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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?

Boise State Blows $55K On Rapper

Despite waning state support for higher education during the past few years, Boise State University (BSU) found a way spend at least $55,000 to bring rapper Lupe Fiasco to perform at the Taco Bell arena Saturday for the school’s 37th annual “Spring Fling.” According to documents obtained by IdahoReporter.com, the performance was funded by student fees, which every student pays as part of the total bill for attending the school. Officials defended the pricy performance, saying that it was a good way for students to relax after long semesters of difficult studies/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Should any college in Idaho be blowing $55K on a rapper, during these hard economic times?

Statesman: BSU Violations Troubling

Boise State University’s NCAA violations include, almost literally, some nickel-and-dime stuff. Forty football players received $4,934 in impermissible benefits — the smallest totaling $2.34. But the problems have accumulated since 2005, involving coaches and players in several sports. This is a pattern, a troubling one. The situation is serious enough that BSU officials will go before the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions next month to explain their case — and then await word about penalties/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Has Boise State played a little fast & loose with the rules as a result of becoming a football power?

Carlson: Idaho’s ‘Flagship’ University?

Ten years ago, if anyone asked which university in this state was the “flagship” institution of higher ed, the top undergraduate and graduate school, the state’s Land Grant school, the University of Idaho at Moscow, would have been the response. Today that is not the perception. Many Idaho residents, especially in the Treasure Valley where one-third of the state’s population resides, would without hesitation say, Boise State University. The fact is indisputable: people equate success on the football field and the hardwood court to dominance as an educational institution/Chris Carlson, The Carlson Chronicle (via St. Maries Gazette Record). More here.

Question: Which university in Idaho do you think is the "flagship" institution? Why?

UI women thump BSU for third time

The third time looked like the first two. Idaho, after beating Boise State by 20 and 15 in the regular season, handled the Broncos by 11 in the opening round of the WAC women's basketball tournament.

Here's a link to my game story.

BSU No. 4 In Top 25 Criminal Counts

A comprehensive Sports Illustrated/CBS News special investigation found that 16 Boise State players had criminal charges, ranking the Broncos tied for No. 4 among teams in Sports Illustrated's 2010 preseason Top 25. The six-month investigation into 2,837 players found that 7 percent had criminal records and 8.1 percent of scholarship players had been in trouble. Only two of the Top 25 schools did background checks and none checked juvenile records. The investigation looked into players' complete criminal records, not just charges while in college. Pittsburgh (22 players charged) ranked No. 1 with Iowa and Arkansas (18 players charged each) tying for No. 2. Boise State was tied with Penn State/Brian Murphy, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Does this Sports Illustrated story tarnish Boise State's successful 2010 season?

Title Guy: Oregon Fans Obnoxious

In the comments section, Title Guy writes of the BCS Championship game won by No. 1 Auburn over No. 2 Oregon 22-19 last night: "Seeing Oregon LOSE made my year!!! Thier fans are nasty!!!" Some have said the same thing of Boise State. I enjoy having a team in Idaho that can challenge for a national championship, although I didn't appreciate the Broncos kicking the Idaho Vandals to the curb by jumping to the Mountain West and then refusing to continue their interstate rivalry with Idaho. On the other hand, I'm a bit sad for several colleagues in the Spokane office who graduated from University of Oregon and are in mourning today. I don't pay a lot of attention to chest-thumping by fans.

Question: Which college football fans are most obnoxious — Oregon's, Boise State's, or some other school?

Utah Player Disses ‘Girlsie State’

The battle between Boise State and Utah is still more than a day away on the football field – but the back and forth between the teams continues to heat up. After a physical scuffle Sunday night between players at a welcome event, one Utah wide receiver took the smack talk to Twitter. DeVonte’ Christopher wrote “I can’t wait to get out here with these Boise State or should I say Girlse State they a bunch of cheerleaders…lol”/KTVB. More here.

Question: Do you plan to watch Utah play 'Girlsie State' at MAACO Bowl in Las Vegas Wednesday?

BSU 2nd Academically Of Bowl Teams

If academics determined the Bowl Championship competitors, Oregon and Auburn would not be playing the championship game this year. They would be ranked seventeenth and twenty-first in the BCS standings. This is actually an improvement for Oregon over last year’s Academic BCS, when the team placed twenty-third. So who would be contending for the crystal trophy in Glendale, AZ, if the match-up was determined by academic performance? Stanford and Boise State are the class of the BCS, according to our rankings of the top 25 college football teams. That’s impressive, when you consider that both schools are in the top ten athletically as well — Stanford is ranked fourth, and Boise State comes in tenth in the BCS standings/Maggie Severns, Higher Education Watch. More here. (AP file photo: Boise State vs. Utah State Dec. 4)

Question: Does it matter to you how well the players on your favorite college team perform academically?

Akey Ranks No. 10 Broncos @ No. 14

In the USA Today Coaches Poll, Idaho Vandals coach ranked Boise State as No. 14 in the nation, while Bronco coach Chris Petersen put his team at No. 10. You can see the coaches’ rankings here. Overall, the Broncos, who will play Utah in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas, were ranked No. 10.

Question: How high would you rank the 11-1 Broncos?

Nevada Loss Won’t Define BSU Seniors

Boise State’s remarkable senior class will be introduced. There will be a coin flip. A kickoff. And, finally, another football game — an end to a week that felt like a year for many Boise State fans. It will feel different inside Bronco Stadium, for sure. We can’t know what the emotions will be, much of that is up to Bronco Nation, but it will no doubt contain a hint of disappointment and a lot of wondering what could have been. Instead of a coronation with roses, it will be a culmination — of the seniors’ four tremendous years, of the Broncos’ dominant WAC tenure — of the strangest week of Boise State football in the Chris Petersen era. It will take a while before Bronco Nation fully recovers from the Nevada Nightmare/Brian Murphy, Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP file photo of Kyle Brotzman after missed kick)

Question: Will Bronco Nation boo or cheer place-kicker Kyle Brotzman when he takes the field today against Utah State?

PM: Mayor, Nevada Prez Apologize

Nevada fans taunt Boise State Broncos defensive tackle Billy Winn (90) after the Broncos lost to the University of Nevada at Mackay Stadium in Reno on Friday, Nov. 26. Now, the Reno mayor and the Nevada president have issued a statement apologizing for the poor fan behavior. See below. (AP/Idaho Statesman file photo: Joe Jaszewski)

Boos Turn To Cheers For Brotzman

In the Los Angeles Times, Bill Plaschke writes: “I don’t cheer for a team. I don’t cheer for a player. I cheer for a position. I cheer for the college kicker lining up for a game-winning field goal. It doesn’t matter who he is. It doesn’t matter where he plays. It doesn’t even matter if the field goal would make my local team lose. I always cheer for the college kicker to be the hero, because I’m cheering against the undeserved pain he would suffer by being the goat.” Plaschke goes on to explain why he was cheering himself hoarse for Boise State kicker Kyle Brotzman after Brotzman missed the two field goals at the end of the Broncos’ loss to Nevada Friday. More here.

Question: Are you still celebrating/moaning Boise State’s loss to Nevada?

Bronco Nation (Hearts) Kyle Brotzman

Let’s face it - Kyle Brotzman will remember Friday night for the rest of his life.  It’s going to be a tough journey for the Boise State kicker. But thousands of people on Facebook hope to make that journey a little easier for the Bronco’s all time leading scorer. As of Tuesday morning, “Bronco Nation Loves Kyle Brotzman” has more than 30,000 fans on Facebook. “We love you Kyle, keep on doing what you do,” one user posted/KBOI. More here.

DFO: I consider this a pretty classy gesture.

Question: What advice would you give Kyle Brotzman re: his misfires against Nevada?

Poll: BSU Would Do Well In Pac-10

  • Weekend Poll: Most respondents (a combined 127 of 178, 72%) believe Boise State would do well if the Broncos played in the Pac-10, but would struggle to win the football title. 64 of 178 (36.36%) said BSU would be a perennial contender. Another 63 of 178 (35.23%) said BSU would generally finish in the middle of the pack. 24 (13.64%) thought the Broncos would still be champions, while 15 (7.95%) said they would fall to the cellar. 12 (6.82%) said the Broncos would be “also-rans” if they played in the Pac-10.
  • Today’s Poll: Did the FBI entrap the suspect in the alleged car bombing attempt in Portland?

Nevada 34, Boise State 31 In Overtime

Boise State Broncos kicker Kyle Brotzman reacts after missing a 29 yard field goal attempt during overtime of the NCAA college football game Friday night in Reno, Nev. No. 19 Nevada upset No. 4 Boise State 34-31 in overtime. Brotzman also missed what would have been a game-winning field goal as time expired in regulation play. ESPN game story & boxscore here. (AP Photo/Cathleen Allison)

Question: What will happen to Boise State in terms of bowl play?

PM: Kustra Denounces OSU Prez

Boise State University president Bob Kustra addresses members of the media during a news conference in Boise, in this file photo. Kustra said today that his counterpart at Ohio State’s claim that Big Ten and Southeastern Conference teams play a “murderer’s row” schedule “is the greatest exaggeration I think we’ve heard this year in college football.” See story below. (AP Photo/Idaho Press-Tribune Press-Tribune, Charlie Litchfield, File)

Ohio State Prez Disses Boise St, TCU

Even if TCU and Boise State run the table, they still don’t deserve to be in the Bowl Championship Series title game, Ohio State president E. Gordon Gee said Wednesday. In an interview with The Associated Press, the president at the university with the largest athletic program in the country said that TCU and Boise State do not face a difficult enough schedule to play in the national championship game. “Well, I don’t know enough about the Xs and Os of college football,” said Gee, formerly the president at West Virginia, Colorado, Brown and Vanderbilt universities. “I do know, having been both a Southeastern Conference president and a Big Ten president, that it’s like murderer’s row every week for these schools. We do not play the Little Sisters of the Poor. We play very fine schools on any given day”/Associated Press. More here. (AP file photo of Boise State football coach Chris Petersen)

Question: Do you agree with Ohio State prez E. Gordon Gee that Boise State and TCU play ‘Little Sisters of the Poor’ in beefing up their football records?

Hawaii May Leave For MWC, Too

Boise State’s new conference is starting to look an awful lot like its old one. Hawaii is poised to join the Mountain West Conference in football only, becoming the third WAC team to join the league since Boise State announced it was switching leagues in June. Negotiations between Hawaii and the Mountain West are ongoing, Hawaii and Mountain West officials said Thursday night. “We have a handshake but we do have to agree on the details,” Hawaii president M.R.C. Greenwood said at a press conference. She also termed it as “final discussions”/Brian Murphy, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: What becomes of Idaho, if Hawaii leaves for the Mountain West Conference, too?

Game Day in Moscow

The streets and hotels are just a tad bit busier than normal in Moscow with Vandal and Bronco fans streaming into the Palouse for tonight’s Idaho-Boise State clash. Gametime is 6 p.m. on ESPN2 and, we should mention, ESPN 3D.

Read on for links and more.

WAC Slaps Trash-Talking BSU Coach

Cross country might not seem like a sport filled with trash talk, but even it has given us a bit more fodder during the buildup to Friday’s Idaho-Boise State football game. Broncos cross country coach Brad Wick had this to say after the recent WAC meet at Moscow, in which his men’s team won the title: “Even though their team (Idaho) wasn’t our rival in the meet, it feels good to go there because their fans have very poor sportsmanship, so it feels extra good to get the WAC championship on their turf.” The quote appeared in the BSU student newspaper, the Arbiter. Here’s a link to the story. Perhaps these comments would have gone unnoticed, but on Wednesday morning, the WAC issued a reprimand of Wick/Matt Baney, Idaho Vandals blog. More here.

Question: Anyone have a good one-liner to toss in the thread below to trash talk one of the rivals involved in this week’s big game between visiting Boise State and Idaho?

Idaho Rejects Boise-Only Rivalry Site

Boise State coach Chris Petersen wants to play the Idaho rivalry game in Boise only. Idaho coach Robb Akey wants a home-and-home series. Listening to them Monday, it’s easy to see why there’s no plan for future games between the two schools, who will meet for the 40th consecutive year Friday but aren’t schedule to play in the next two years. Petersen repeated his sentiment that the game should be played in Boise. “There’s more Idaho alumni down here than anywhere else in the whole state,” Petersen said. “We’ve got a big stadium. If it’s a game everybody wants to see, let’s let everybody see it right here where all the seats are.” Akey scoffed at that suggestion/Chadd Cripe, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: After the shellacking that Idaho has taken at the hands of Hawaii & Nevada, do you think the Vandals can hold Boise State to under 60 points Friday?

Idaho Left Off Boise State Schedule

Boise State has filled its 2011 football schedule with two familiar foes: Fresno State and Nevada. But one familiar opponent is missing from the Broncos’ slate: Idaho. Boise State announced the additions to the 2011 schedule on Monday afternoon. Boise State will host Nevada on Oct. 1 and visit Fresno State on Oct. 8 — both Saturdays. It is likely that the Fresno State game could be on the ESPN family of networks. Nevada and Fresno State will join Boise State in the Mountain West in 2012, but will remain in the WAC in 2011. This year, Boise State hosts Fresno State on Nov. 19 and visits Nevada on Nov. 26/Brian Murphy, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Is Boise State doing a disservice to fans around Idaho by not scheduling a game with the Idaho Vandals for the next two years, preferring Fresno State & Nevada?

AM: Boise State’s Imperfect Victory

Boise State’s George Iloka (8) attempts to recover an onside kick by Louisiana Tech during the second half of an NCAA college football game Tuesday in Boise. Boise State won 49-20. Idaho Statesman story here. (AP Photo/Matt Cilley)

Question: Boise State fans are lamenting that their beloved Broncos didn’t beat Louisiana Tech as handily as other opponents. What do you think?

Murphy: Akey Puts Boise State No. 1

Idaho coach Robb Akey was one of 11 coaches to vote Boise State No. 1 in the latest USA Today Coaches Poll, he confirmed in an interview with Jeff Caves of 1350 AM KTIK. Boise State was ranked No. 2 in the coaches poll released Sunday. Akey does a taped interview each Wednesday that runs during “Idaho Sports Talk with Caves and Prater” from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on KTIK. Listen here to Akey’s short answer on voting Boise State No. 1. … Last week, Akey hinted that he did not vote Boise State No. 1. He called Boise State “one of the top teams in the country,” but said I was “reading too much into that quote” when I asked if that meant he voted Boise State No. 1/Brian Murphy, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you forgive Idaho Vandal coach Robb Akey for voting Boise State as the top college football team in the nation?

PM: UI Reinstates ‘Beat BSU’ Week

In this “North Idaho Diversions” photo, Skookum Photography’s Ralph Bartholdt offers one of his scenics from around the region. This one, I believe, is a shot of the condos, east of Coeur d’Alene’s City Hall, and is entitled: “Welcome to the Neighborhood.” You can see more of Ralph’s photography here.

AD Refuses To Discuss Ticket Shortage

Student ticket availability for the Nov. 12 football game against Boise State was scheduled to continue through Wednesday, but tickets were sold out by 4 p.m. Monday. Students were originally told they would be allotted their student ticket as well as the opportunity to buy two guest passes for $35 each. Lines started forming early Monday morning and extended outside the Kibbie Dome at points during the day before the final ticket was sold sometime between 3 and 4 p.m. UI Athletics spokeswoman Becky Paull said 5,400 tickets were allotted to students, up from the 4,400 that were originally made available, a change made in 2008. Director of Marketing and Licensing Nick Popplewell refused to comment on the topic and Athletic Director Rob Spear declined to be interviewed by a reporter outside his Kibbie Dome office, instead deferring to a departmental statement/Dara Barney, UI Argonaut. More here.

Question: Isn’t it cool that tickets to an Idaho Vandal football game are a hot commodity again?

INW: BSU On Sports Illustrated Cover

The “firsts” keep coming for the Boise State football team. The Broncos will be featured on the national cover of Sports Illustrated magazine this week. (BTW, that’s Byron Hout, former Lake City High star (No. 94) in the center of the photo.) The magazine hits news stands Wednesday. Boise State was on a regional cover of Sports Illustrated’s college football preview in August, but this is the school’s first national cover/AP via SportsLink. More here. (Sports Illustrated photo)

Question: Do you still prefer “Vandal Pride Week” over “Beat BSU Week” for the UI theme for the week prior to the big game in the Kibbie Dome?

Boise State on SI cover

The “firsts” keep coming for the Boise State football team.

The Broncos will be featured on the national cover of Sports Illustrated magazine this week.

The Idaho Statesman reports that SI writer Austin Murphy spent much of last week in Boise to report and write the story, while two photographers shot the Boise State-Oregon State game on Saturday night. The magazine hits news stands Wednesday.

Boise State was on a regional cover of Sports Illustrated’s college football preview in August, but this is the school’s first national cover.

Boise State’s game against Oregon State also drew ESPN’s “College GameDay” show to Boise for the first time on Saturday. And the game against Oregon State was the first regular-season Boise State game to air nationally on network television.

— Associated Press