falls, before the celebratory toasts and the logo changes, Boise State owes the league it is leaving a simple statement: Thank you. Thanks for the opportunity, the exposure, the support, the cheerleading, the scheduling, the marketing. Thank you. It wasn’t a one-way relationship, no doubt/Brian Murphy, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Are you sorry to see Boise State leave the WAC? Or excited to see what will become of the Broncos in the new Mountain West Conference?