Thursday, July 22, 2010.
Media Days are already underway for Boise State—at far-flung stops such as Hoover, AL. In fact, ESPN.com blogger Chris Low got things going with his SportsNation chat even before the SEC clambake got underway. A question about the Broncos popped up early, and Low rolled out the standard viewpoint from the South: “If Boise State were in the SEC, I think they would be an 8-4 or 9-3 type team most years. That doesn't diminish what they've accomplished, but is something to think about when we start throwing national championship scenarios out there.”
Chris from Athens chimed in: “People don't understand. It's not that we're saying Boise or any other team would be literally worse than three or four teams in the SEC every year, it’s that the grind of playing SEC teams week in week out really wears a team down with fatigue and injuries—something most teams aren't used to as much.” And here we roll out the standard response: If Boise State were in the SEC, it would be recruiting to the SEC. The Broncos are already recruiting to the Mountain West now instead of the WAC. On the flip side, it’s not about what would be, it’s about what is—and that’s why Boise State won’t be able to escape barbs from followers of the power conferences if this BCS championship game scenario unfolded.
The ice will officially be broken on the 2010 football season when the WAC’s version of Media Days commence Sunday night in Salt Lake City. It’s been a much shorter offseason for Idaho, and that’s been a good thing for the Vandals. Defensive coordinator Mark Criner thinks his side of the ball will make great strides this season, thanks to last December. Idaho got that mini-spring football effect of 15 extra practices to gear up for its Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl win over Bowling Green. "We were able to get a lot of young guys some quality work, and that's carried over for us,” said Criner.
Gerry Wilson was most familiar to Boise State fans the last couple of years as the driver of the K-Dub RV, the Boise State-themed vehicle that followed Kyle Wilson to all his games, home and away. In New York, the Princeton and MIT-educated older brother of the Jets’ first round draft pick is known as Kyle’s business manager. And he’s earned the respect of agents and NFL team personnel alike. Gerry’s the one who edited Kyle’s highlight tape after high school and sent it to the top 50 programs in the country, the reel that got Boise State’s attention. And Gerry’s going to chronicle Kyle’s NFL career at teamkdub.com, launching any minute now. After a generally relaxing time in Boise last weekend, Kyle’s now gearing up for the opening of Jets training camp a week from today.
The Boise Hawks continue to tattoo the ball, picking up their fifth straight double-digit hit game and their ninth in the last 10 in a 7-2 victory last night over Tri-City at Memorial Stadium. The Hawks rapped out 12 hits, with each of the first six hitters in Boise’s batting order last night now at .300 or above. Villanova football star Matt Szczur jumped his average to .418 with a 3-for-4 performance. The Hawks’ lead in the Northwest League East Division remains at a half-game after Spokane survived a 15-inning ordeal with a 5-4 win over Yakima. The Hawks have five games to play in the first half of the new split-season format, and the Indians have six.
We know when it will be—we just don’t know who it will be. The Idaho Steelheads will hold a “meet-and-greet” at Qwest Arena Tuesday evening to unveil the new head coach to replace Derek Laxdal, who left last month to become coach of the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League. One guy anxious to learn the new guy’s identity is Steelheads leading scorer Mark Derlago, who’s received a qualifying offer for next season. What’s Derlago doing for his summer vacation? Pitching for the Century-21 Cubs in the MacArthur Truck & Trailer Senior AA Baseball League in Brandon, Manitoba. Monday night Derlago struck out 13 and scattered seven hits in seven innings in a 4-2 win over the Canadian Tire Cardinals.
Former Boise State and Idaho Stampede standout Coby Karl made the most of his time in the NBA Summer League this month. In four games for the Nuggets’ entry in Las Vegas, Karl averaged 14 points and six rebounds. Coby was signed to his dad George’s team toward the end of the regular season, long after his father had left the club to battle throat and neck cancer. Coby never got into a game with Denver, through he did play three for Cleveland last fall and four for Golden State in February. It was a quick summer for NBA up-and-comers. Just two leagues operated: in Vegas and Orlando. This year there’s no Rocky Mountain Revue, the summer session that had been hosted by the Utah Jazz since 1998.
This may have slipped by you the way it did me, but the Idaho Press-Tribune reported that the College of Idaho has approached the Northwest Conference about future membership, which would necessitate a move to NCAA Division III. The league’s presidents meet again this fall and will presumably discuss it then. Athletic director Marty Holly says the goal is to be affiliated with similar academic schools and natural rivals. Football is becoming more important in the Northwest Conference, with George Fox reinstating its program in 2013. The Coyotes wouldn’t have to add football to gain membership in the league, but you can bet everybody’s going to wonder about that possibility.
This Day In Sports…July 22, 2006:
In an emotional ceremony at Memorial Stadium, the Boise Hawks retire long-time manager Tom Kotchman’s no. 11. Kotchman paid tribute to Boise as his “second home” and listed some of the favorite players he helped develop—Troy Percival, Garret Anderson, Scot Shields and John Lackey were all among the former Hawks who won World Series rings with the Angels in 2002. As skipper of the Hawks from 1990-2000, Kotchman won four Northwest League championships and seven division titles, becoming the winningest manager (by far) in NWL history with 501 victories.
(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’s also handled color commentary on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football the last five seasons.)