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Last hurrah in the twilight of the BCS

Last hurrah in the twilight of the BCS

by Tom Scott

Bio | Follow: @thescottslant


Posted on July 16, 2013 at 7:21 AM

Tuesday, July 16, 2013.

Stewart Mandel’s latest College Football Mailbag at lays out the expectations.  Who’s most likely to break through from the five non-AQ conferences in the final year of the BCS system?  Boise State is clearly the leading candidate,” writes Mandel.  “The Broncos will start their campaign solidly in the Top 25, so even a season-opening loss at Washington wouldn't necessarily prevent them from eventually climbing back up into the top 12.  Quarterback Joe Southwick (66.8 completion percentage last season, 19 touchdowns, seven interceptions) is poised for a nice senior season, and the Broncos should field another fine defense.  But they aren't without questions.”

Now for Mandel’s kicker: “If you're looking for a less obvious candidate—a first-time party crasher for the final year of the system—I'd urge you to look at Fresno State. The Bulldogs should pose a legitimate threat to Boise in the Mountain West.  Fresno scored 40-plus points in more than half its games last season.  Quarterback Derek Carr should be even more effective in his second year in coach Tim DeRuyter's system.  And wouldn't it be something if Carr led the Bulldogs to a BCS berth 12 years after his brother, David, graced the cover of Sports Illustrated during an impressive early-season run of upsets over Colorado, Oregon State and Wisconsin?  This year's squad opens against Rutgers and visits Colorado in Week 3 before a potentially huge Friday night home game against Boise State.”  Which, Stewart, is the way that 2001 Bulldog fairy tale ended.

Two more watch list nods for Boise State—and they go to a couple guys who each already had one.  Defensive end Demarcus Lawrence and offensive tackle Charles Leno, Jr. have been named to the watch list for the 2013 Rotary Lombardi Award, which goes annually to the nation’s top lineman or linebacker.  The Broncos are one of 26 teams that placed multiple players on the list.  Last week Lawrence landed a watch list spot for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, while Leno received his mention for the Outland Trophy.

Now, will Austin Seferian-Jenkins be available against Boise State on August 31, or won’t he?  Washington’s star tight end pleaded guilty to misdemeanor DUI yesterday at his pretrial hearing.  Seferian-Jenkins was arrested March 9 after a car accident and has been suspended from Huskies team activities since then, although he has been participating in Washington’s player-run practices this summer.  He was sentenced to 364 days in jail with 363 suspended and is expected to spend his one day in jail before UW’s fall camp opens August 5.  

Idaho State was picked to finish last yesterday in the 13-team Big Sky in both the media and coaches’ polls at the conference’s Summer Kickoff in Park City, UT.  It’s familiar territory for the Bengals, who have won only 11 games total over the past seven seasons.  As usual, ISU will say it’s using this as motivation.  It’s time for the Bengals and coach Mike Kramer to follow through.

Former Boise State standout Graham DeLaet has drawn an early tee time at the British Open Thursday.  In fact, it’s so early that you may want to stay up late tomorrow night to catch it.  DeLaet will go off at 8 a.m. at Muirfield in Scotland—that’s 1 a.m. Mountain time.  He’s paired with Sweden’s Jonas Blixt and England’s Brian Davis.  DeLaet is the only Canadian in the field.  Elsewhere, former Bronco T.K. Kim has some ground to make up at the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship.  Kim began stroke play with a four-over 74 yesterday and is tied for 75th going into the final 18 holes.  The top 64 will advance to match play at Laurel Hill Golf Club in Lorton, VA.

The streaky Boise Hawks have a good thing going again, winning their third straight game last night with a 7-4 triumph in their first-ever game at Hillsboro.  There were several peaks and one valley on the mound for the Hawks.  Duane Underwood finally got a win, going five innings and scattering eight hits while allowing just one earned run.  Home runs from Justin Marra and Jose Dore helped, the latter one a two-run shot that gave the Hawks a 5-1 lead.  But then in the sixth Boise brought in Dillon Maples, who promptly walked the bases loaded with nobody out.  Of Maples’ 14 pitches, 12 were balls, and that’s why he was sent down to Boise from Class A Kane County.  Maples came in with 34 strikeouts on the season—and a staggering 31 walks.  But Corbin Hoffner came in and got the Hawks out of the mega-jam, and the Hops scored nary a run.

I think Josh Donaldson should be on the American League All-Star team, don’t you?  The former Boise Hawk had a trememdous first half and delivered another clutch hit Sunday, a two-out walk-off RBI single in the 11th inning that gave Oakland a 3-2 win over Boston.  Earlier, in the seventh, Donaldson had connected on a mammoth two-run homer to tie the game.  He’s batting .310 now with 16 homers, and his 107 hits at the All-Star break are the most by an A’s player in 25 years.  Donaldson is one of the reason’s Oakland is atop the American League West in a season that may become Moneyball’s all-timer.

The Australia Boomers, including Boise State junior-to-be Igor Hadziomerovic, are one win away from international basketball history.  The Aussies rallied from a double-digit second half deficit yesterday to upset Serbia 65-62, with Hadziomerovic contributing two points, three rebounds, one assist and a steal.  He logged 21 minutes, his most in the tournament so far.  Australia will face tournament host Russia in the championship game this morning in a game to be streamed live on ESPN3.

This Day In Sports…July 16, 2008, five years ago today:

In the wee hours of the morning, the previous night’s All-Star Game finally comes to an end after four hours and 50 minutes with a 4-3 American League victory.  It was staged amidst a plethora of pageantry at Yankee Stadium, which was in the midst of its final season, and it lasted 15 innings.  Every available player was used in the game, as the AL improved to 6-0 since the Midsummer Classic began determining homefield advantage in the World Series.

(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.)