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The heart of the matter in the Broncos’ big picture

by Tom Scott

Bio | Follow: @thescottslant


Posted on June 4, 2010 at 7:23 AM


Friday, June 4, 2010.
Whose photo was on the college football homepage yesterday (and still this morning) at Hazen Moss. He’s the walk-on specials team guy from Rifle, CO, shown leading Boise State onto the blue turf with “The Hammer” last fall. It’s kind of symbolic, because players like Moss are why the Broncos are where they are going into what might be a fateful few days. Guys who not only were passed over by BCS conferences, they weren’t even offered scholarships at Boise State. But the dues paid in offseason workouts, practice, and the locker room earned them roles with the team, and they’ve been the additive that’s gassed up this program over the past 11 years.
As for the column linked to the photo, Stewart Mandel’s “Inside College Football,” it had some of the most creative stuff we’ve seen nationally on the Boise State-Mountain West thing the past month. “It's the script of nearly every romantic comedy,” writes Mandel. “Guy pursues girl.  Girl resists because he's a bad boy/player/comes from the wrong side of the tracks.  Guy eventually makes a romantic gesture so grand that the girl can't help but see that love's been sitting under her nose the whole time. Man is that a cheesy way to open a column about football.  But that's exactly what's been happening during the now six-year flirtation between Boise State and the Mountain West.”
Mandel analyzes a few quotes in his piece. "’We've been looking at (expansion) models,’ commissioner Craig Thompson told the Deseret News.  ‘We've been running numbers.  We really haven't spent a lot of time on anything other than philosophically talking about 10.’ For crying out loud.  Isn't it obvious by now? You guys need Boise, and Boise needs you.  Go ahead and hook up already, would you?”
Mandel’s take on the academic issue is priceless. “This is the Mountain West, not the Ivy League.  There's not even a clear, identifiable thread amongst the various schools' academic profiles, which include a Mormon school (BYU), a Christian school (TCU), a service academy (Air Force), large public research institutions (Utah, Colorado State), a school known for its hotel and restaurant management program (UNLV) and a school known for its kick-ass parties (San Diego State).  Doesn't it seem like pretty much any school would ‘fit’ this league's ‘culture?’ Boise fashions itself a ‘rising’ institution—much like its football program.  That's exactly why this marriage is made to happen.”
The rumor that the Pac-10 may invite half of the Big 12 to form a super conference is flabbergasting. Could Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Colorado really ditch the Big 12? The goal is to form a super TV conference—and from that standpoint, it makes a lot of sense (except maybe Texas Tech). With Arizona and Arizona State going to the division that would include the newcomers, the old Pac-8 schools would maintain their rivalries. But enough about those people. What about the Mountain West and Boise State? The Big 12 would be left with just Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Baylor, Nebraska and Missouri. Those last two would then be begging to join the Big Ten. If they did, the Big 12 would have no leverage. The Mountain West would. So who would invite whom? 
Former Boise Burn staffer Will Hoenike, still the information ace for the Idaho Steelheads, points out that you can see the “Boise Burn East” of sorts tonight on the NFL Network. The Arena Football League game between the Chicago Rush and Jacksonville Sharks will feature a number of former Burn players—including Caldwell High grad Mark Weivoda, Nichiren Flowers, Palauni Ma Sun, and Nygel Rogers. Flowers is among the AFL leaders in receiving yards, touchdown receptions and yards per catch. And Rogers is third in the league in interceptions. Also be on the lookout for former Burn standout Jomo Wilson in a Jacksonville uniform, if he’s still active.
Boise State’s two representatives on the PGA Tour are just looking for consistency right now. After a $33,000 paycheck at Colonial last week, Graham DeLaet is looking at a missed cut at the Memorial. DeLaet was victimized by five bogies in shooting a three-over-par 75 in the first round yesterday. Troy Merritt is only one shot better at two-over after enduring a pair of double-bogeys in his round.
Wednesday was the best day Garret Anderson’s had in a long, long time. But it didn’t start out that way for the former Boise Hawk, in the twilight of a 17-year major league career as a utilityman for the Dodgers. In the second inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Anderson’s bat shattered on a groundout, with the barrel flying into the sixth row and slightly injuring a female fan. He was 0-for-5 when he came up in the bottom of the 14th and singled in Matt Kemp with the lone run of the game in a 1-0 L.A. victory. Anderson had been booed in the 10th when he struck out with a runner on second. In mostly pinch-hitting appearances for the Dodgers, he’s batting just .155 with one homer and eight RBIs.
A seven-year-old kid who watched Anderson play in Boise in 1990 broke a major league record last night. Casey Kotchman, son of the Hawks’ manager of the 90’s, Tom Kotchman, fielded his 2,003rd consecutive chance at first base without an error, eclipsing the mark set by Boston’s Kevin Youkilis.   It happened in the Mariners’ 4-1 win over the Twins at Safeco Field. Kotchman’s errorless streak began almost two years ago, when he was still playing for the Angels. It has continued through his stints with the Braves and Red Sox, and now with the M’s.
This Day In Sports…June 4, 2004:
Idaho’s exile in the Sun Belt Conference finally has an end, as the Vandals are invited to join the WAC beginning in 2005. They enthusiastically accepted, filling a spot vacated suddenly by UTEP’s departure to Conference USA a month earlier. Still, Idaho’s future had remained in doubt until North Texas rejected overtures from the WAC, electing to stay in the Sun Belt. The Vandals had been cast off to no-man’s land in 2001 when the Big West dropped football.
(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.)