Sunday, Nov 3 at 6:09 PM
Monday, October 18, 2010.
We talked about this weeks ago: Oklahoma beat Utah State by seven and Air Force by three at home and Cincinnati by two on the road. That’s the same Utah State that lost at Louisiana Tech last week by 18, the same Air Force that lost at San Diego State Saturday night by two, and the same Cincinnati that fell at Fresno State by 14 on Opening Night. So that has a lot of people asking, “What are the computers thinking?” Oklahoma was a surprise No. 1 last night when the first BCS Standings of 2010 were unveiled, with Oregon No. 2 and Boise State No. 3. BSU was undone by the computers, which had it at No. 7. Still, it’s the highest ranking ever in the BCS standings by a non-BCS school. And the Broncos moved up to No. 2 in the AP, Coaches and Harris Polls. They are not being disrespected by the humans.
On ESPN’s “BCS Countdown” last night, Rece Davis, Craig James, Robert Smith and Kirk Herbstreit could not stress enough that “adjustments will be made” to the standings as the weeks go by. It was a reference to Boise State’s precarious position, as Auburn, LSU and Michigan State lay just behind the Broncos, ready to jump. The reality is: Boise State’s shot at a berth in the BCS Championship Game is an extremely long one. Everyone around the Broncos in the rankings has chances at marquee victories in the weeks to come. BSU is out of those chances.
BCS expert Brad Edwards noted on ESPN’s show that Oregon State’s one-point double-overtime loss at Washington probably made the difference for Boise State in the initial BCS standings. Edwards also rightfully noted that the computers don’t know that OSU star receiver and returner James Rodgers is out for the season. The Broncos and TCU both beat OSU with Rodgers in the lineup, but both will be penalized when the Beavers stumble from here on out. As an aside here, how much better was ESPN’s presentation on its “BCS Countdown Show” than Fox’s hurried-up old “oh, by the way” offering on the shirttail of NFL coverage the past few years? What an improvement. (It’s a good thing Mark May wasn’t on the show.)
Kellen Moore also tabbed as the No. 3 Heisman Trophy candidate by Joe Tessitore on the “Heismanology” segment of the show. Moore was behind Auburn’s Cam Newton and Oregon’s LaMichael James. Tessitore pointed out that no quarterback has ever finished a season with a higher pass efficiency rating than Kellen has right now. And that number is 190.4, as Moore has opened up a 10-point lead over Newton. With his 14-of-16 ledger (87.5 percent, third-best in school history) in one half of work during the Broncos’ 48-0 rout of San Jose State Saturday night, Moore has upped his pass percentage to 69.5 percent for the season. And his amazing touchdown-to-interception ratio is now 16-to-1.
Boise State did what it had to do Saturday night, registering another dominant win in its blanking of San Jose State. But it wasn’t just dominant, it was historic in its own right. The Broncos held the Spartans to 80 yards of total offense, the fewest in 38 years. Not only that, it was Boise State’s best defensive performance ever in a conference game—and its best-ever versus a Division I-A (FBS) opponent. The Broncos limited the Spartans to minus-12 yards on the ground, the sixth-best mark in school history. That was also the No. 2 all-time total in a conference game and versus an FBS opponent (next to the minus-19 against New Mexico State in 2007).
Idaho’s defense doesn’t care if it never sees another third down after a 48-35 loss at Louisiana Tech Saturday. The Bulldogs dug out of hole after hole on the way to a staggering 678 yards of total offense. The only thing that kept the score down was four fumbles lost to the Vandals. La Tech converted seven third-down situations of six yards or longer and turned a fourth-and-nine into a touchdown.
It was a bitterly disappointing loss for Idaho coach Robb Akey, who had detailed the importance of the game last week. "We've got a winning streak to keep alive, a winning streak on the road to keep alive, a winning streak against Louisiana Tech to keep alive, a Homecoming game winning streak to keep alive," Akey said at the time. "We have several goals to accomplish in getting that first WAC win, our first conference road win, getting our fourth win of the season, which gets us closer to the must-have number of seven to get a bowl invite. Those are all things we can achieve if we play well."
Speaking of bitterly disappointing, Nevada’s first national ranking in 62 years lasted three weeks, as the Wolf Pack was stifled by Hawaii Saturday night at Aloha Stadium, 27-21. The Warriors held the Pack’s high-producing pistol offense to just 293 total yards and 3.1 yards per carry, as Colin Kaepernick looked lost. Hawaii’s passing game didn’t go off the way it had in preceding weeks, but Nevada had no answer to Bryant Moniz’s quick tosses to the flat, especially with a rash of Wolf Pack missed tackles. Nevada’s bid for an undefeated season thus comes to an end, as does the assistance it has provided to Boise State’s strength-of-schedule.
The Idaho Steelheads saw both ends of the rainbow on opening weekend: the pot o’ gold in the first game, and whatever pool of sludge the thing originates from in the second. The Steelheads were masterful Friday night, shutting out Victoria 5-0, getting goals from five returning players and a shutout between the pipes in Tyler Beskorowany’s Idaho debut. Saturday night Beskorowany was pulled in the second period of a 4-0 loss to Victoria. He had given up three goals—Mike Zacharias came on to stop nine of the Salmon Kings’ final 10 shots. And just like that, the Steelies embark on a trip to the Almost-Frozen North to take on the Alaska Aces this Friday and Saturday.
The midpoint of the PGA Tour Fall Series saw Boise State’s two rookies keep their hopes alive for 2011 tour cards. Graham DeLaet tied for sixth yesterday at the Frys.com Open in San Martin, CA, and pocketed over $146,000, and Troy Merritt tied for 18th and took home $63,000. The top 125 on the PGA Tour’s money list earn full-season exemptions to the next year's events, and DeLaet’s in great shape now, moving from No. 114 to No. 102 on the money list. Merritt controls his own destiny with two tournaments remaining, having jumped back above the cutoff line to No. 118 from No. 126.
This Day In Sports…October 18, 2002:
One of the most electric nights to date in Bronco Stadium, as a then-record crowd of 30,924 and a national audience on ESPN watch Boise State dismantle Fresno State, 67-21. The Broncos started B.J. Rhode, and the senior quarterback staked them to a 13-0 lead. But then in the second quarter, Ryan Dinwiddie returned from a broken ankle six weeks earlier and torched the Bulldogs with a record 19-of-22 performance, covering 406 yards and five touchdowns.
(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 served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)