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The countdown begins in earnest tomorrow

The countdown begins in earnest tomorrow

by Tom Scott

Bio | Follow: @thescottslant

KTVB.COM

Posted on August 3, 2012 at 7:19 AM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 5 at 4:44 PM

Friday, August 3, 2012.

Does it seem like just yesterday that Boise State walked off the field at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas three days before Christmas?  Or does it seem like a long time ago?  Doesn’t matter, because this is 2012, and fall camp begins tomorrow for the Broncos.  “I think we had a good offseason,” coach Chris Petersen said last week at Mountain West Media Days.  “I think they’re hungry.  But we’ll see.  The season is hard.”  Petersen says he knows the Bronco underclassmen will improve this season.  They have to.  He sees the key to the season being the improvement the team’s 25 seniors make.  Most of the guys have been in the program for four years, so how much more progress can there be?  “We need these (seniors) to take the next step—then we know we’re getting’ the job done,” Petersen said. 

The seniors are a generally anonymous group.  But left guard Joe Kellogg doesn’t consider the motivation for this Boise State season any different from those that preceded it, despite a lack of attention paid to individual Bronco players.  “The chip is always there,” said Kellogg.  “We’re just looking forward to going out there and showing everybody what we’ve got.”  The opener against Michigan State is four weeks from tonight.

There are sure to be those in Bronco Nation shouting, “We should be in the teens!”  The USA Today Coaches Poll, one of the components of the BCS Standings beginning in October, revealed its preseason rankings yesterday.  Boise State was ranked No. 22, the Broncos’ 62nd consecutive Coaches Poll appearance.  I maintain that just making the Top 25 this season is a show of respect for the sustainability of the program.  Rewind to five years ago.  After losing the core of the team that upset Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, Boise State was ranked 24th in the preseason Coaches Poll.  And this Bronco squad lost a lot more talent than that one.

Other nuggets out of the Coaches Poll: Michigan State is No. 13, setting up a nice little showdown in East Lansing at the end of the month.  There are no other Mountain West nor Big East teams on the list.  Louisville is closest, bubbling under in “Others Receiving Votes,” with no MW teams in that category.  WAC favorite Louisiana Tech did get votes, though.  Also on the waiting list are Boise State opponents BYU and Southern Miss. 

Sunday we’ll get our first glimpse of former Boise State players in the NFL this year.  The Hall of Fame game in Canton, OH, is a good one for that purpose.  It’s Arizona against New Orleans.  The Cardinals have veteran guard Daryn Colledge and rookie tackle (or guard) Nate Potter, the seventh-round draft pick.  The Saints have Korey Hall, who’s become primarily a special-teamer and is trying to keep his roster spot.  They also bring in two free agents from opposite ends of the spectrum.  Linebacker Aaron Tevis is a rookie who went undrafted in April.  Tight end Derek Schouman, a seventh-round pick of Buffalo in 2007, was signed by New Orleans last week after not playing in the NFL last season.  How about this: three of these five players are Idahoans.

At the Summer Olympics, it’s actually today that Ketchum’s Adrienne Lyle begins competition in equestrian in the dressage.  One-time Centennial student Breeja Larson is back in the pool today with U.S. team in the heats of the 4X100 medley relay.  Larson finished sixth in the 100-meter breaststroke Monday.  And one more thought on Kristin Armstrong.  Unless you were in her inner circle (and I was not), you didn’t realize the role her son Lucas played in the comeback that ended with Kristin picking him up on the podium Wednesday.

Is this the same Boise Hawks team that recorded back-to-back 1-0 victories in the past week?  The Hawks’ five-game winning streak came to a demonstrative end last night with a 15-1 rout administered by Spokane.  The Indians have scored 25 runs and rapped out a staggering 35 hits over the last two games.  It got so bad last night that Boise brought catcher Lance Rymel in to pitch the ninth inning (he allowed four runs and walked three).  The amazing thing is the Hawks led 1-0 going into the fourth.  They now begin a three-game series on Spokane’s home turf tonight.

Former Boise Hawk Ronny Cedeno helped wreck the struggling San Francisco Giants yesterday.  The New York Mets shortstop matched a career-high with five runs batted in during a 9-1 rout of the Giants at AT&T Park.  Cedeno went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles as he upped his average to a respectable .280.  It’s been quite a road for the 29-year-old Venezuelan, who early in his career drew comparisons to Omar Vizquel, his idol and countryman.  Cedeno has gone from the Cubs to the Mariners to the Pirates to the Mets the past four years.  He played for the Hawks in 2002, a Northwest League championship season.

The Portland Trailblazers trickle-down is about to have its effect on the Idaho Stampede.  Jason Quick of the Oregonian reports that the Blazers’ coaching search has been narrowed to Terry Stotts and Kaleb Canales.  Stotts is the top assistant under Rick Carlisle with the Dallas Mavericks and has also been head coach of the Hawks and Bucks.  Canales has been the Blazers’ interim coach since Nate McMillan was fired in March.  Now that the Stampede have a single-affiliation agreement with Portland, it’s the Blazers who will decide the Stamps’ new coach—and consequently the system the team will run.

A KTVB.com “Mountain West Forgotten Fact of the Day”: It has been 10 years since any current member of the Mountain West has won a MW championship.  Colorado State took the title in 2002 under Sonny Lubick.  Since then, Utah has won three championships, BYU two, and TCU four.  All three schools, of course, have departed the Mountain West.  CSU also captured the crown in 2000.  Wyoming, New Mexico, San Diego State, Air Force and UNLV have never won a title.

This Day In Sports…August 3, 1977:

The birthday of one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks—and certainly the most successful—of the new century.  Tom Brady wasn’t selected until the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots and went 1-of-3 for six yards during his rookie year.  But Brady took over as the Patriots’ starter early in the 2001 season, replacing the injured Drew Bledsoe.  Brady has since led New England to five Super Bowls, winning three.  Tom Brady…35 years old today.

(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 93.1 The Ticket.  He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)

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