Tuesday, May 25, 2010.
Boise State and the Mountain West have already teamed up in one delicate project, and they continued their work yesterday. At least their attorneys did. Washington-based law firm Arent Fox, which represents the Mountain West and BSU in its questioning of the BCS system, was on the offensive. It pointed out in a “discrimination chart” that the Mountain West and WAC teams which have played in BCS bowl games since 2006 have averaged higher rankings in the polls, higher TV ratings, and better fan travel that the ACC and Big East representatives that earned automatic bids.
It begs a question, writes SI.com’s Andy Staples: “Why do the ACC and Big East still hold automatic qualifying spots if they can't outdraw or beat in the ratings conferences with far fewer advantages? Nothing can be done about this now, because all the contracts are signed through 2014. But when the BCS deal comes up for renewal, these questions should be asked.” Staples uses the 2010 Fiesta and Orange Bowls as evidence. Boise State and TCU drew an 8.23 rating, compared to only 6.80 for Iowa and Georgia Tech. And the Yellow Jackets, not terribly far from Miami, couldn’t sell out their ticket allotment of 17,500. For that, the ACC received more money than the Mountain West and WAC combined.
From truck stops to technology. The title sponsor of the Humanitarian Bowl will segue from one arm of Internet Truckstop to another. New Plymouth-based Internet is the parent company of Roady’s, the sponsor of the event the past three years. The game will now be known as the uDrove Humanitarian Bowl, with the 2010 event helping to kick off college football’s postseason Saturday, December 18. uDrove is essentially a smart phone application that takes what used to be in-cab paperwork to electronic tracking and delivery. uDrove will likely be less of an easy target for the poison pens of national media elitists.
USA Football points this out after breaking down the high schools of all 255 NFL Draft picks this year. They came from 248 different schools, and only one had three selections: St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. But the most impressive performer was former Boise State star Kyle Wilson’s alma mater, Piscataway High in New Jersey. Piscataway was the first high school in 13 years to have two first round draft picks (the other was tackle Anthony Davis out of Rutgers, who went to the 49ers). In 1997, El Camino High in Oceanside, CA, produced first-rounders Bryant Westbrook and Michael Booker.
Steve Cleveland was supposed to bring stability to the Fresno State basketball program in the post-Ray Lopes era. Things have been clean under Cleveland with the Bulldogs, but only slightly less tumultuous. The latest nugget: sophomore guard Mike Ladd, a starter who averaged 10.3 points and shot 39 percent from three-point range last season, has left Fresno State. The Fresno Bee said “both Cleveland and the player indicated the decision had nothing to do with basketball.” Ladd is the third underclassman to depart the Bulldogs since the season ended. Then there was the arrest last month of former ‘Dog Dwight O’Neil on felony cocaine charges.
Tim Cleary, the member of Greg Graham’s Boise State coaching staff considered the top up-and-comer, was named the new head coach at Pacific University in Oregon yesterday. Pacific is a Division III school in Forest Grove. Cleary was on the Bronco bench for all eight years of the Graham era and was up for a number of small college coaching jobs. He oversaw the BSU program in the weeks between the firing of Graham and the hiring of Leon Rice.
With the Idaho Steelheads season finally over, team captain Marty Flichel isn’t just kicking back and pondering retirement. Flichel said yesterday on Idaho SportsTalk his plan is to play another season in 2010-11. “The body held together well,” said Flichel, who turned 34 years old in March. “Whether Mr. Laxdal comes back or not is another matter,” Flichel said. Steelheads coach Derek Laxdal has been linked to the open head coaching job with the Edmonton Oil Kings in the Western Hockey League, the sport’s top junior circuit. Laxdal called it “tire-kicking” on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra but said he’ll take a look at the post.
Mike Safford Jr., the Voice of the Boise Hawks, is ready for the season (which starts in 3½ weeks). He has put together a list that renowned Idaho historian Arthur Hart would be proud of—a compilation of all former Boise minor league players who have made the majors. Not just the Hawks, or the Buckskins or the A’s. It goes all the way back to the Pioneer League era with teams called the Pilots, the Yankees and Braves. The total: 124 players (76 from the Hawks years). It includes everyone from Bob Uecker (Boise Braves, 1962), to Rickey Henderson (Boise A’s, 1976) to Jeff Samardzija (Boise Hawks, 2006). Former Boise minor leaguers have played for 29 of the current 30 big league teams—with the Arizona Diamondbacks the only team not represented.
Bishop Kelly used a window of sunshine in Twin Falls yesterday to grind out a 2-1 win over Bonneville and claim the 4A state championship in a game delayed from Saturday. Centennial and Timberline will finally decide the 5A title tonight at Memorial Stadium. And this is the time to get that game in. If they don’t do it now, they may not play ‘til the 4th of July, as our May “weather to remember” looks like it will reappear beginning tomorrow.
This Day In Sports…May 25, 1935, 75 years ago today:
In one of the greatest one-man shows in track & field history, Jesse Owens of Ohio State ties the world record in the 100-yard dash and sets world marks in the 220-yard dash, the 220-yard low hurdles, and the long jump—all in less than an hour at a meet in Ann Arbor, MI. Owens, of course, would win four gold medals the following year at the Summer Olympics in Berlin.
(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.)