Monday, June 24, 2013.
Travis Haney’s Insider blog at ESPN.com talks about what will happen in college football in the next three years, especially in coaching circles. Haney wonders aloud about Lane Kiffin making it that long as head coach of USC. You probably know what’s coming. “There's still plenty of talent in place…(but) bigger questions still hover over Kiffin's career as a whole. He was 5-15 with the Raiders and he has two seven-win college seasons--one at Tennessee and one with USC–when postseason-eligible. ‘At some point, you look up and say, wait, what has this guy really ever done as a coach?' one coach told me. ’I like the guy, but that isn't the standard we're judged by, whether you're a good guy or a cool guy. I don't think that's going to cut it at USC.’ What would? Chris Petersen would be a good place to start if you're (athletic director) Pat Haden.”
So here we go again? “Evidently, according to those who know him, Petersen has admired USC's tradition and stature from afar for a number of years,” Haney continues. “And I'm told he was left a touch bitter by not getting more of a look at Oregon when Chip Kelly was hired. USC might suit him well, if he ever does want to change scenery.” Those last seven words are the key. What scenery that would be for Petersen. If he didn’t go to Stanford, I’d be shocked if he went to USC. Culture? Fishbowl? Cost of living for his staff? As for the Oregon thing, I don’t know if Pete was “a touch bitter” or not, but Kelly was Mike Bellotti’s “coach in waiting” at the time. The Ducks simply followed through. Petersen doesn’t play that game anyway.
More sizzling blue turf and toasty fans ahead in 2013. In this new world of outside entities controlling start times for Boise State home games, the Broncos will be setting another record this year. The 1 p.m. kickoff for this season’s home opener against Tennessee-Martin will make it the earliest date on the calendar Boise State has ever played an afternoon game in the current Bronco Stadium. The current record was last year when the Broncos hosted Miami (Ohio) on September 15. The high that day, incidentally, was 91. The previous earliest calendar date for an afternoon game was the year before, when Boise State played Nevada on October 1. That day registered a 90-degree high. If September 7 would just be normal this year, it would be bearable for fans. The average high for that day is 82.
Incredibly, wide receiver Shay Fields had scholarship offers from six different Mountain West schools—that’s half of the conference’s 2013 lineup. Yesterday Fields chose Boise State. The 5-11, 170-pounder out of Bellflower, CA, averaged 23 yards per catch as a junior for a team that outscored its opponents by 300 points last season. Fields attended the Boise State Elite Camp last weekend and was sold. Scout.com also reported late last night that wideout Sean Modster (great name) of Mission Viejo, CA, has committed to the Broncos, bringing the total for the 2014 class to 10.
It’s going to happen sooner rather than later, and it almost happened yesterday. Graham DeLaet missed his first PGA Tour victory by one shot, left on the 18th hole by Ken Duke and Chris Stroud, who went on to a sudden-death playoff won by Duke. DeLaet finished alone in third place, equaling his best career finish on the tour. What’s more, the former Boise State star earned the biggest payday of his life, collecting $414,800. DeLaet began the day tied for the lead with Bubba Watson and Charlie Hoffman, but the position was precarious, as 21 other golfers were within five strokes. DeLaet shot a one-under 69 in the final round and was 11-under for the tournament.
DeLaet, of course, is from Weyburn, Saskatchewan, and the flooding the past few days that ravaged his neighboring province of Alberta weighed heavily on him. He had the words "For Alberta" written on his cap yesterday. The 2009 PGA Tour/Canada player of the year pledged to donate $1,000 for every birdie he made during the weekend to help relief efforts. DeLaet collected three birdies in the final round and nine for the weekend, and his donation was matched by PGA Tour/Canada, a bank and a Canadian businessman, bringing the total to $36,000. By the way, Moscow’s Chris Williams finished with a flourish in his first event as a professional. Now formerly the world’s top-ranked amateur, Williams was three-under for the tournament and tied for 30th, winning $32,584.
Bishop Kelly grad Nick Symmonds saw his streak of national championships in the 800-meter run end at five yesterday at the U.S. Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Duane Solomon burst out to an early lead and was too far gone for Symmonds to catch him with his patented final-lap kick. Symmonds finished second with a respectable 1:43.70. “He ran an incredible race,” Symmonds said of Solomon in the Oregonian. “If you want a beat a sit-and-kicker you have to run away from him. He did a hell of a job doing that.” Symmonds still advances to the World Track and Field Championships in August in Moscow, Russia.
It’ll be a season Hillary Holt will never forget. And she has one more left at the College of Idaho. Holt, the junior out of Mountain View High, finished 12th in the 1500-meter run in Des Moines. Her time was 4:33.49, far off the 4:11.62 she ran in May to qualify for the U.S. Championships. But it was the experience of a lifetime. Elsewhere, former Idaho Vandal Mike Winger is headed to the world championships in the “other Moscow” after placing second in the discus. Former Boise State standout and 2004 Olympian Jarred Rome was sixth in that event. And Bishop Kelly grad Corbin Duer finished 11th in the decathlon.
A good start in Spokane has turned into a tough go for the Boise Hawks, who have their first three-game losing streak of the season. After hitting two home runs in a game for the first time Friday night in a 4-1 win, the Hawks were swept in a doubleheader Saturday and lost 8-6 yesterday despite a season-high 14 hits. The Sunday matinee was wild, with Boise rallying from a 7-1 deficit to go into the ninth inning down 8-5. The Hawks loaded the bases with nobody out but could muster just one score out of the opportunity. Boise’s Yasiel Balaguert smashed a three-run homer Friday and added a run-scoring double yesterday to up his league-leading RBI total to 13. The Hawks play one more in Spokane tonight before returning to Memorial Stadium tomorrow to face the new Hillsboro Hops.
This Day In Sports…June 24, 2010:
The longest professional tennis match in history concludes at Wimbledon after 11 hours and five minutes, spanning three days. American John Isner and French qualifier Nicolas Mahut had already battled almost three hours when they went to the fifth set. Then the deciding set went eight hours and 11 minutes, with Isner finally winning 6-4, 3-6, 6-7, 7-6, 70-68. Yes, it was 70-68. The next day, Isner would be eliminated in the second round in 74 minutes.
(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment Sunday nights at 10:30PM on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 The Ticket. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)