Tuesday, June 8, 2010.
What I took out of watching Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson’s press conference yesterday was: people shouldn’t be getting hung up on deadlines. The Mountain West isn’t beholden to the WAC’s July 1 deadline for Boise State to announce a move. Nor does the Mountain West seem overly concerned about the same deadline to get the Broncos aboard in order to count their football performance in the next BCS evaluation. The college conference landscape is turning inside out, and the MWC wants to make sure it gets it right. The bottom line is: if Boise State isn’t issued an invitation to the Mountain West before July 1, that doesn’t mean it can’t still happen. "The interest the board had in particular in Boise State coming into the meeting probably hasn't changed going out of the meeting,” said Thompson.
Boise State was, perhaps, 48 hours away from a certain invitation to the Mountain West in Jackson Hole. Then word of the Pac-10’s posturing threw a gorilla wrench into the works. Now, an invite may come before July 1…or after July 1…or not at all. If it were to come later, maybe the Broncos work some kind of buyout with the WAC—commissioner Karl Benson said in a teleconference last night that notification after July 1 would just carry a penalty to be determined by the WAC board of directors. Or, BSU could just wait until 2012 to join. To be sure, though, it’s suddenly a helpless feeling for BSU, as everything is out of the school’s control. Texas, Missouri, Nebraska and Notre Dame are holding the cards (and the Texas Legislature would like to think it holds some of the Longhorns’).
One thing the Mountain West has to figure out: would Big 12 refugees really join the conference? Colorado et al will fight tooth-and-nail to avoid going to the Mountain West and losing 100 years of prestige. If Kansas, for example, is left behind by the Pac-10 or Big Ten, why wouldn’t the Jayhawks and their storied basketball program put a full-court press on the ACC to join that league? Geography is obviously out the window. The Big 12 leftovers will exhaust all other options before they agree to hook up with the Mountain West. And that will take a long time.
From the beginning, Boise State coach Chris Petersen has treated the Mountain West issue the way he does BCS rankings during the fall. He pays them no never-mind. Petersen doesn’t want any distractions from the 2010 season. Same old stuff he preaches to his team all the time, but no one is more believable with that message than Pete. “This does not change anything that we have been working on in regards to football,” said Petersen. “Since the end of last season our players and coaches have been preparing hard for the upcoming season. That is where are total focus is and will continue to be.”
A good time to lighten up here—you may have heard KTVB’s Justin Corr mention this. Former Boise State star Ian Johnson thought his stay in Minnesota was over after he mowed down Vikings coach Brad Childress during an Organized Team Activities drill. Chip Scoggins of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that Johnson was running a swing route—and Childress was observing out on the field. Ian, looking back at the quarterback, slammed into Childress and went ass-over-teakettle.
Relays Johnson: "I got hit by something and go up over my feet, end over end. I did a flip. My first instinct was, ‘Oh, I’m going to hurt whoever this was because someone just cheap-shotted me.’ I look up and I see it’s Coach Childress. He’s on the ground and I’m like, ‘Oh no, that’s my ticket out of here.’ You don’t do that to the head man. I sat there for about two seconds and he popped up and said, ‘Oh, I’m sorry. That’s my fault.’ I was like, ‘Whew, maybe I’m not out of here.’" Scroggins writes that, like Brett Favre after the NFC Championship game, Childress has pictures of his bruised leg.
Former Boise State star Graham DeLaet was in great shape for a spot in the U.S. Open after 18 holes of the Columbus Sectional yesterday. DeLaet shot a 66 in the first round but was done in by an afternoon 73, and he won’t be going to Pebble Beach in two weeks. Fellow former Bronco Troy Merritt and Boise’s Nick Travers were never in it in Columbus. At the U.S. Open Sectional in Portland, Meridian’s Jesse Hibler and Joe Panzeri were both well off the pace.
The Boise Hawks’ parent club, the Chicago Cubs, had the 16th overall selection in the Major League draft last night, and they took a virtual unknown. It has that appearance, anyway. At MLB.com, there was no bio information or analysis on pitcher Hayden Simpson of Southern Arkansas. We do know that Simpson’s a 6-0, 175-pound righthander. Elsewhere we find that Simpson was 13-1 this season with three shutouts and a 1.81 ERA. And his delivery is being compared to the Giants’ Tim Lincecum. There is a good chance Simpson will end up in Boise. The Cubs have sent at least one first-round selection to the Hawks in each of the last six seasons (though not always in the same year he was drafted).
This Day In Sports…June 8, 1966:
The National Football League, founded in the early 1920’s, and the American Football League, which began play in 1960, announce a merger. Although the two leagues will continue to play separate schedules until 1970, there will be a common draft—and a title game pitting the champions of the two leagues beginning in January, 1967. That would become Super Bowl I.
(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.)