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Rocky Long Wants Boise State to Get Rid of ‘Unfair’ Blue Turf

Rocky Long is the new head coach at San Diego State and he’s wasted no time asserting himself as a powerful voice. The former Aztecs defensive coordinator took a shot at Boise State in an interview with the Idaho Statesman, complaining about the Broncos’ home field.

“I think they ought to get rid of that blue turf. I think it’s unfair,” said Long. “It takes the visiting team a quarter or two to get used to that different field.”

Long said players “track the ball differently” on the blue turf, particularly since Boise State traditionally wears all-blue uniforms on the blue turf, according to the Statesman.

Boise State’s upcoming move to the Mountain West is what inspired the statement, and my guess is the Broncos will remember his remark and pour 60 on them in the fall. Even though many of us would love to see the blue turf banned, it distinguishes Boise State and adds to their mystique. In other words, it’s not going away.

In fact, the trend seems to be moving in the opposite direction. Like our friends at New Era Radio say, maybe San Diego State needs to consider changing the color of their turf for an advantage of their own. I know Oregon State would agree.

Thanks to Marcas G for the story, and check him out on twitter.

Auburn and Boise State Make Life Easier for the BCS Committee

Oh yeah, and Oregon too.  We chose to highlight Auburn and Boise State because of their heart-stopping finishes on Friday, both of which left the BCS picture looking clearer than it has all year.  When Boise State blew a 17-point lead against Nevada yesterday and its kicker, Kyle Brotzman, missed field goals of 26 and 29 yards, they put an end to any hope they had of becoming a BCS buster.  Brotzman also reserved a spot in the Bill Buckner discussion for the remainder of his life.

We know the buzz that has surrounded the Broncos has been larger than life.  One veteran oddsmaker even told LBS he believed Boise State was the best team in college football.  Nick Saban would tend to disagree with that opinion, but he naturally has the best interests of the Crimson Tide in mind — the same Crimson Tide who blew a 24-point lead against Cam Newton and Auburn on Friday that allowed the Tigers to remain undefeated.

Therefore, two Thanksgiving weekend meltdowns left the BCS Championship picture clear as day.  There are only three unbeatens remaining — Oregon, Auburn and TCU.  TCU’s schedule won’t get them in the National Championship discussion.  The Ducks rolled over No. 21 Arizona on Friday and will remain atop the BCS polls.  Auburn will stay right on their tail at No. 2.  Oregon has one game remaining against 5-5 Oregon State and Auburn has one date remaining with No. 18 South Carolina.  Neither is a cupcake, but both teams should win, making life simple on the BCS committee with two undefeated teams — both from BCS conferences — remaining.

Come to think of it — the whole day almost seemed staged, didn’t it?

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Cathleen Allison

Veteran Oddsmaker: Boise State Is Best Team in College Football

The big school/little school rivalry between BCS automatic qualifiers and BCS outsiders took a turn for the interesting Wednesday when Ohio State president E. Gordon Gee said Boise State and TCU do not deserve to play in the National Championship Game because of their weak schedule. It’s a point I’ve argued before, but Ohio State’s non-conference schedule was underwhelming, and they also missed playing Michigan State in conference. Hence, their school president is not the person to make such an argument, though the point has some validity.

Here’s the rub: what if Boise State or TCU is the best team in the country despite not playing a difficult schedule? Wouldn’t that mean they should have a chance at the National Championship Game? Sure does in my book. And guess what, there’s some serious support for Boise State in this regard.

Last week we spoke with Mike Seba, a senior oddsmaker for Las Vegas Sports Consultants which provides sports betting lines for several Las Vegas sports books. He said he had Boise State ranked at the same level as Oregon and Auburn, two of the other unbeaten teams in college football. Want some more? Jay Kornegay, the director of the Las Vegas Hilton race and sports book, told LBS he thinks “Boise State is the best team in the college football.”

Though I said before the year began that Boise State did not belong in the National Championship Game because of their poor schedule, I have changed my mind. Should Auburn or Oregon lose, they do belong in the game. Although I still believe they would lose a game playing in a tougher conference, they would be at the top of every conference in college football. Furthermore, if they were playing Ohio State, I’d pick the Broncos every time.

Photo Credit: Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images

Dan Hawkins, Dirk Koetter Prove Chris Petersen Is Wise to Remain at Boise State

Dan Hawkins was fired Monday night as head coach at Colorado, two days after his team gave up 35 points in the 4th quarter blowing a 45-17 lead against Kansas. Many people feel the move was well overdue and that the Buffs delayed the firing because they couldn’t afford to buy out Hawkins’ contract earlier. The firing of Hawkins completes the cycle of failure for coaches following their departure from Boise State.

Hawkins was promoted to head coach at Boise State after serving as an assistant to Dirk Koetter who left for Arizona State. After going 8-4 in his first season, Hawkins had three straight one-loss years, going 12-1, 13-1, and 11-1 including a 2-1 record in bowl games. They went 9-4 in his final season in 2005 before he left for Colorado. In five seasons at Boise State, Hawkins was 53-11 with four conference titles, a 31-game conference winning streak, and three WAC Coach of the Year awards. Wanting a new challenge of bigger and better things, Hawkins moved on to Colorado taking over for Gary Barnett.

Hawkins’ tenure at Colorado was forgettable. The team went 19-39 in his four-plus years including a putrid 10-27 Big 12 record. The closest he came to a winning record was going 6-7 in his second season with the 7th loss coming in the bowl game. Prior to Hawkins leaving Boise State, it was Dirk Koetter who made the fatal move.

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Boise State Will Likely Be Last Undefeated Team Standing

The first official BCS standings of the season were released on Sunday and of course people were pissed that Boise State (number two in the AP and Coaches’ Poll) was jumped by Oklahoma. Making things more confusing, the Sooners were tops in the BCS standings, jumping even Oregon which is number one in both polls. If people are upset that Oklahoma’s number one, I don’t think they’ll have to worry too much — I’m betting the Sooners lose a game in the regular season.

What really outrages folks is the thought that Boise State — which has beaten Virginia Tech and Oregon State non-conference — will be left out of the title game. I’m already on the record saying their schedule is not challenging enough to include them in a national championship game. While they’re an extremely good team, give them a Pac-10, Big Ten, Big 12, or SEC schedule and they’ll lose a game just like the top teams in those conferences generally do. Unfortunately, it appears as if they may be the last undefeated team standing when the regular season ends.

Presently, there are 10 undefeated teams left in the country. Six of them play each other, so that cuts this list of possible undefeated teams down to seven. From there, most of the remaining teams have difficult schedules, making me think Boise State will be the last undefeated team and a decent bet to end up in the title game.

Here are the remaining undefeated teams and analysis of their schedule and the likelihood they remain undefeated (they’re listed by their BCS ranking):

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Oregon State Takes it to the Next Level to Prep for Boise State

What’s it going to take for No. 24 Oregon State to knock off No. 3 Boise State?  Plenty of creative plays, a solid game on both sides of the ball, protection of the football, and about 180 gallons of blue paint.  Now that’s what I call committment.

I’ve always wondered how the obnoxious blue color of Boise State’s field doesn’t drive the players nuts when it gives me a pounding dome ache.  Apparently Oregon State head coach Mike Riley considers it an obstacle, as he’s decided to paint the Oregon State practice field blue.   If this doesn’t help the Beavers knock off the Broncos — a team that we don’t think is worthy of a shot at the BCS championship — I’m not sure what will.

Nick Saban Nails the Boise State Problem

One of the biggest debates in college football is whether or not Boise State deserves a spot in a national championship game should they go undefeated. My answer is no because their schedule is not challenging enough, regardless of their win over Virginia Tech and a potential win over Oregon State.

Boise State is a very good team and a fine program — I picked them to beat Virginia Tech — but I firmly believe they would lose a game or two if they played in a major conference. It’s one thing to get up for a big game once or twice a year but it’s a complete other to beat quality opponents every single week. That’s something Alabama has to face in the SEC but something Boise State does not have to in the WAC. Saban noted the difference on his Thursday night radio show, as relayed by The Wiz of Odds:

He noted that Alabama defeated Virginia Tech in its 2009 opener and defeated six other teams that were the caliber of Virginia Tech, or maybe better. And maybe more than that if you throw in Texas and Florida in the SEC Championship Game. …”

“It’s the full body of work. It’s not just that you can beat one team, but if you have to beat six or seven other teams and have to play with consistency to do it, I think that goes a long way in saying a lot about what kind of football team that you have. And that’s no disrespect that you have, because they may certainly be able to do the same thing if they were put in that circumstance.”

At least Boise State will be challenged more regularly when they move to the Mountain West but for now, the situation is as Saban describes it. It’s hard to tell a school before they’ve even played a game that no matter what you do, it won’t be good enough, but that’s the situation for Boise State. You cannot tell me with confidence that they would be undefeated if they had to play Florida, LSU, Auburn, and Arkansas, and that’s the issue at hand.

Sources:
Saban takes a shot at Boise State’s worthiness as a BCS title contender [The Birmingham News]