Friday, December 11, 2009.
The Heisman Trophy will be awarded tomorrow night, with Alabama’s Mark Ingram the favorite. There won’t be a lot of time spent on those who weren’t invited to New York, but Kellen Moore was at least in the conversation this year. Thing is, there’s still plenty of time, as Moore is only a sophomore. He just happens to be a sophomore who has already thrown for 6,800 yards and 64 touchdowns. Moore could finish higher than his predecessor as the “face of Boise State football,” Ian Johnson (eighth in 2006). Johnson was a sophomore, too, but his junior and senior years weren’t quite as stellar. It’s hard to imagine that Kellen’s best football isn’t ahead of him, though.
Lisa Horne of Fox Sports.com has a list of “Ten worthy candidates who won’t strike the pose,” the guys who bubbled under in this year’s Heisman race. Writes Horne: “Go ahead and scream ‘system quarterback’ all you want, but Moore has a golden arm—the ultimate reason that Boise State had an undefeated season and is squaring off against TCU in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. The Fiesta could be one of the best bowls of the season, with Moore being finally tested against the Horned Frogs defense.” With 21 other returning starters around him, Moore has the table set for some pretty interesting things next year.
This was a little bit of a surprise yesterday—and it doesn’t hurt in the 2010 Heisman discussion. Moore was named first-team All-America quarterback by CBS Sports.com after leading the nation in pass efficiency for an undefeated team. Moore is accompanied by marquee names such as Ingram, Stanford’s Toby Gerhart, Notre Dame’s Golden Tate and Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh. Not to forget Idaho’s Mike Iupati, who’s also a first-teamer. And TCU’s Jerry Hughes. Meanwhile, Boise State’s Kyle Wilson has been named a second-team All-America cornerback by the Walter Camp Foundation, with Iupati on the first team. Wilson didn’t see a lot of action come his way until Halloween. Then he made interceptions in three straight games, two of them for touchdowns.
Iupati and Bowling Green’s Freddie Barnes go back to work now after attending the College Football Awards Show at Disney World last night. Iupati was a finalist for the Outland Trophy that went to Suh, and Barnes was a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award that went to Tate. Iupati’s and Barnes’ next assignment is against each other in the Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl December 30 against Bowling Green in Bronco Stadium.
Boise State fans trying to properly position themselves in University of Phoenix Stadium January 4 are buying tickets on the same side of the field as three years ago. Yes, the Broncos are the visiting team again. I guess this time it’s because TCU was chosen first last Sunday by the Fiesta Bowl committee. This will, in fact, be the sixth straight year BSU has worn its road uniforms in its bowl game. The Broncos have even worn white twice in WAC-affiliated bowls during this period—against Boston College on the blue turf in the 2005 MPC Computers Bowl and against East Carolina in the 2007 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl. The last time Boise State wore it blue uniforms in the postseason? It was in 2003, when the Broncos beat TCU 34-31 on the Horned Frogs’ home field in the Fort Worth Bowl.
The Boise State men’s basketball team is home for the rest of its non-conference schedule, starting tomorrow night against San Diego. There are some items on the Broncos’ agenda as they prepare for WAC play, including improved shooting from three-point land. BSU likes to launch but is hitting only 30 percent from beyond the arc, magnified by a 3-for-14 night at Idaho State Wednesday. La’Shard Anderson and Reggie Arnold are connecting on just 24 percent of their three-point attempts. Despite coming into Taco Bell Arena at 4-6, San Diego will be all the Broncos can handle. The Toreros have wins over Stanford, Houston and Oklahoma this season.
Now, can the Idaho Stampede rip the nets outside of the cozy confines? The Stampede play their first road game of the season today against the L.A. D-Fenders in Staples Center. Idaho has been true to new coach Bob MacKinnon’s promise of relentless offense. The Stamps are averaging 126 points, over 18 a game more than any other D-League team. The Stampede’s Sundiata Gaines continues to lead the league in scoring at 27 points per game. The impressive thing has been Gaines’ accuracy—he’s shooting over 60 percent, way up there for a guard.
The Idaho Steelheads resume their series with Ontario tonight in Qwest Arena, and they resume their unique wardrobe of the week. These games are being billed as “Future Stars” nights, with the Steelheads sporting Dallas Stars jerseys that will be auctioned off for charity. The Steelies, of course, are affiliated with the Stars, and Idaho players have their sights set on the NHL more than ever before. That’s because of a nice run of Steelheads advancing to The Show. The timing of the jersey promotion is good, as another former Steelhead has made the NHL—former Steelies goaltender Matt Zaba was called up by the New York Rangers yesterday. Zaba appeared in 21 games two seasons ago with the Steelheads, posting a 12-4-1 record with three shutouts and a .927 save percentage that is the best all-time for Steelheads goalies who have played at least ten 10 games.
The Winter Olympics open two months from tomorrow in Vancouver—two months from the third Winter Games appearance by Boise’s Jeret Peterson if all goes well. The U.S. freestyle ski team will be announced on Christmas Eve on NBC. Speedy says he’s in the best shape of his life. “Fat don’t fly,” as he told KTVB’s Mark Johnson. Peterson hasn’t competed on the World Cup circuit yet this season but is slated for the World Freestyle Championships in Park City next month. The 2006 Olympics in Turin ended badly for Peterson, as he was sent home after a public fight with a friend. Peterson now proclaims himself clean and sober…and ready.
There are only two opportunities to see the 8th-ranked Boise State wrestling team on its home mats this season. One’s already happened, and the second is tonight as the Broncos host Montana State-Northern in Taco Bell Arena. BSU is coming off a successful weekend at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, one of the nation’s most prestigious annual tournaments. Kirk Smith won the title at 184 pounds, and Adam Hall was runner-up at 157.
This Day In Sports…December 11, 1971:
Boise State plays in its first post-season game as a four-year school, taking on Chico State in the Camellia Bowl at Sacramento. The Broncos fell behind 28-7 early in the third quarter before a wild rally behind quarterback Eric Guthrie and wide receivers Don Hutt and Al Marshall carried them to a 32-28 win. It was also the first time the Broncos appeared on network TV, with ABC telecasting the game regionally via play-by-play man Keith Jackson.
(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 1350 KTIK/The Ticket. He also handles color commentary on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football.)